Interview

Carly Telford: Supporting the NHS by volunteering

More than half a million people have signed up to be NHS volunteers in the fight against COVID-19 and Blues goalkeeper Carly Telford is one of them. She speaks to the official Chelsea FC website about helping the nation through this crisis.

On Tuesday evening Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced in his daily press conference a scheme to help bolster the National Health Service’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and since then more than 500,000 volunteers have signed up.

Telford and her family decided to become involved and the 31-year-old explains why.

‘I saw something online which was basically a link to the actual website and we went on it as a family and decided that we have all been helped by the NHS at some point of our lives.

‘It’s an opportunity to give back, an opportunity to help NHS workers who are stretched to the limits.

‘We’re stuck in the house at the minute so it’s nice to get out and about knowing we’re doing something good for the community – I think that is so important right now.’

There are four categories people can volunteer for and Telford and her family put themselves forward as community response volunteers. This role involves collecting shopping, medication or other essential supplies for someone who is self-isolating, and delivering these supplies to their home.

‘We chose to do response because we are car sharing at the minute so we can take each other’s cars to try and help people get medication and food,’ Telford said.

‘I think somewhere along the line everyone is helping each other out without knowing it so I don’t think anybody should be under pressure to volunteer.

‘We have to take this virus as it comes and not everybody is responding to it in the same way, some people do feel worried and scared and their bit is staying in – that’s their way of protecting their family, but also their bit for the community which is just as important as the people getting things from A-to-B.

‘We have all got a role to play and I think everyone is in different mental and social places so it’s important to realise that just because you aren’t volunteering doesn’t mean you aren’t helping to stop this virus from spreading and saving lives.’

Just like the rest of the nation Telford is having to adjust to the Government’s stay-at-home policy and while she admits there are challenges maintaining her fitness levels, the goalkeeper still has an admirably positive outlook on the forced changes.

‘It’s so weird, you kind of have to go back to what it was like before being a professional footballer.

‘You have to motivate yourself to go out to run with your balls and cones, there is no one encouraging you, no one chasing you and no one telling you what to do or where to be, it’s up to you.

‘I could spend however long it’s going to be doing nothing but that doesn’t help me or the team, so that’s what you have to have at the forefront of your mind.

‘It’s not that I haven’t done it before because there was a time where I was a part-time footballer when I went to training twice a week, so the best of my running and strength had to be done around a full-time job.

‘We’re very lucky that we aren’t in jobs that are high risk to our lives and all we have to do is stay at home.

‘For people who are working so hard, hopefully we can give something back at the end of it all.’

- In other news - the FA have announced the season at lower tiers of the women's game is to be brought to an end. This affects Chelsea at our Regional Talent Centre level. 

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