VOLUNTEER activity to help others has soared during the coronavirus crisis. Most of this has been informal with people helping neighbours, family and friends with shopping and other essential tasks. But more organised volunteering activity has taken place too.
Following our appeal to set up a team of volunteers then people responded and in this last seven weeks, lots of activity has taken place including shopping for those isolated at home and the collection and delivery of other items. But always there was an awareness that people may have been struggling with daily living but we didn’t know about them, so it was deemed important to get an information leaflet through as many doors in the area as possible.
7,000 Hedon and District Community Support leaflet leaflets were printed by Hedon Green Print. In Hedon, the reverse of the leaflets (3,500) carried information about the town’s VE Day Competition flyer and in recognition of that the Hedon Town Council (HTC) agreed to reimburse the costs of printing the entire 7,000, so thank you to HTC.
Our appeal for delivery volunteers to get essential information out there met with a fantastic response. Over 30 people stepped forward to help. These named people in many cases had help from other family household members, so 30 is really a minimum figure.
Delivering leaflets is not an easy task, but with the added complication of being aware of the risks of catching and spreading COVID-19, then it certainly is not a task taken on lightly! We issued Guidance on leafletting. But I can report today that in the nine days since the leaflets were printed, then they have now been distributed across Hedon, Thorngumbald, Preston and Paull.
If the leaflets inform just one household of the help available to them, then that justifies this brilliant community effort, though we hope and expect a larger take-up of the help available. There will be those households that haven’t received a leaflet – these mostly will be where observation proved the household wasn’t in need, but there will be other reasons too including just being missed. But this in no way diminishes the efforts made by all those volunteers helping out. Following the reduction in crisis conditions, there will be a time and place to formally thank all those that volunteered their time to help their communities, but in the meanwhile please accept a big “THANK YOU !!!” here.
Once we have got through this terrible virus, there will be a welcome ‘standing down’ of the volunteer effort. But it might be wise to keep the infrastructure of an emergency volunteer organisation in place so that in any future crisis (heatwave, big freeze, extreme winds, toxic or pollutant, etc, ) that may hit the local area, there will always be the shell of an organisation in place ready to mobilise volunteers to lend a hand.