In Pictures: The Covid-19 volunteers supporting front-line NHS staff


Across England an army of volunteers is supporting the NHS in the battle against Covid-19. The BBC met some of them to find out why they stepped forward.

image caption"It is fun and you get to meet loads of new people and you get to see the goodness in people," says Izaak De May, an 18-year-old Ipswich student volunteer at the town's hospital. Mr De May, who is now considering a future working within the NHS, says: "It is really rewarding and you know you're doing something right."
image caption"It is refreshing and it feels good to be helping," says Rachel Laurence, who volunteers at the vaccination clinic in Colchester. A full-time worker during the week, she decided to volunteer at weekends because she was "at home, bored" and felt she needed to do something.
image captionAbbie Panks, a volunteer co-ordinator at the St James Medical Practice in King's Lynn, Norfolk, vaccinated one man who arrived in a three-piece suit, complete with a hole cut out of his sleeve ready for the jab. "When you're in during the vaccinations you hear a lot of laughter," she says, "and I think it's because people can see there's a light at the end of the tunnel."
image captionSusan Ambridge, from Colchester, is helping at a clinic in the town. "People are worried," she says. "They want the injection and, if I can spend a few hours helping that happen, then I should do so."
image captionEric Britton, a volunteer at the vaccination centre in Runwell, has seen first-hand the pressure facing staff because his wife works for the NHS. A helper at the centre, near Wickford, Essex, he says: I wanted to help out where I could."

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image caption"I love it," says Alison Wheeler, who became a Colchester NHS volunteer after she was furloughed from her job with an events firm. "It feels as if you're working, doing something you are passionate about but also helping people and trying to get us out of this terrible mess the country is in at the moment."
image captionA landscaper by training, Ryan Doggett began volunteering in support of the NHS just before Christmas. He now manages an immunisation centre in north Essex. "I love it. I'm here six days a week, 10 hours a day and I wouldn't change it for the world. I feel like I'm making a difference and I feel like I'm helping the world heal itself in a small way."

Photography by Charlotte Ball and Laurence Cawley

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