These are unprecedented times, and they call for unprecedented measures.

Our NHS, full of frontline heroes battling the coronavirus in our local hospitals, is asking for members of the public to step forward, be counted, and serve the community.

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) is keen to recruit as many volunteers as possible to assist during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The trust runs Furness General Hospital, Westmorland General Hospital and the Royal Lancaster Infirmary.

Forty seven people have already volunteered and Barry Rigg, head of patient experience at UHMBT, wants you to be part of the new batch of volunteers: “We want to express our sincere thanks to each and every one of our volunteers for stepping forward during such a difficult time.

“We have had a large number of volunteer partner organisations come forward to support the NHS within one of our Community Recovery Centres at Barrow in Furness or Kendal. The public is right to be proud of you all – and we echo that sentiment."

Formed in the ashes of World War Two by Clement Atlee’s Labour Government, the National Health Service sought to right a wrong that many of us now take for granted - that good health should not only be enjoyed by the rich.

Most of us were born in an NHS ward, and yes, most of us will receive end-of-life care in an NHS facility.

Most of us had our first vaccinations ‘on the NHS’, had our first injuries treated by NHS staff, and have perhaps even had surgery in an NHS operating theatre.

In short, most of us owe our lives to the National Health Service, and now it is asking for a little help in return.

Pre-NHS, the average male lifespan was around 66 years old, and 70 years old for women. Now, it’s around 80 and 83, respectively. It revolutionised the life chances of regular people.

After years of austerity, the health service has faced challenges, but nothing like the global coronavirus pandemic that is currently unfolding.

So please, if you are willing and able, head to and sign up.