Coronavirus: Volunteer organisations step up to help vulnerable New Zealanders

With the spread of COVID-19 continuing to impact vulnerable New Zealanders, different organisations are stepping up to help.

Hundreds of people are putting their hands up to drop off groceries, babysit and even phone elderly who are isolated at home.

Two Auckland sisters are taking action to get through COVID-19. They've created 'Friends in Need Auckland' - a community website and Facebook group to support the elderly and unwell.

"Our Dad's a community GP here in Auckland and he works a lot with the elderly and in rest homes," says founder Rachel Paris.

"He was explaining to us how they've had to close to visitors and we were heartbroken for all those people."

Friends in Need Auckland is a free service for those isolated by COVID-19.

"We're saying daily phone call to start with, so if you get matched with someone call them every day, check in how they're doing, and then offer to do things for them if you can," says Bridget Snelling.

And in Christchurch, the well-oiled machine of the National Student Volunteer Army is ready to go.

"We've had a lot of interest just in the last 12 hours with 240 volunteers who are showing up," says Student Volunteer Army founder Sam Johnson.

The race is now on to screen, train and activate their students.

"We're going to pay attention to the skills that they have, the languages they speak, the cultures they come from so that we can match up the best volunteers with the clients," says James Eder, from the Student Volunteer Army.

They've got history students talking to the elderly, teaching students ready for childcare, law students doing interviews. They're even getting help from council staff such as librarians and lifeguards to help with screening and matching.

They're prioritising our most vulnerable.

"We've had a request come through from some of the people who support victims of March 15 helping translate various pieces of government information into their right language or ring them up every day to just let them know what's going on," Johnson says.

And the message from both organisations is to ask if you need help.