How you can help those self-isolating during coronavirus

Volunteer with free online platform the National Care Force and help someone during this unprecedented time

self-isolating coronavirus
self-isolating coronavirus

Volunteer with free online platform the National Care Force and help someone during this unprecedented time

As the UK lockdown continues, it's more important than ever to be aware of who needs help. To assist those self-isolating during the coronavirus pandemic, a former NHS doctor and British Army officer have set up a platform to allow volunteers to make a difference.

It's called the National Care Force, and has been started to help care providers in the UK fill staff gaps with health workers, and for volunteers to get involved with non-clinical work in response to the outbreak.

Think picking up shopping for those self-isolating during coronavirus or providing in-home care such as cleaning and laundry.

Anyone can join as a volunteer, regardless of work background. All you have to do is register via a free online platform powered by health technology firm Florence.

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It has been estimated that around 1.5 million people have been told to self-isolate for 12 weeks to shield them from coronavirus, including those over the age of 70 and those with health conditions such as certain cancers and respiratory illnesses.

With up to 80% of the UK population projected to be infected by May 2021, extra users and staffing gaps caused by the illness will add even more strain to care services already stretched before the outbreak.

So if you're a care professional like a doctor, nurse, care worker, physiotherapist or occupational therapist and would like to volunteer, you can apply for preferred positions at various care providers who have joined the platform, after going through compliance checks (including qualifications and criminal record) and updating your profile with skills and experience.

Care providers follow a similar process, adding details about their care setting and skills required. The platform’s algorithm will match relevant positions to users and shifts are posted directly by the care providers who have joined. So far, so simple.

The platform also stores reminders of upcoming shifts, and allows for cancellations - because let's be honest, the amount of health information circling is making us feel frazzled.

Co-founder and former NHS doctor Dr. Charles Armitage told Marie Claire, 'There is a desperate desire across the country for people to be able to do something to help but people don't know how to channel their efforts.

'The National Care Force is a movement that will significantly impact the national effort against COVID-19 and allow everyone to play their part.'

His co-founder Dan Blake added, 'There are very few 'drop everything' moments in life and this is one of them. We are facing unprecedented challenges across our entire Health and Social Care system. I want to make sure we each do all we can to help to protect and help the most vulnerable in our society.'

What heroes.

For more information on the National Care Force, visit or contact Isabel Clift, Head of Content at Florence, on 020 3371 9094

Olivia – who rebranded as Liv a few years ago – is a freelance digital writer at Marie Claire UK. She recently swapped guaranteed sunshine and a tax-free salary in Dubai for London’s constant cloud and overpriced public transport. During her time in the Middle East, Olivia worked for international titles including Cosmopolitan, HELLO! and Grazia. She transitioned from celebrity weekly magazine new! in London, where she worked as the publication’s Fitness & Food editor. Unsurprisingly, she likes fitness and food, and also enjoys hoarding beauty products and recycling.