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Small army of volunteers spontaneously forms to help Redbridge families isolated by coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 17:00 17 March 2020

Shamik Ghosh is creating a network of volunteers to help vulnerable families throughout Redbridge who need help because of coronavirus. Picture: Shamik Ghosh

Shamik Ghosh is creating a network of volunteers to help vulnerable families throughout Redbridge who need help because of coronavirus. Picture: Shamik Ghosh

Archant

Volunteers in Redbridge have sprung into action and created a network of people willing to assist anyone who needs help because of coronavirus.

Shamik Ghosh, 38, of Clayhall, started a volunteer group specifically for Covid-19 after a few families messaged a residents’ WhatsApp group on Friday saying they were struggling to find baby milk formula because of people panic-buying.

A group of residents went around to various shops, bought the formula and delivered it to the family in need.

He then realised that there would be many other families with the same problem.

He put out a call for volunteers and their postcodes so that he could help identify a volunteer nearest to a vulnerable family so they could shop for them and call to check in on them.

Shamik said: “I hope that this initiative dies a quick death due to not being needed at all but if not, and things get bad over the coming days, the community will have a ready army of volunteers to help out.”

Within a couple of hours of launching the initiative, he already had more than 20 volunteers covering 13 streets across seven wards in the borough.

Shamik has created a list of all the streets that his small army of volunteers covers so he could get help to vulnerable people as soon as possible and also spread to as wide an area as possible.

By personally managing the initiative Shamik hopes to get a dedicated volunteer for each family in need.

He said he understands that some vulnerable families might not be comfortable sharing their details with a stranger so he is also appealing for groups and associations that know families who are in need to get in touch so he could connect someone to them.

Volunteers can put in as little or as much of their time as they like and will have little to no physical contact with the families they’re helping.

Anyone who wants to join as a volunteer or any families that need help can email resident.of.redbridge@gmail.com with their name, street, postcode and mobile number.


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