VOLUNTEERS have been honoured by health care workers for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.

This clap of support took place at Barrow Cricket Club near Furness General Hospital as part of a Morecambe Bay wide show of support.

Mike Oliver, 33, a volunteer with the British Red Cross had spent the last couple of months delivering meals to staff members at Furness General Hospital after being inspired to help after being told of the pressure the NHS staff were under by his partner who works there as a nurse.

The Ulverston resident said: “I have to admit it was overwhelming to be appreciated by the staff like that. It was lovely.

“I was part of a campaign to deliver meals to staff on the wards which was great to do, they really made us feel like part of the workforce.

“I would like to say thank you to the other volunteers involved as well as the staff for being so welcoming as they have such a difficult job to do already.

“I am glad to have had the opportunity to help.

“Arlene and Barry the volunteer coordinators at Red Cross have been great as well as all the North West Ambulance Service volunteer responders.”

The volunteers delivered more than 330,000 across the bay, which is well deserving of a huge ovation.

Aaron Cummins, Chief Executive, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust said: “I’m sure I speak on behalf of all my colleagues when I say how grateful we all are to Salute the NHS for the generous provision of packs during the coronavirus pandemic.

“The local volunteers have been amazing in their dedication to helping our colleagues across the Trust - and these and other donations from individuals and businesses across Morecambe Bay and beyond have really helped our teams through some very difficult times over the past 16 weeks.

“The value of these strengthened local partnerships cannot be underestimated - and our presentations were a small way to demonstrate our gratitude.”

David Taylor, Senior Emergency Response Officer for the British Red Cross in Cumbria, said: “We are always looking for opportunities to help and work closely with other organisations in the local area and distributing food packs has been a tremendous opportunity for us as an organisation and our community reserve volunteers to show their support.

“The feedback from our volunteers has been really positive. They have loved delivering the food packs to hospital staff who have been very thankful.

“We would like to thank our volunteers for helping their communities by working alongside partner organisations to distribute food packs to hospital staff under the Salute the NHS campaign.”

Mark Evans, Interim Blue Light Collaboration & Community Engagement Manager for North West Ambulance Service, said: “We are extremely thankful to all of the volunteers who have supported us throughout the pandemic.

“The fact that all the work that they do for us is entirely in their own time is admirable and the courage and commitment that they have shown has been remarkable.

“Over the last few months, our community first responders (CFRs) have taken up additional roles fulfilling important tasks such as providing critical care transfer support, assisting with operational fit testing of frontline colleagues, meal deliveries to the wider NHS network, providing administration support for COVID-19 home swab testing and antibody tests, welfare support for colleagues, vehicle cleaning and protective personal equipment (PPE) packing and distribution, all in addition to responding to patients in their local area as usual!

“Providing the right care to the people of the North West is always our number one priority and the additional support from our volunteers has helped us to continue to deliver that during this challenging time.

“It was fantastic this week to be able to give the volunteers the recognition they deserve as we clapped them for their incredible contribution.”