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Community Hub hailed as volunteers step up to support the vulnerable during Coronavirus

July 25, 2020 8:00 AM
Originally published by Bedford Borough Liberal Democrats

Cllr Jake SampsonBedford Borough Liberal Democrats have paid tribute to the huge 'volunteer force' which has been supporting the vulnerable during the coronavirus crisis.

Councillors gave thanks and praise to volunteers during the latest meeting of the Budget & Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee, which received an update on the Community Hub established by Bedford Borough Council in response to the emerging pandemic in March.

The hub was set up shortly before the national lockdown on March 23rd, and since then has responded to over 9,000 requests for the support.

Almost 1,000 volunteers have offered their help via the hub, supporting vulnerable residents by making up emergency food parcels, collecting and delivering food shopping and prescriptions, making phone calls to shielding or isolated residents, dog walking and more.

Thanks to the volunteer force the hub was able to offer a round the clock service, enabling residents in need of support to access services at any time.

Bedford Borough Liberal Democrat Budget and Corporate Committee Spokesperson Councillor Jake Sampson has been volunteering with the Community Hub himself since March. He praised the hub and thanked everyone who has helped support the vulnerable. Commenting, he said "This has been a fantastic effort. To establish and organise this tremendous volunteer force in such difficult circumstances is a major achievement. My thanks go to everyone who has given their time, energy and skills to support the vulnerable in our communities."

While requests have now fallen significantly, the Community Hub and its volunteers continue to help those residents who still require support. You can find out more and ask for, or offer, help at https://www.bedford.gov.uk/social-care-health-and-community/public-health/coronavirus/coronavirus-community-hub/.

Looking ahead as the need for support during the Coronavirus pandemic recedes, Councillor Sampson received assurances that Council will work to retain the volunteer support that has emerged through the Community Hub for the ongoing benefit of the borough.