Volunteers have never been more important in rural areas

Cheshire West Voluntary Action (CWVA) is helping recruit more volunteers in rural parts of west Cheshire through the NHS Volunteer Responders programme to add to the existing volunteer workforce in these areas.

Volunteers have been at the forefront of the community response during the COVID-19 pandemic and the NHS Volunteer Responders programme has played a key role, allocating volunteering tasks through the GoodSAM app.

In rural areas where there are smaller populations, neighbour-to-neighbour and micro volunteering has arguably been more important than anywhere else, helping make sure people who needed support could receive it during lockdown periods.

One of the biggest hurdles in these areas has been transport to and from things like hospital and medical appointments.

While there are already volunteers working hard to keep people safe in rural areas, CWVA and partners have been leading on an Evaluating and Embedding NHS Volunteer Responders project to look at how the GoodSAM app can be used in the medium and longer term to embed volunteers in communities.

Volunteering comes in all shapes and sizes as you can flexibly carry out tasks to fit in with any other commitments you may have. Being a good neighbour and micro volunteering, giving up the amount of time you want, has never been easier.

Sign up to the NHS Volunteer Responders programme and support rural communities

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