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A volunteer and the woman she helps have spoken about the importance of the community work that goes on in the borough.

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Vera Hunt, 68, has been volunteering in the community since 1973.

She is a section leader at Redbridge Voluntary Care Team, who we featured in our Good Neighbours piece last week.

Covering the Wanstead and Woodford areas, Vera and her fellow duty officers man the phones from their homes, where they have boxes of information about clients who may need help at any time.

When they receive a call, their job is to provide care and ensure a volunteer is on hand to help in any way.

On Wednesday, she met one of her regular clients, Jackie Petts, 55, who has a severe disability.

Every week, a volunteer goes round to Jackie’s house and takes her out shopping for the afternoon.

“I’ve been helping Jackie for about 18 months. We have built up a friendship, and she is always very grateful,” said Vera, a former sheltered accommodation worker,

“I do it because it feels as though you are helping, and I like helping people. I would say to anyone thinking about volunteering – go for it. It is very rewarding.”

Jackie was full of praise for the volunteers that help her do her weekly shop, calling them “life savers.”

She added: “They are absolutely brilliant. I have a severe disability and without them I couldn’t do my shopping.

“They arrive before 12 and I wait outside. We go to the shops in a taxi and they help me carry my bags. We have a cup of tea and then they bring me home.

“I don’t know what I would do without them. If there’s anybody out there with spare time – become a volunteer.”

To volunteer with the care team – contact Pat Borrott on 020 8514 0980.

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