Every week we rightly pay tribute to the many NHS and care workers looking out for us so heroically.
I want to recognise formally those many unsung volunteers who have stepped up to the mark unprompted during this crisis and done their bit for others in the community. It may be those doing shopping and prescription runs for vulnerable people; helping provide PPE and meals for frontline workers or distributing urgent supplies. It may be an organisation or firm rather than just an individual. I will update this page with winners.
Anyone living or volunteering in the East Worthing & Shoreham constituency qualifies and I am asking everyone to nominate those volunteers they think should be recognised by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Crafting for Covid
The first winner is a community group Crafting for Covid set up by Victoria Hill with the help of Sue Nea and Sarah Priest in response to the current pandemic. It has become pretty much a 24/7 job. They have 400 members who are making free items for NHS and keyworkers such as Scrub bags/Scrubs/ skull caps/Ear comforters and headbands with buttons on to stop ears from hurting and to hold masks in place better, as well as Hearts for Covid patients and those who have lost a loved one. They have donated to many Hospitals, Care-homes and other key workers in the West Sussex area, and beyond.
Second is an individual well known to many for his various community roles well before Coronavirus arrived on the scene since which he has gone into overdrive! Tom Smith, who lives in Sompting, is a volunteer for SERV Sussex (Service by Emergency Rider Volunteers) who work across West Sussex as volunteer rider transporting blood supplies, blood products and other urgent medical supplies to the NHS across Sussex overnight. During the pandemic Tom has been out almost daily helping deliver medication to people in their homes in the region and delivering clinical samples for processing. He does all of this on his own motorbike, having just recovered from a major accident as well.
The third award this week goes to Telecom Provider Group Focus of Ham Road in Shoreham and a special mention to their managing director Chris Goodman and chef Stuart MacGarvie. Despite having no staff to cook for onsite they have kept their kitchens open and every day are producing fantastic fresh ready meals for the local community including approximately 60 which are distributed every evening by the ‘Shopital’ team outside Worthing Hospital to NHS staff coming off shift and are very well received.
The fourth award goes to Truffles Bakery and the fantastic Alan Semakula and Amy Tompsett-Semakula. Right from the start Truffles were donating daily to the ‘Shopital’ project at Worthing Hospital providing surplus bread, cakes, soup and especially doughnuts to grateful NHS staff. Given the early difficulties for people getting out shops for food essentials they took the shop to the community and have been selling their bakery products from their mobile shop throughout Adur and beyond. And their bread is really delicious too if you haven’t sampled it yet.
Facebook Champions - Martyn Feather, Mel Humphreys, Debs Stainforth and Jill Lennon
The nominations for my Coronavirus Community Champion awards continue to flood in and this week I start with 2 of the Covid19 Community Support Groups that have sprung up and done such a fantastic job in bringing everyone together. Martyn Feather is behind the excellent Lancing and Sompting Coronavirus Community Support Group set up right at the outset of the pandemic and at the other end of Adur, the Southwick, Fishersgate COVID-19 Community Support has been run by Mel Humphreys ,Debs Stainforth and Jill Lennon.
Andy McGregor and Emily Harris
I have had several nominations by new Adur Council Chairman Andy McGregor and Worthing community activist Emily Harris who have spent virtually every weekday evening in Worthing hospital car park come rain or shine, first manning Shopital and then handing out freshly prepared meals to NHS staff coming off shift.
Southwick Square Meats
Finally, a local business. I have had many more nominations than anyone else for Southwick Square Meats who have really stepped up during the lockdown, overcoming all obstacles to look after their customers and “generally just been fab.”
The All Sorts charity project
They have made sure LGBT+ young people have been able to continue accessing mental health support during the pandemic.
Abdul Noor of Curry Mahal
...and part of Shoreham Mosque has been donating lots of delicious curries to hand out to hospital staff and local care homes.
Frank and Linda Patten from Charmandean
...have now produced over 850 face vizors for local care staff using their 3D printer.
From Lancing which stepped up and converted its production lines to produce 120,000 face vizors for the local NHs in the space of just 8 days over Easter.
All round community Lancing champion who when she is not saving the planet through Recycling Lancing has been acting as mentor and organiser for all the lancing volunteers as well as setting up a jigsaw library and running prescription deliveries.
Henry Deery and his sister Martha (10&9!)
Who, having been challenged by St Nics & St Mary's school in Shoreham to come up with a business idea, set up ‘Bellacasa Eggs’ and started delivering home produced eggs to shielding neighbours with all the proceeds going to NHS charities.
Lancing scout leader Shaun Oliver, aka Mole, has been regularly providing a huge amount of activities online to scouts unable to get together physically and helped considerably during lockdown.
St James’ churchwarden who has been a pillar of the local community helping to coordinate volunteer efforts and keeping the congregation in touch.
...In Lancing have been going out of their way to keep stocked and arrange daily deliveries to all their customers unable to get out, however small the order.
Of Shaan Restaurant of Tarring who has also been providing delicious curries for NHS staff at Worthing Hospital.
St. John Ambulance Southwick
All members whatever their rank or role have put a huge effort into helping the community. They've had many ambulances out 7 days a week, logistic support covering many miles, Ambulance Distribution, London hospital support, 12 hour shifts at Sussex County Hospital Brighton and Princess Royal Hospital Haywards Heath plus many other important jobs, and of course it is all run by volunteers.
...of Charmandean in Worthing. Sue is a Design Technology Technician at Durrington High School and at the start of the pandemic put her skills to good use and made just under 100 visors which were delivered to 2 local care homes. As it became clear that demand was increasing, Sue ordered materials through the school and, using their design and technology equipment, has to date has produced over 1000 visors which have been delivered to local care homes but particularly to St Barnabas House.
A small company based at the Lady Bee Enterprise Centre run by Mary and her team. This company provides a day service for those people suffering from severe complex mental and physical health problems. Throughout the pandemic this service has remained open providing in house continuity for the service users and online support for carers of service users who were unable to attend day care. No staff have been furloughed they have worked hard together to find innovative and imaginative ways to support each other and ensure a safe place for all.
Wilmshurst Pharmacy in Lancing
They have been working from dawn to dusk with no breaks or shift change and 7 days a week in order to make sure everyone received their prescriptions. This chemist has really done so much over the Covid 19 pandemic led by Shabbir Jafferali and his team Julie, Helen, Sarah and Naomi who sadly died just a few weeks ago and had still been working hard despite her illness.
Supporting Frontline Staff
The original Worthing COVID support group. They have arranged and supplied over 1000 meals to the staff at Worthing Hospital as well as cakes and treats to support our frontline staff and to boost morale at the grassroots level. They have also supplied and continue to supply scrubs, scrub bags, caps, visors, cakes, yoga mats, iPads for patients who were unable to communicate with their families, yoga mats for ITU staff, Croc shoes for staff on the intensive care unit, name badges for ITU and Covid wards so that patients could see their caregiver whilst wearing PPE. They also supply hearts to as many NHS staff as possible to show them the love the community has for them which is an original idea I came up with and now is trending.
The group has accumulated over 2.4k follows and supporters and that includes 2 particularly special volunteers Tanu 7 and her brother Keren 4. Over the last few months Tanu and Keren have been donating their pocket money and even their birthday money to the group’s cake drive in support of the NHS. Certificates and special badges are on their way to them too.
Well done to all the award winners and please keep your nominations coming in by emailing me at email@example.com