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Volunteers celebrated across Royal Borough

Delivering shopping, picking up prescriptions and providing social support are just some of the ways volunteers have been supporting residents during the coronavirus pandemic.

Volunteers in the community are being celebrated this week as part of National Volunteers Week – which runs from June 1-7.

The Community Hub was set up by the council in March and provides a space for groups to register their support, and allows those in need to request help.

More than 700 volunteers and 52 community groups are registered with the hub and have supported hundreds of people during the last eight weeks.

Hilary Hill, director of adults, health and commissioning at the Royal Borough said volunteering ‘isn’t something new’ but has been at the ‘forefront’ of the council’s response to COVID-19.

She said: “The current crisis has certainly shown the value of community volunteering.

“There are lots of wonderful people in this borough who want to help support their neighbours, friends, families and communities.

“When the current challenges of the pandemic start to ease, we know that our community groups and individual volunteers will continue to operate and provide support to residents and as a council we are looking at how best we support that work going forward.”

Debbie Gee, at Maidenhead Foodshare, said she had been co-ordinating 300 volunteers who have taken up food delivering, donation and sorting roles.

She said: “It’s just been brilliant, more people came forward than we could have ever imagined.

“We’ve got some really good people come forward willing to help us with all different skills, we didn’t have that before.”

“Because of COVID-19 we have managed to access a broader range of the community.

“People who would normally have been working have been able to give their time. This has given us a larger and more diverse network.”

She also thanked Royal Borough councillors who have been supporting the foodbank.

Visit www3.rbwm.gov.uk/ communityresponse if you are interested in volunteering.

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