Thousands of local heroes sign up in fight against coronavirus

Published: 07 Apr 2020


Over 8,000 people have responded to Hertfordshire’s call for volunteers to assist residents who need some extra help and support through the coronavirus restrictions.

Volunteers are going to be essential at this time to help keep all our residents safe and well. This could be by dropping off some groceries and picking up some essential supplies, offering a friendly voice over the phone or even giving basic support in a care setting.

Since last week, volunteers have been:
• Delivering urgent sets of medicines to high-risk people who have been told to self-isolate
• Making regular phone calls to isolated people to check they are OK and offer friendship and support

Erin, a university student from Hertford, is one of the volunteers. For the last two weeks she has been making a daily phone to an older lady in her local area, to provide an opportunity for a friendly chat.

Erin said: "With the university being closed, I've got time on my hands and wanted to spend it doing something helpful. It's great to be able to support someone locally, and help to make sure they aren't getting lonely or isolated at home. We've built up a good rapport now, and we can chat about anything, from family to the weather. It's just good for both of us to have the opportunity for a chat, and it's nice to know I'm making a difference."

A partnership of local councils and voluntary groups are working together through #TeamHerts Volunteering, the official volunteering network for Hertfordshire, to support our voluntary, community and care sectors to make sure that support is on hand to help those who need it locally.

• Residents who are self-isolating and in need of support from volunteers can visit www.hertshelp.net, email info@hertshelp.net or call HertsHelp on 0300 123 4044.

Richard Roberts, Cabinet Member for Adult Care and Health at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “It’s fantastic to see so many people coming forward to help their local communities through this difficult and uncertain time. There are a lot of people in Hertfordshire who will need extra support over the coming weeks and months, and it’s good to know that we have volunteers who are ready and willing to help.”

Hannah Morgan-Gray from #TeamHerts Volunteering, said: “We have been delighted by the number of people coming forward to help their local community and are busy matching them with organisations carrying out vital services for those who need it most. If your organisation needs extra volunteers, please do get in touch so we can help you too.”

Hertfordshire County Council staff are also supporting voluntary organisations by delivering 1,200 food parcels to local foodbanks and voluntary organisations, to help them support their local communities, including our most at risk residents who have been asked to stay at home for 12 weeks by the government.

For the latest on Hertfordshire’s response to coronavirus, go to www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/coronavirus