More than 20,000 tasks delivered by volunteers in the south

Communities across the south have benefited from £2,400 worth of grants from a local co-operative to local volunteers.

To help charities, local causes and communities affected by the pandemic, earlier this year Southern Co-op pledged £40,000 of small grants via the Neighbourly Community Fund.

Royal Voluntary Service, which is providing vital responsive services in counties across the south, applied for the support and has since received six grants to assist its efforts in Dorset and Hampshire, Sussex, Devon, Cornwall and Somerset, Surrey, Kent and Berkshire.

Since the beginning of lockdown, more than 20,500 different tasks have been delivered to residents in need across the south of England thanks to Royal Voluntary Service.

Holly Bramble, Community and Campaign Co-ordinator at the independent, regional co-operative, said:

We have had some incredible feedback from local food banks and good causes who have been able to do wonderful things with the Neighbourly grants – one of which is Royal Voluntary Service.

The donations have helped each of its different regions and I understand they have helped in a range of services from assisted shopping to Safe and Well calls. This is incredibly special and we are so grateful for how many people they have helped. Thank you.

In Dorset and Hampshire, there have been more than 7,400 activities carried out by Royal Voluntary Service and its volunteers, including assisted shopping and hot meal deliveries.

In Sussex, Royal Voluntary Service has provided support on almost 8,000 occasions, including social activities like assisted walks and online quiz events.

In Cornwall, Devon and Somerset, volunteers have supported 1,700 activities such as shop and drops.

Plus there have been 1,239 Safe and Well calls carried out in Berkshire and 2,240 calls in Kent.

In Surrey, Royal Voluntary Service has been providing ad hoc support when it can to people, such as via its Guildford Stroke Club.

Anna Foley, Regional Partnerships Manager for the Royal Voluntary Service, said:

We are very grateful for the support Southern Co-op has been able to offer which will enable our volunteers to support more vulnerable people during the pandemic. In light of continued restrictions this help can’t be underestimated and will continue to be a vital lifeline during the coming winter months.

Facilitated by Royal Voluntary Service, NHS Volunteer Responders was the biggest volunteer mobilisation programme in peacetime and represents a revolution in volunteering, using technology to register, alert and deploy volunteers quickly, wherever needed. To date, NHS Volunteer Responders have delivered more than 1.2 million tasks supporting those in need.

Royal Voluntary Service’s Stay Safe Warm and Well campaign includes a leaflet providing vital advice and information for how to cope as the days become shorter, colder and darker. 

To view the booklet, visit www.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk/safe-warm-well or for more information about NHS Volunteer Responders, visit https://nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk/.

Details about Southern Co-op’s commitment to the community, can be viewed via www.thesouthernco-operative.co.uk/love-your-neighbourhood


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