Fantastic community response to Covid-19

by Roger Savage,

Dedicated volunteers have helped almost 700 vulnerable people throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

The Southend Coronavirus Action Helpline has proved to be a major success, with hundreds of residents helped by the new initiative.

Southend Council launched the dedicated helpline, which has helped vulnerable people since the outbreak of Covid-19, in March.

A host of voluntary and community groups have come together to help residents with shopping, collecting medication, topping up gas and electric and dog walking.

Tim Watts, the Lions Club of Leigh community chairman, is pleased to have played his part in keeping the community going in tough times.

Mr Watts said: “Many of our members are in the higher risk categories themselves, so our frontline team is small - but totally committed.

“So far, we have delivered food parcels, done shopping for individuals, collected prescription medicines and taken people to clinical appointments. We are in action seven days a week.”

Lions Club of Leigh volunteer Sue Gasper has played a key role in helping with shopping and being the main contact to determine clients’ shopping lists.

The Southend Estuary Scout District has also been involved in the process and leader Tim Browne was brought close to tears after volunteering his services.

Mr Browne said: “It was heartwarming how grateful [his client] was. She wouldn’t come outside until I’d left.

“A lady was clearly protecting her father, who I saw through the window, and as I drove away she was still waving and mouthing thank you so much.

“I’d lie if I said I didn’t have a tear in my eye. This work is so essential, life-saving for some.”

Southend Association of Voluntary Services has been guiding and supporting the response since the helpline went live.

Development officer Roger Savage said: “The community response has been heartwarming and I would like to say a massive thank you to all the groups and individuals involved.

“The volunteers should all be extremely proud of what they have achieved so far and how many people they have supported.”

You can view the original story post by visiting the Southend Evening Echo website.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

Consultation has concluded