Local councillors have joined volunteers to help the work of Aylesbury’s local Community Hub – one of eight around the county providing support to vulnerable and older people.
Aylesbury’s Hub has matched more than 600 registered ‘shielded’ residents with volunteers to help with food shopping, medication collection, dog walking, hospital transport, and befriending.
On Friday 17 April the Hub supported a ‘remote’ curry night to pay tribute to the work by emergency services during the coronavirus lockdown. They were provided by a local caterer, and the evening was organised by local councillors Raj Khan and Niknam Hussain.
Social distancing precluded a sit-down meal, so volunteers hand-delivered 130 hot curries to staff at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, and to Aylesbury police and fire stations.
Meanwhile, local councillors Ashley Waite and Paul Irwin have been putting Bernie the Bernwode community bus to good use supporting vulnerable residents in remoter areas.
They’re spending this week (w/b 20 April) touring many villages – including, Berryfields, Waddesdon, Quainton and Grendon Underwood – collecting gifts of groceries residents have pledged to leave at the end of their driveways, communities by collecting donations of food from businesses to be made up into food parcels.
“The bus is absolutely stacked with groceries: it’s overwhelming,” said Paul. “It’s so very moving to see and experience people’s generosity.”
Gareth Williams, Buckinghamshire Council Executive Portfolio Holder for Health and Culture, praised the efforts of volunteers and his councillor colleagues . “This really does our #ProudofBucks campaign…well, proud!” said Gareth. “I applaud the hardworking and dedicated volunteers who are doing their utmost to keep the county’s wheels turning during these difficult times.”
As well as handling weekly government food parcels, the Hub has also been providing emergency food boxes for shielded residents who have not received their government food parcel, and who have fewer than two days supply at home, or who do not have the means to pay for shopping. The emergency food boxes are made up of donations to the Council.