More than 21,000 Scots sign up to help vulnerable people during pandemic

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Tens of thousands of healthy Scottish people have signed up to help the more vulnerable in their area amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Those wishing to provide practical or emotional support are guided to the Ready Scotland website, which launched this morning.

The drive is the main focus of the Scottish government’s new Scotland Carers campaign.

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the offer of relevant skills at this time will be “invaluable.”

Tens of thousands of Scots sign up to volunteer during the coronavirus pandemicTens of thousands of Scots sign up to volunteer during the coronavirus pandemic
Tens of thousands of Scots sign up to volunteer during the coronavirus pandemic

The options available for those who wish to volunteer include:

Returning NHS workers will be directed to voluntary roles in NHS Scotland Those wishing to help in the public services or local authorities will be directed by the British Red Cross Those looking to work with charities or community groups in their area will be directed by Volunteer Scotland

Since the website launch, more than 8,000 people have offered to support local public services through the Red Cross and 11,000 more are through working with existing charities and groups via Volunteer Scotland.

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Nearly 2,000 people have used the recruitment portal – also accessible through Ready Scotland - to indicate that they have the relevant skills and qualifications to work in the NHS.

Nicola Sturgeon said: “I want to thank each and every person who has registered an interest in the Scotland Cares campaign – the offer of support at this critical time is invaluable. As well as enabling medical students and former health staff to help the NHS, it also encourages people to help their communities across Scotland.

“The response we have had to this call for applications is indicative I think of a wider point – many people across Scotland are responding to this difficult period by showing a sense of community and solidarity.”

Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “The response to the Scotland Cares campaign, which has recorded over 21,000 new volunteers in just one day, has been tremendous.

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“This is in addition to the thousands of student and retired health and social care workers who have expressed an interest in or applied for posts to help support the NHS during the coronavirus outbreak.

“Thank you to everyone who has already registered to volunteer or who have signed up to support our NHS. Your support at this critical time is invaluable.”

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