There With You: Clayhall volunteers ‘seeing humanity at its best’ helping vulnerable during coronavirus
PUBLISHED: 10:00 08 April 2020
Volunteers in Clayhall have hit the streets to help those most vulnerable during the coronavirus lockdown.
Organised by Caterham High School the volunteers leafleted streets with offers to do food shopping, pick up medical prescriptions, and chat over the phone for those feeling isolated.
The group have also been cooking hot meals for the vulnerable elderly and snacks for staff at St Bartholomew’s Hospital.
Caterham High School has donated ingredients for cooked meals, arts and crafts supplies for families at home and goggles and gloves to local hospitals.
The school has also set community support homework assignments including designing posters to hang in windows thanking delivery drivers, postal workers and refuse collectors.
Volunteer Sumaiya Lockhat-Badat, who works at Caterham High School, said: “It has been a huge community effort with lots of different groups pitching in to help.”
Sumaiya was able to help a woman with dementia whose carer had not been turning up, and was able to get her shopping done and put her in touch with social services.
She added: “We receive calls from residents that are feeling lonely and scared.
“Some people haven’t had a conversation with someone in over ten days.
“It is our duty to support them and reassure them that they are not alone.
“It has been challenging as a mum, trying to home educate and work from home but it is also important to lead by example for our children and make time to do our bit for the community.”
Volunteer Razwana Hafiz added: “We are seeing humanity at its best - residents have been happy to donate essentials from their own stocks to other families more in need and the volunteers have been happy to make this happen.
“Local businesses have been extremely generous helping where they can.”
Caterham High School headteacher Belinda Chapple said: “We are living in exceptional times but thankfully we have exceptional people who are prepared to go the extra mile to support those most in need.
“It is this kind of selfless dedication to others which gives me confidence that we will emerge from the crisis with our faith in humanity restored.”
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