Registrations to volunteer and help communities and public services during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have topped 76,000 in Scotland.
Local induction programmes are underway to ensure volunteers are ready for deployment and many have already started delivering food parcels, ensure essential supplies and medicines reach vulnerable people and phoning people who need assistance or companionship.
Within health and social care, offers of employment are being made across NHS Scotland with nearly 700 applicants ready to be deployed and more than 3,600 returners in the process of completing their pre-employment checks.
Recruitment for the Scotland Cares Campaign, launched a month ago, will now be paused as it enters its next phase. This includes temporarily pausing recruitment through the health and social care strand. The campaign has resulted in:
• 35,077 sign-ups to Volunteer Scotland to support charities and community groups
• 18,640 sign-ups to the British Red Cross to support public services
•. 23,029 health and social care workers returning to work, and students joining the service
Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell MSP said:
“The Scotland Cares Campaign has been massively successful.
“In addition to the thousands of amazing volunteers who were already giving their time and energy to help their communities, I want to thank each and every person who has signed up. I am sure I speak for everyone across Scotland when I say we are appreciative and grateful for this public spiritedness which will ensure people across the country get the help and support they need.
“The response from the public has been so tremendous that we are now pausing our recruitment. Not all volunteers who signed up will be needed immediately, but I’d like to stress that volunteers will be critical in our efforts to support and rebuild our communities and many who have not yet been called on to help will play a vital role over the weeks and months to come.”
Emergency Response Operations Manager for the British Red Cross Robert Colburn said:
“With our added capacity we look forward to finding new opportunities for our regular and community reserve volunteers to help the most vulnerable in the days, weeks and months ahead. Every single person who signed up with us is joining a force of thousands ready to help in their local community now and in the future, whenever crisis strikes.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“It’s great to see the enthusiasm with which people across North Ayrshire and Scotland have offered their skills and assistance. In a crisis of these proportions, plenty of people need a helping hand and Volunteer Scotland, the British Red Cross and the SNP Government have co-ordinated a very fruitful campaign.
“Meanwhile in health and social care, the Accelerated Recruitment Portal has been matching people with relevant skills to health and social care jobs.
“Furthermore, NHS Education for Scotland officials are working with Boards to match applicants to placements. A number of applicants have already completed pre-employment checks and started posts in Boards, and it is expected many more people will be placed in the coming days. These are all paid positions.”