A STUDENT doctor from Darlington has teamed up with a babysitting app to offer free childcare to NHS workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Sam Bresland, is a fifth year student, studying at the University of Edinburgh.
Along with his colleagues he wanted to do something to help workers on the frontline after his placement was cancelled due to covid-19.
Sam said: "I really want to raise awareness of the cause to get volunteers willing to babysit registered on the app, particularly back home in Darlington as my parents are both working in the ICU there at the minute and I want to support them."
Now, medical students across the UK are getting involved with the initiative.
Bubble for Sitters is available to download on any app store, Ari Last, CEO, said: "When all of this kicked off we thought how can we adapt. I was being approached by a number of doctors. Schools and nurseries were closing, therefore NHS workers were not going to be able to get to work. Obviously the government has instructed us to stay at home."
The app has a verification tool which makes it secure and checks are made on the babysitters before they can provide childcare.
Sam created a Facebook group which has gained a lot of interest
Sam said: "What we're doing is we're trying to get an initiative off the ground. Volunteer students can babysit for NHS workers so that they can get to work and their children are looked after. It will free up NHS personnel. One in four NHS staff are off isolating we need to get as much staff on the frontline as possible."
The voluntary section of the app was launched on Wednesday.
Ari added: "We thought why don't we work together and facilitate voluntary work for students we got together as a group. We got to work building this part of the app in the last week. The new feature enables students to volunteer."
The app is a quick way for people to find childcare without having to trawl through Facebook or other social media groups.
Bubble has been going for around three years.
Sam said: "Their system model and how they work is perfect to be repurposed for this volunteering initiative.
Sam's parents Keith and Kathryn Bresland both work in Darlington Hospital in intensive care.
Sam said: "They think it's really clever and that there's a definite need for childcare."