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Archived News from April 2020

14th April 2020 11:35

Winger signs up as NHS volunteer
mansfieldtown.net, 31 March 2020

Mansfield Town winger CJ Hamilton says he is ‘very interested’ in ‘helping people in their time of need,’ and has therefore signed up for the NHS volunteer scheme.

The NHS volunteer scheme has been set up in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, and enables volunteers to provide care or help to those who are vulnerable to serious illness if they caught the disease.

Hamilton, 25, says volunteers such as himself will enable NHS staff to focus on patients currently suffering with the coronavirus, helping more to make full recoveries.


“I was scrolling through Instagram and I saw someone put on their story about the scheme and the volunteers,” he began.

“After seeing the poster, I did it [signed up] straight away - I was very interested in going out to help people in their time of need.

“The last thing that the NHS staff need is for them to be running round, trying to sort out people’s medicines, when people like me can take that duty off them.

“The staff in the hospitals can then focus on people’s recoveries, getting people better and freeing up equipment for people that need it.

“I have grandparents in London who are self-isolating at the minute - knowing that I can’t bring them stuff affects me because I’d love to be able to bring them stuff all the time.

“Luckily, I have family members who can bring them stuff, but I think about people who don’t have those family members that can bring them stuff.

“I just want to be there and help - so that they can get everything when they need it and don’t have to worry.”

The winger also spoke about the tasks he may be asked to do in the coming weeks as part of the volunteer scheme.

“[One of] the aspects I signed up for are dropping people’s shopping to their house,” he added. “They send you a list on the NHS app, and you go to the supermarket and pick up what they need before dropping it off at their house.

“You stand two to five metres away from their door after ringing the doorbell and wait for them to come out and pick up their shopping.

“It’s the same with the medicine - you go to the hospital or pharmacy or wherever they need it picking up from, before leaving it on their doorstep.

“I’ve also signed up to transfer medical equipment - so if the hospital need something bringing to them, I’d be able to do that.

“They’re looking to get the scheme up and running by 31 March - once that’s done we’ll all get an email explaining how to do certain things.

The former Sheffield United man says the scheme illustrates that people will ‘come together in bad times’ to help one another, with over 750,000 people applying to the volunteer scheme so far.

“When they said they needed 250,000 volunteers, I thought ‘are people going to be willing to do that?’ But when you see the numbers roll in, you see how people want to help and get past this horrible time.

“My girlfriend has signed up for the same things of me, so that’s two of us in our household that can go out and help people. It could be vital for some of the older people, to stop them going out and catching the virus.

“It will stop the staff worrying about things like dropping off medicines or sorting out lifts for people discharged from hospital.

“I think it’s massively important that people like me or other people that have volunteered to the scheme can actually help.

“It shows that everyone can come together in bad times and help each other out. It’s important that they got the scheme out there so that they can focus on the patients that are coming in with the virus.”

You can listen to CJ’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow.


Mansfield Town’s CJ Hamilton among NHS volunteers
efl.com, 31 March 2020

Mansfield Town player CJ Hamilton has joined the national effort against coronavirus by becoming an NHS volunteer and, in turn, is supporting his local community through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 25-year-old is one of 750,000 people who have signed up to become an NHS volunteer, and is now on call to deliver shopping and medicine to some of the country’s most vulnerable people.

“I was actually just scrolling through Instagram when I saw a post about the scheme and the NHS asking for volunteers,” he told Mansfield Town’s media team.


“As soon as I saw the post, I clicked the link; I was really interested to just find out more and go out there and help people in this time of need if I could. The last thing NHS staff need is to be overworked and doing jobs people like me could help with and that’s the reason volunteers are important.

“I want to help, however that may be. The more people that volunteer, the more staff there are available to focus on getting people better, as well as free up hospital beds and equipment. That’s the main reason I signed up."

The London-born forward has played 40 games for Mansfield Town so far this season, but with the country currently being asked to stay at home and no football to be played, Hamilton is using his football experience on the frontline effectively, helping those in need along the way.

“One of the things I’ve signed up to do is doing the more vulnerable people’s shopping and dropping it off to their houses,” Hamilton continued.

"That will involve being sent a list of things to pick up from the supermarket and then going to their house and dropping it off. It’s the same with medicine from the pharmacy or the doctors, I’ll pick it up and take it to people’s houses, leaving it on the doorstep for them. I’ve also signed up to help with the transferring of medical equipment from hospital to hospital or wherever it’s needed."

Last week saw an overwhelming amount of support shown to the NHS, as the nation continues to come together in a time of need. After the Government's initial request for volunteers, the NHS received a phenomenal response from people offering their services, with an incredible 750,000 currently signed up to volunteer to help during this difficult time. Hamilton was happy to be one of them.

“I have grandparents in London who are obviously self-isolating at the minute. It upsets me that I can’t be there right now to help them or take them shopping - I’d love to be able to do that. Fortunately, I have family in and around the area who can do that for them.

"But I feel most sorry for the people who don’t have that support network around them at the moment. These people are stuck inside by themselves, they may not be able to get out to the big supermarkets and that makes me want to be there to help in any way I can. I want to know that these people will get what they need and will be okay. They shouldn’t be stressing over whether they’re going to get food or not.”

He was also quick to praise the work done by the NHS, as well as those offering their time to help.

“Initially, when the Government asked for 250,000 volunteers, I thought ‘are people going to be willing to do that?' But to see the numbers roll in and the amount of people that are willing to help us as a nation get through this horrible time has been amazing. It just shows what can happen when everyone comes together.

“It’s so important to help the NHS staff during this time, we need to help free up their time to focus on those that need it. We saw last week how much everyone appreciates what our medical staff are doing when the whole country came together to applaud them. The long hours they work, the difference they’re making to communities and the risks they’re taking to save others should be recognised and their bravery applauded.”

