Following the call to arms from Boris Johnson, asking for 250,000 volunteers to help the stretched National Health Service, over half a million people have put themselves forward to help in its fight against coronavirus.

Speaking at his daily news conference, PM Boris Johnson said all 504,303 could now play an "absolutely crucial" role in helping the NHS.

The scheme aims to alleviate some of the pressure currently put on the NHS and will involve helpers delivering food and medicines, driving patients to appointments and phoning those isolated in their homes.

Here are some of the individuals from the Bournemouuth, Poole and Christchurch area who have put themselves forward to be a member of the volunteer army.

Bournemouth Echo:

Retiring firefighter Ali Scott from Poole has applied to deliver prescriptions and drive patients home from hospital.

She said: “I’m just retiring early from the Dorset & Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service after nearly 33 years of trying to keep my community safe.

“It’s in my blood to try and help when there’s a crisis so, as much as it’s nice to retire and sit in my garden, it’s hard not to want to help.

“I have time, a car and am glad to help.”

Bournemouth Echo:

Wedding and event planner Amber Sharp from Bournemouth has applied for all three volunteer roles.

“I’m not working at the moment, I’m a wedding and event planner so everything has been put on hold”, she said.

“I’m hoping that everyone will be planning parties and rearranging their weddings once this is all over.”

Bournemouth Echo:

Nicola Lucas from Bournemouth, who usually works at the Naomi's House charity shop in Boscombe, has put herself forward to help with deliveries.

She said: “I have joined up as Naomi house is closed for three months and would love to help with deliveries shopping etc and anything that is needed.”

Bournemouth Echo:

James Jackson, a sales consultant at Quick Car Finance from Poole, selected to do all of the available jobs due to his company being temporarily closed.

He said: “I have applied as I am unable to work at the moment due to there being no business to be done and thought I may as well use my skills and hard work to help others who need it as I am a healthy 22 year old”

Bournemouth Echo:

Kato Cook, a chef at The Stable Restaurant in Bournemouth, has signed up to be a Responder to call people in self-isolation.

Bournemouth Echo:

Michelle Rachael, a primary school teacher at Heatherlands Primary School in Poole, is still working to help support the children of key workers who are still attending school.

She said: “I have volunteered to support people to get supplies, but I haven’t had my ID approved yet.”

Bournemouth Echo:

Pete Holloway, who works at Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospital, has had his office hours changed because of the virus and has decided to continue helping as a volunteer.

Bournemouth Echo:

Paula and Jon Hughes, from Hurn in Christchurch, has both applied to be members of the NHS volunteer army.

Paula has signed up for talking and media action and shopping delivery, whilst Jon has signed up for transport and delivery.

Paula said: “We just feel that we should be part of the community to fight the battle of Corona.

“Jon is a self-employed Installation manager for Forest Edge Home Improvements and is now unable to work.

“I am currently unable to work but would be able to support the NHS as a volunteer as best as I can even if that's just being on the end of a phone.

“This was a no brainer decision.”

Bournemouth Echo:

Paul Cottrell, a full-time carer from Parkstone, as a valid DBS certificate and an NVQ Level 3 in health and social care.

He said: “I have experience working with vulnerable adults with cerebral palsy dementia.

“I have a car so I can deliver prescriptions food. I don't mind what I do, I would just like to do my bit.”