To celebrate Volunteers’ Week, 1 – 7 June, the Sussex Resilience Forum (SRF) is shining a light on the stories of Sussex volunteers who have supported their communities in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.
From the start of the pandemic, volunteers have provided services at all levels, from delivering vital PPE supplies to protect the frontline, to making welfare calls and food drops to support individuals within communities.
The SRF is the multi-agency operation through which the work of local authorities and emergency services co-ordinate the response across public services, also working closely with health services and the military and linking with central government.
The Volunteer Work stream triages requests for support from these and also other voluntary, community & social enterprise organisations, and Volunteers’ Week is a chance to celebrate volunteers supporting directly and also those less formal voluntary efforts, where people have selflessly given their time and efforts to help others.
Neil Stocker, Deputy Chief Fire Officer, West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, SRF Co-Chair, said: “I have been so impressed by the scale of ingenuity, enthusiasm and sheer persistent hard work which has gone into the efforts of volunteers to help and protect the people of Sussex.
“The scale of the efforts, ranging from rescue charities driving thousands of miles to deliver PPE and essential equipment, to individuals who’ve taken up responsibility for looking after people in their local communities, and those volunteering to use their specialist skills within the SRF, has been astounding. I thank each and every one of them for their efforts.
“As we turn our minds increasingly to planning how to support our communities as they consider the next tentative steps towards recovery, I know that volunteers will remain an essential part of this effort.”
Organisations and individuals involved in supporting the SRF’s response include:
- Team Rubicon UK
- Sussex 4×4 Response
- Sussex 4×4 Assist
- Red Cross
- East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service
- West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service
- Haywards Heath Mutual Aid
In addition, throughout Volunteers’ Week, the SRF agencies will be sharing stories of localised examples of voluntary work to support communities. Please visit @SussexRF on Twitter and Sussex Resilience Forum on Facebook to see these throughout the week.