24th April 2020: Chichester Community Development Trust (CCDT) is in awe of the most wonderful team of heroic helping hands that have put themselves forward to volunteer in the local area, undertaking practical tasks for those who are vulnerable and isolated. The team of 45 residents from across Chichester, many from Graylingwell Park, Roussillon Park and Keepers Green have already carried out 75 tasks, as part of the CCDT initiative, that have provided comfort, reassurance and peace of mind to so many individuals and families.
The volunteers found out about CCDT’s initiative through online and social media requests, and leaflets that were printed and sent round to over 3,500 households in and around North and East Chichester. The leaflets provided advice on how neighbours can support each other, asked for volunteers to contact the Trust, and called on all those that needed help to reach out to CCDT with any requests. The result has been an illustration of the staggering generosity and compassion of those in the region, and forms part of the wider national movement to help all those in need.
For many it is a difficult step to ask for help – people that have remained independent for so long, can be reluctant to ask for support, but the recipients of the service have been unanimous in their comments as to how easy the process was, and how reassuring they found it. One resident commented, “I was delighted to receive this service and will be using you again next week. Thank you so much, I feel so much safer now as somebody who has COPD.” Another shared, “It’s such a great community effort and we’re very grateful. It’s quite hard to ask for help when we’ve never had to do it before, ever, and you made it very easy – so thank you again.”
There is no question that the volunteers are also finding that the act of helping others is empowering them to feel better at the same time. As Helen said, “I’m low risk and not a key worker therefore it’s nice to be able to help out at this time, to help support and be part of a community that looks out for one another.”
CCDT Community Development coordinator, Angie Bacon, spoke highly of the team, “The energy and determination to help from the group of volunteers is relentless. The speed with which they put themselves forward the moment a task is available and the kindness they show in their interactions with each vulnerable resident is so inspiring. Along with all those key workers putting themselves out so selflessly we wanted to say a very public thank you to each and every member of the team. We look forward to the days beyond lockdown when we can thank each one in person and publicly recognise the important work they carried out. For now, our service remains opens to all residents of Chichester and we look forward to supporting them right through to a time when social distancing is no longer required.”
Anybody that would like to join the volunteering team, or would like support with any practical tasks such as carrying out or collecting food shopping, collecting prescriptions, walking the dog or simply receiving a regular phone call to talk with a friendly voice please do not hesitate to get in touch with CCDT by email at email@example.com or by phone on 01243 537526.
If you would like to nominate your own personal hero that has been helping out in the community please write your comments below and we will add them to our wall of heroes that we will be building on the CCDT website.