Covid-19: Havering Heroes making significant difference

Published: Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Our Havering Heroes are rallying together to support the most vulnerable residents through the Coronavirus crisis.

Image of Havering Hero

On Monday 30 March, HVC have taken 332 calls, and since 22 March they have dealt with more than 1,200 calls, averaging 181 per day compared to an average of 137 per week this time last year.

They now have 474 volunteers who have registered an interest to volunteer and just yesterday, 27 volunteers were operational, helping to deliver food, medication and calling people to check that they are okay.

Overall, 226 residents are currently being supported, with our Havering Heroes also walking seven dogs.

There has been an overwhelming outpouring of kindness shown by the community – from those volunteering as well as the residents receiving the support - who have expressed their gratitude to the volunteers for their willingness to help them at their time of need. Volunteers have also told us that they feel great offering their help and making a significant difference within the community.

One volunteer, who delivered vital shopping supplies to an elderly couple, said, “Seeing the smile on their faces made everything worthwhile. I love the fact I am making a difference. I will be back tomorrow to help again, what you are doing here is marvellous”.

A resident, who the HVC helped register with the NHS, said, “You’ve made me feel special. I felt like no one was listening to me or cared. I felt so alone and desperate but our chat has made me feel loved and cared for”.

Councillor Damian White, Leader of Havering Council, said:

“I’ve been overwhelmed by the efforts of our volunteers and voluntary organisations. There is a desire and determination to help our vulnerable residents and it proves just how special Havering truly is.

“Last week, I ‘met’ virtually with the lead voluntary organisations and we discussed over the phone the fantastic work each are doing to support our most vulnerable residents, as well as some of the staffing, supply chain and financial challenges they were facing.

“The Council’s £300,000 investment will allow these heroes on the front line to continue to help our most vulnerable residents and shows the Council’s commitment to supporting our voluntary sector. The work they are doing is helping to save lives and I am so proud of them.”

Shelley Hart, Chief Executive of the Havering Volunteer Centre, which is coordinating the volunteer efforts and support needs in the borough, said:

“The difference the financial support is making to us from Havering Council has been vital in getting the extra staff needed to deal with the volume of calls we are receiving. I don’t think a call centre could have done much better than we have managed this past week with very limited staffing.

“Our priority has been ensuring that residents in desperate need have received food and medication and I’m thrilled to say that everyone referred to us has been supported”.

If you think you might need support or you would like to volunteer to help, please contact the Havering Volunteer Centre on 01708 922214