Daventry is very lucky to have so many hard-working and supportive local volunteers, and the submissions for Volunteers’ Week 2020 have shown how much community spirit and kindness we really do see every day.
Our Local Heroes include the Earls Barton Is Kind Coronavirus Response Group, with around 86 volunteers who have collected and delivered shopping and prescriptions, provided meals, and paired with vulnerable people in the community.
This group’s organisers are Amber Toogood, Scott Brown and Liz Parry, all of whom have worked to make sure support is available across the village, and those in need can get help.
Two of the group’s coordinators, Mary Ayotte and Debra Hardiman, are also wonderful examples of Local Heroes. Mary has set up databases, contact numbers, blogs and a website, and arranged rewards for volunteers (all on a volunteer basis herself). According to nominees, Mary should be recognised for her kindness, passion and commitment, and for making the lives of those isolating in Earls Barton easier and brighter. Debra has stepped in in a similar way, relieving pressure and workload and providing support to her fellow volunteers. She makes sure the village is ‘safe, healthy and happy’.
Another wonderful set of Local Heroes are the Long Buckby Angels - who have, in the words of their nominee, been ‘helping everyone in our village, assisting shop keepers to manage social distancing, helping those who are shielding with deliveries and generally cheering people up with unexpected treats. Also helping to distribute books and jigsaws and supporting the whole community’.
Golden Years is a community group for the elderly – providing activities to boost social and mental health, and doing shopping and other errands in the current lockdown period to make sure vulnerable residents can stay safe. Special thanks goes to Golden Years’ founder Meg Neilan, who was mentioned (more than once!) as a Local Hero. Meg has looked after isolated elderly people, organised activities and co-ordinated collecting and delivering supplies – a tireless effort and one which really represents what Volunteers’ Week is all about. According to one of her nominees ‘nothing is too much trouble for her’.
It’s not just community groups getting involved in local volunteering – The Old Swan pub in Earls Barton and Jeyes of Earls Barton also received mentions and are deserving of huge praise for their efforts, providing free meals to the vulnerable and nominating their own local superheroes each week.