As of today (Wednesday June 10) St John Ambulance volunteers have spent more than 100,000 hours on the frontline of the fight against COVID-19. 

And the health and first aid charity’s dedicated teams have contributed almost 44,000 hours of additional support, behind the scenes, so the overall contribution stands at around 2,000 hours every day. 

The news comes as health leaders recommend including voluntary organisations ivital planning to get the NHS back on track and deal with the next phase of the virus*. 

Throughout the pandemic, St John volunteers have put their life saving skills to good use, caring for people across England via: 

  • Ambulances– Crews have responded to 999 calls for eight of the country’s regional NHS trusts, accounting for 35% of St John Ambulance’s voluntary work since April 1 
  • Hospitals– Volunteers have helped doctors and nurses at 43 locations, including screening patients and providing them with essential first aid on arrival at Emergency Departments (50%) 
  • Community projects– A wide range of activities, including support for the NHS Blood and Transplant service and projects working with homeless people (15%)

St John Ambulance’s chief operating officer, Richard Lee said: “We welcome the NHS Confederation’s recommendations that voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations are included in discussions about the next phase of planning for the pandemic and beyond. 

Making sure St John and other organisations are written into plans to provide certainty both on funding and resourcing requirements is key. 

“St John Ambulance volunteers have demonstrated their humanity, expertise, flexibility, scale and resilience to deliver – whatever our nation’s health needs – and we are ready should a second wave of the virus occur or if there is any surge in demand on the NHS. 

We look forward to agreeing our contribution to the next phase of this pandemic and our country’s recovery.” 

Many more of the charity’s volunteers have worked behind the scenes to support their frontline colleagues through fundraising, logistics, communications and other essential activities, bringing St John’s total time commitment since April 1 to 144,096 hours. 

For more information on St John Ambulance’s work, health advice and the charity’s current fundraising appeal visit www.sja.org.uk/COVID-19

*NHS Confederation report as part of the NHS Reset campaign