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NHS72 - The strength of our communities

As we reflect back on the huge contributions made over recent months we can’t forget the powerful community response that we have seen and the dedication of those who have coordinated the response.

Across the country and across our local area, people have stepped forward to support those in need and shielding.  From food shops to pharmacy runs, phone calls to dog walking and even creating craft boxes for the local kids; our communities have really come together and here are a couple of their stories.

Community Ambassador Subrat Sunger has been using his time to volunteer for other local causes whilst the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that Clinical Commission Group’s engagement activities have been paused.

Subrat has been volunteering with Rushmoor Voluntary Services ORCA response team, supporting at a local testing centre by directing traffic and more recently in Aldershot Town centre, supporting shoppers in having a safe trip.

Subrat says “It’s an enjoyable experience to help the public, made even better when it’s bright and sunny as we’ve had so much over the past weeks.”

Sheena Saran, one of the Bracknell Forest Community Response volunteers shared her reason for volunteering to help the community during the pandemic:

“I decided to volunteer for the Bracknell Forest Community Response because I’m not able to work owing to Covid-19. I wanted to do something to support others and relieve some of the pressure on the social services.

“So far, I have helped with shopping and collecting prescriptions for residents, as well as having a chat with them.

“I love seeing people I volunteer for. They’re always happy to have a chat. It’s important to interact with isolated individuals, as this is the most contact they have. I enjoy feeling busy and being a volunteer has given me something to do, realise how fortunate I am and grateful that I’m able to help others in this small way.”

The St Kitts and Nevis Association Slough (SANAS) was formed in 1998 and pre covid organised many events to promote health and wellbeing, family unity, education and community cohesion.

Anita Herbert, SANAS group leader said, “As a direct result of COVID-19, SANAS had to stop our regular activities, however were very keen to continue to offer support to our clients and those who are at risk of isolation or fall in the vulnerable category in and around Slough.

For people that are engaged in the community, we are all very busy and pulling together as one, for the greater good of Slough. COVID-19 has thrown up many challenges SANAS has certainly had to adapt our ways of working.

SANAS’ Covid-19 response activities have been co-led by Adella Parris. We are also grateful to our team of volunteers who are working extremely hard to continue the support.

Since April, SANAS has packed and distributed (whilst observing the guidelines around social distancing) over 400 food parcels to older and vulnerable people in Britwell, Northborough, Manor Park, Farnham Road, Cippenham, Chalvey, Wexham, Goodman Park, Langley and Slough Town Centre areas, giving families and individuals a little extra help during this pandemic. Additional items from One Slough Community Response were added to the parcels too.

Our volunteers are also making welfare calls all to help combat isolation, improve mental health and wellbeing.

COVID-19 will be present in our communities for a little while longer, and we will be continuing to support where we can. Our volunteers are working really hard to keep this happening.”

If you are interested in volunteering in your local area you can find more information on our community pages HERE

Frimley Health and Care