People all over the country, including its leading sports stars have issued a rallying cry for people to stay at home in the bid to combat coronavirus, uniting in supporting the NHS #StayHomeSaveLives social media campaign.

“It’s more important than ever to stay at home and not go out unless absolutely necessary,” Hamilton concluded. “I think the nation is together on that which is really important. We’re all in this together, no-one is on their one and we’ll get through it together and hopefully return to normality soon.”


Mansfield Town winger CJ Hamilton joins the NHS volunteer army
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Tuesday, 31st March 2020

Mansfield Town winger CJ Hamilton has proudly joined the ever-growing army of people who have volunteered to help the NHS during the current coronavirus pandemic.

Hamilton has offered his help with a variety of duties and, with 750,000 already on board, he said: “The amount of people that have signed up for it is crazy.

“My girlfriend has also signed up for it with me. That's two people from one household that can go out and help and that could be vital to stopping some of the older people going out and catching the virus.

“It just shows how everyone can come together and help in bad times.”

Hamilton saw the plea for help by accident.


“I was actually scrolling through Instagram and I saw someone had put it on a story about the scheme,” he said.

“I clicked on the poster straight away and it was very interesting - to go out there and help people.

“I know the last thing the NHS staff in the hospitals need right now is to be running around to sort out people's medicines when people like me can come along and take that duty off them.

“At the moment I am at home and this is a way I can help out.

“Then the staff in the hospitals can actually focus on getting people recovered and trying to free up the equipment in there for other people who need it. That's why I signed up.

“I have grandparents in London who are self-isolating at the minute.

“It hurts that I can't take them stuff as I'd like to be able to do that all the time.

“Luckily I have got family in and around there that can do that.

“But I am thinking about people who don't have family members to help and are stuck in by themselves and can't really get out to the big supermarkets or get to the hospitals or pharmacy to pick up their medicines.

“I just want to be there to help so they don't have to stress about if they are going to be able to get food or medicines in time.”

On his likely tasks, he added: “I will be dropping people's shopping to their house.

“I think they send you a list on the app when it gets uploaded and you just go to the supermarket, pick up what they need and drop it outside their house.

“You ring the doorbell, stand 2-5m away from the house and wait for them to come out so you make sure they pick up their shopping.

“It's the same with medicine from the hospital or pharmacy.

“I have also signed up for transferring medical equipment, taking it to a hospital or moving it somewhere else.”

Hamilton has been moved by the nation's response to the current crisis.

“It's mad. When they said they needed 250,000 volunteers, I wondered if enough people were going to be willing to do that,” he said.

“But with the numbers rolling in you can see how big it is and how everyone wants to help.

“Everyone wants to get past this horrible time and get back to normal.

“Where we live we had loads of people clapping and shouting for the NHS the other night as they appreciate what they are actually doing in these tough times - the long shifts they put in and the risks they are putting themselves under.

“It's good to see the nation together - everyone is with each other.

“It's how we get past this now and hopefully it can be over in a couple of months and we can go back to normality.”


Mansfield Town's Neal Bishop says we all have a responsibility to help those struggling during lockdown
By Stephen Thirkill, Wednesday, 8th April 2020

Mansfield Town’s Neal Bishop believes everyone has a responsibility to help neighbours struggling from the impact of coronavirus if they are able to do so.

The midfielder is one of more than 750,000 people to have signed up to volunteer with the NHS as he seeks to do his bit for those less fortunate.

As part of the scheme Bishop has helped deliver food and medicine to people in his neighbourhood unable to leave the house.

“I just wanted to do something, we have got a lot of free time once we have done our workout in the morning,” he said.

“I had seen and read about volunteering with the NHS and I just wanted to do something.


“Anyone’s first priority in this is to make sure themselves and their family are safe, but once that is done can you go out and help other people stay safe?

“If it is safe to do so then I think you have a responsibility to help your neighbourhood.

“As footballers you are naturally selfish, you train and you want your rest and everything is focused on Saturday or Tuesday and playing games.

“So it is important to take a step back and have a look during this time and this appealed to me.

“It is important you contribute to the area you live in when you can. As a parent it is important to set an example to my son and that you do good things, not for what you get back but for helping other people.

“It is not about what you can get at the other end, it is about helping people. It helps your mental well-being by giving something back.

“If you are in a position to contribute anything at this time, I think it is important to do that. I am proud to be able to help out.

“We have got my boy out litter picking around the area and we have donated to the food bank at the local church.

“We are just doing whatever we can to help the community get through this and come out the other side.”

Stags have not played a game since the 2-1 win at Northampton Town on the 7th March.

But Bishop says he is using the enforced break in action to stay positive and keep perspective on what is important.

“The isolation period has been different and difficult for us all,” he said. “In the grand scheme of things you have got to count your blessings.

“We are not in a bad position as footballers, there are people in the community a lot worse off than we are.

“You have to put things in perspective, we are carrying out our fitness regime which is being monitored by a staff member.

“That is something we are all doing. It is a tough session, but it is enjoyable and at least it gets you out and keeps you mentally right.

“On the other side of things, my wife is a businesswoman so she is still working day to day and I am the primary carer for our little boy.

“I have been helping him with his schoolwork, he’s seven and already a lot cleverer than I am.

“It’s been good to spend time with him and take the positives from the negatives going on in the world.

“It will end, it will get back to normal. It is tough but you have got to take the positives.”

“Anyone’s first priority in this is to make sure they and their family are safe, but once that is done can you go out and help other people stay safe?

“If it is safe to do so then I think you have a responsibility to help your neighbourhood.



Latest | April 2020