People from across the Tideway project have been donating their time and resources to help those most at risk during the COVID-19 crisis. In Volunteer Week, we shine a light on a few of those stories.
Sarah Linney has been volunteering for a charity called Brixton People’s Kitchen, operating out of Brixton Recreation Centre, which supplies food packages to people in need in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.
Sarah and her boyfriend signed up together and always maintain strict social distancing whilst packing everything from dry items like pasta and rice to fruit and vegetables.
“About 300 boxes of food are sent out each day from the Brixton hub and a similar number from the Vauxhall hub,” Sarah says. “It is a staggering amount of food that is going to people in need in just one London borough. It has really opened my eyes to the problem and made me want to do some more volunteering in the weeks and months to come.”
Stuart Grant is putting his fitness skills and love of cycling to good use. A member of Newbury Velo Cycle Club, his weekends used to be filled with racing and touring the roads of Berkshire; now, the club has created its very own cycle courier group to deliver prescriptions, medicines and shopping to those who are unable to leave their homes. The club was recently thanked by the High Sheriff of Berkshire for its unique and invaluable contribution to the county.
Rebecca Oyibo is a Community Relations Officer on the eastern section of the Tideway project, but she previously worked for Public Health England as a Business Engagement Officer. Over the last few weeks Rebecca has been providing her own telephone support service to NHS staff working on the frontline.
“I started with Tideway two weeks before the lockdown started. Coming from Public Health England means I knew that a lot of my former colleagues and friends would be drafted into the frontline,” Rebecca explains.
“I still wanted to do something to help so I reached out to the people I know at Public Health England and through them I got put in touch with some of their contacts who are frontline NHS staff. “It’s about making sure they are OK and giving them an outlet that helps them to keep in touch with the outside world. It gives them the chance to talk through any issues they are having personally as well as the feelings around going to work.”