Thank you community heroes
Over the past seven weeks, Telford and Wrekin community groups, local residents and Council staff have come together to help each other like never before.
In March, Telford & Wrekin Council reached out to community groups and local residents to support the work its staff are doing to help vulnerable people in the community who have no one else to turn to.
Since the first week, the Interfaith Council stepped in to help the Council deliver food parcels to people on the Government’s shielded list and also to provide food parcels for families struggling financially.
They quickly rallied their volunteers and have been working with Telford Crisis Support and other local groups to collect food donations, make up the parcels and deliver them to those in need.
Over 800 individuals also volunteered to help with shopping, picking up medications, dog walking and keeping in touch calls to check on the welfare of people isolating at home.
Cllr Raj Mehta, chair of the Interfaith Council, said: “The Interfaith Council was formed to build bridges and bring communities together. As well as being the chair, I also coordinate the volunteers and help out with food deliveries. I am proud of what we have achieved together – we’ve helped 151 households in the last six weeks, and we are continuing to get calls faith group leaders.
“Everyone is working hard and the people we are helping have been so appreciative. We have also strengthened our partnerships with Telford & Wrekin Council, other local groups and charities, which is great. Les Pointer from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Wellington has been a big help with deliveries and the Arleston Community Centre has kindly allowed us to use the facility as our distribution centre.
“On a personal level, I am very proud to play my part in helping.”
Individual volunteers include Russ from Donnington, who has been walking Sebby for a woman who is isolating nearby, and Shirley from Randlay, who is one of the volunteers making Keeping in Touch calls to vulnerable residents who are isolating.
Russ said: “Sebby is a rescue dog from Spain and spent a few years on the street, then in kennels over here. So it’s a pleasure to give him some outside time, and hopefully relaxes his owner knowing he is getting his walks. I also get some fresh air. Win Win.”
They are all “community heroes”, according to cllr Paul Watling, Telford & Wrekin Council cabinet member for community engagement and partnerships.
He said: “Together we should be very proud of what we have been doing to help the elderly and vulnerable. These are difficult times for everyone, but the community spirit in our borough has carried us through.
“People’s willingness to help confirms everyone’s faith in humanity. We’ve had lots of messages of thanks and positive feedback from people. Community groups, local charities, individuals and our staff are all doing their bit, they are all community heroes.”
Pictured: Members of Interfaith Council delivering food parcels