Police cadet sets up volunteer group to help those self-isolating from Coronavirus

The group was set up in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and aims to unite young people and willing volunteers.

The Coronavirus pandemic is getting more and more severe by the day.

The UK government announced on Thursday that as much as 5,000 – 10,000 people in the UK may already have the virus and at worst has made estimates that as much as 80% of UK citizens could catch the deadly COVID-19.

Volunteers have been rallying together to help out those isolating themselves to tackle fears of potential spreading of coronavirus in their communities.

Josh St John James, 17, from Kingston, has set up a group of young volunteers to offer support in any way they could.

The police cadet who has been running Kingston Volunteer Taskforce, told Oh My Goodness that seeing the good around him helped inspire him to set up a platform to “make a difference”.

The 17-year-old said: “Whilst others may grow up not seeing the good around them, we do. Most of us spent our teenage years being involved with community and service through the amazing police cadets and see first hand the hundreds of young people there are, willing to do extraordinary things for the community. So we know they exist, and I guess I felt obliged to bring them together and give them that platform to make a difference.”

Despite only setting up the social media accounts earlier this month, Josh said the team are already at “phase two” of their volunteering plans.

“Many have signed up and many are talking to their neighbours even if they cannot sign up themselves [whether that be] medically vulnerable, or [at risk due to age].

“We are moving towards phase two of our project which will be the actual volunteering. Phase one was all about publicity, numbers and recruiting. Letters sent to schools prior to closures, youth organisations, the massive social media push.

The group, set up by Josh St John James (third from left), had a meeting on Thursday to move forward with the next phase of their volunteering. (@KingstonVTF2020)

“It’s been hard getting the support but faith in our community pushed us through it and now the recruitment is almost carrying itself! Now our role is to confirm opportunities with the council and local hospitals.”

There are many other volunteers helping out those more vulnerable across the UK and the rest of the world.

As reported by the BBC, about 50 people have added their names to a database set up by Volunteer Cornwall specifically to help out as more people self-isolate.

Some volunteers, including in Shropshire are helping health centres deliver medical supplies to patients.

The Bridgnorth Medical Centre said on social media, “we have a small number of volunteers who can visit our most vulnerable patients/collect shopping etc, subject to availability”.

In Wiltshire, Susan Connolly is setting up a free food delivery service using volunteers setting out on foot from the Spar shops she runs in Tidworth and Pewsey.

Customers will be able to order from the 60-year-old family business over the phone.

On the overwhelming support offered, Josh added: “I’ve attracted a lot more of a wider group than expected and I’ve been totally taken back by the amount of adults too. Despite the increased risk to them [they] want to be involved. It’s just phenomenal.”

So, what if you want to join Kingston VTF but you’re not sure?

“I’d say do it! I’ve direct messaged most people who want to follow my lead in their areas and even urged them to just screenshot and print our statements.

“Our main base would be Kingston where we are growing the most. I’m happy to link arms with any leaders with the energy to bring together their own groups.

“I’ve set up a Facebook page of VTF UK and attached is a group section. So far there’s one group of VTF Kingston but that gives us a platform to add more groups in the future.”

If you would like to learn more about the amazing work of VTF Kingston and offer your support you can find them on Twitter and Facebook.

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