Sir Cliff Richard among the celebrities backing Daily Mail campaign to recruit NHS volunteers

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Celebrities and leading figures from the worlds of arts, sports and business have thrown their weight behind the Daily Mail’s NHS volunteer recruitment drive.

Sir Cliff Richard, Sir Tom Jones, Joanna Lumley, Chris Evans and Sir Clive Woodward are among the famous faces encouraging readers to spare just a few hours of their time to give our hospitals a helping hand.

Tennis star Johanna Konta, Spice Girl Geri Horner and music mogul Simon Cowell also joined our call for people to help patients and take pressure off frontline staff.

Sir Tom praised the Health Service and its volunteers as a ‘world-beating example of the essential kindness and compassion of the British conscience’.

He lauded the work done by all sections of the NHS, saying selfless volunteers were a ‘crucial’ cog in the machine and had helped him fight tuberculosis at the age of 12.

Endorsing the Mail’s campaign with the charity Helpforce, Sir Tom said: ‘As a child with TB, they gave me and my family the best care available.

‘Providing personal support with nursing and assistance with home schooling. I am sure there would have been a different outcome for me if that level of care wasn’t there.

‘The NHS is about its people and the service they provide, no matter how small that service may seem.

‘The voluntary force is crucial to the success of this network, and the many small acts of kindness they contribute add up to an immeasurable gift to all who have suffered the many complications of illness. Please, think about joining Helpforce this Christmas!’

Miss Lumley said the campaign was the perfect opportunity for ordinary people to ‘roll their sleeves up and help’, saying volunteers were ‘the backbone of the community’.

‘The combination of Helpforce and the Daily Mail will be a smash hit,’ she said.

‘Ordinary, non-skilled people like me, who just want the best for all those who are sick and suffering, and for all those who care for them, can roll up our sleeves and help. It is a thrilling and innovative idea.

‘Long ago I realised that volunteers are the backbone of the community, and when that community is the NHS, the chance to shoulder some of their burden will be greeted with open arms.

‘It will be a privilege to part of this enterprise, and it makes me proud to think of us all joining together to lend a helping hand right across the nation.’

Sir Cliff said the campaign represented the true spirit of Christmas and it offered people the chance to give back to others in need.

‘I have made many a visit so as to be with people who had need of medical help’, he said.

‘Some were family, some friends, and some were fans who needed to lift the spirits of a loved-one. I have never been anything but incredibly impressed and emotionally moved by the care and attention that patients receive.

‘I wholeheartedly commend this Christmas venture. It is completely what Christmas should be about – giving love and care to those who are in need.’

Music mogul Cowell said the ‘great’ campaign would offer vital support for ‘incredible’ NHS staff.

Canadian rock star Bryan Adams praised the NHS for helping him after a nasty accident in London, and said volunteers could help to ‘bring comfort’ to those in need.

He added: ‘When I came off my motorcycle and broke my hand in Brixton back in 2002, I was given a cast at the local hospital and couldn’t have had better treatment.

‘The NHS is similar to the social medicine system in Canada, where everyone is given the option to have free treatment. I wish it was the same everywhere.

‘The call for volunteers for the NHS by Helpforce and the Daily Mail is brilliant and will hopefully bring comfort and help to those in need when their health fails. Anything to help people in need by people generously giving their time gets my support.’

The Mail’s campaign is also being endorsed by singers Alfie Boe, Aled Jones and Russell Watson, as well as TV’s Kate Garraway and Davina McCall.

Join our big-hearted heroes by volunteering to help in a hospital near you for as little as one day a month - or three hours a week - for at least six months. Read all you need to know here...

Why does the NHS need volunteers?

Volunteers can help provide better experiences for patients, and free up time for healthcare workers to focus on delivering the incredible work they’ve been trained to do. And while there are thousands of volunteers carrying out vital work in the NHS, there is so much more we can do. That’s where the Join the Hospital He

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