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East Hants MP joins COVID-19 community group on the ground

20/04/2020

Local charity Community First has been amazed and humbled by the number of people coming forward to volunteer to help organisations and vulnerable people during the COVID- 19 crisis, which on Friday 17th April included East Hampshire’s MP Damian Hinds.

Damian Hinds contacted Community First to help connect him to organisations that need a helping hand. The MP met up with Bordon Buddies, the community group supporting vulnerable people in Whitehill & Bordon with everything from shopping and food parcels to prescriptions, dog walking, and telephone support. Damian Hinds helped sort food parcels from Bordon Food Bank to vulnerable people who are shielding or isolating at home throughout the pandemic. The MP commented:

“It was a great pleasure to meet Sarah-Louise Jeffries and her team at Bordon Buddies and see the great work they are doing to help those who need a helping hand at the moment, whether that is collecting prescriptions or delivering food parcels. It has been truly amazing to see the civic response over the last few weeks, with community groups being set up right across our villages and towns, but also just neighbours helping neighbours. We have always been fortunate to have a fantastic volunteering community here in East Hampshire, but this is on another scale, and I applaud the work being done by Bordon Buddies and the many other groups and individuals who are helping those most in need at this time.”

Bordon Buddies and Bordon Food Bank are two of many community initiatives being supported by the Whitehill & Bordon COVID-19 Resilience Partnership: a group of organisations in the town working together to tackle the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 crisis. Members of the partnership are Community First, East Hampshire District Council, East Hampshire Live at Home (MHA), Radian, Whitehill & Bordon Community Trust, Whitehill & Bordon Town Partnership, Whitehill Town Council and Woolmer Forest Timebank.

Sarah-Louise Jefferies, a member of the Bordon Buddies Team says

“The support of local residents and organisations has helped Bordon Buddies become a lifeline for local people and have assisted over 250 people in the first three weeks. If you are self-isolating, vulnerable or in the at-risk category please get in contact. We can help with shopping, a friendly/listening ear, prescription runs etc. We are here to help YOU! Also, we would like to thank all of our volunteers as, without you, we could not be serving our local community so well. If you would like to volunteer with us please get in contact, a special mention to AJL Cars of Bordon for doing all of the prescription runs.”

Community First’s CEO Tim Houghton said,

During these challenging times, it is fantastic to be working together with so many community organisations and with our local authority partners including Whitehill Town Council, East Hampshire District Council and Hampshire County Council. It is a real team effort with everyone pulling together. I sincerely hope that after the crisis has passed, we will continue to work together to make life better for everyone and to place and support volunteers where they’re needed most. The real heroes in this are the volunteers themselves going above and beyond to help those most in need.”

If you are in need of support from a community group such as Bordon Buddies, please call the Coronavirus Hampshire Helpline line on 0333 370 4000. Hampshire County Council will connect you to support available in your area.

If you would like to volunteer for the COVID- 19 response in East Hampshire, please register on Volunteer Wessex.

Any organisations that need willing local volunteers or any other support can contact Community First at support@cfirst.org.uk or 0300 500 8085.

.If you would like to contact The Bordon Buddies, email bordonbuddies@gmail.com or call 01420 377002.

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