Thousands of community-spirited people have come forward to offer help and support to those in need in Surrey Heath.
Surrey Heath Prepared, a community action group based at High Cross Church (a church partnership of the United Reformed Church (URC) and the Methodist Church), was set up in response to the Covid-19 crisis.
Since the action group began, more than 3,000 volunteers have registered and more than 1,200 requests for help have been fulfilled by the army of helpers.
The Revd Mike Thomason, Minister of High Cross URC, said: “The amount of people who have come forward, is absolutely fantastic as is the work of the coordinators in each area who direct volunteers where help is needed.”
A dedicated helpline is manned at the church, along with the coordination of the foodbank and food parcels.
Volunteers also assist with shopping, prescription collections and deliveries, or are a friendly voice at the end of the telephone to those feeling lonely.
A fundraising page has been set up to ensure the campaign runs for as long as the coronavirus pandemic is deemed critical in the UK. So far, more than £22,000 has been raised which will go towards covering any out-of-pocket operational costs to provide the service. Surplus funds will be donated to local good causes.
A spokesperson for Surrey Heath Borough Council (SHBC), which is working closely with Surrey Heath Prepared on referrals and offering financial and practical support to the organisation, said: “Surrey Heath Prepared is doing a fantastic job of coordinating voluntary help for the isolated and those self-isolating in the borough.
“This is a great example of the coordinated partnership work going on in Surrey Heath between the council and the community. We are very grateful to all those volunteering to help those in need – thank you on behalf of SHBC.”
Find out more about Surrey Heath Prepared here, or on the dedicated Facebook page.
If you would like to put yourself forward to volunteer or receive help, call 01276 66789.
If you would like to support the campaign in other ways, donations can be made here.
Picture one: All faiths working together: the Revd Mike Thomason with a member of Camberley Mosque bringing some of their weekly donations.
Picture two: Neil Braybrooke-Tidy, High Cross Youth and Community Worker, manning Surrey Heath Prepared’s helpline.
Picture three: The Revd Mike Thomason and High Cross Member Sharon Wright at Surrey Heath Prepared’s foodbank.
Published: 21 April 2020