Wiltshire Publications

Westbury’s volunteer army helps the community

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AS the seriousness of the pandemic took hold and the country went into lockdown to save lives, Westbury volunteers mobilised quickly to help the local community, especially residents who had been advised to stay indoors because of health reasons.

Volunteers delivered food parcels and leaflets, keeping the community safe and fed. They also collected and delivered prescription and medication and helped by walking people’s dogs if they were unable to go out. A Neighbourhood Line was set up to offer reassurance with a phone call. Now, volunteers are continuing to carry out shopping trips for residents.

Volunteer Karen Hopkins said, “Had a fab visit today. June was thrilled to see the bunch of flowers in her box.

“She said, ‘They brighten up my room and have brightened up my day.’

“It brightened up my day as well – seeing her smile

Grant Rylands

“The pandemic and resulting restrictions have been hard for everyone, and some need more help than others. So when I saw that Westbury Town Council were recruiting volunteers, I couldn’t not apply to help. 

“I have a young family at home, so they’re always my priority, however we are fortunate in health currently and I am still working, so felt I was in a position to help others in the community that needed it most. 

“I contacted Ryan and let him know I was available, around work and family life. I had the full backing of my wife Laura, as we both feel passionately about helping those who need it. Ryan has been instrumental in organising the help needed in the local community, and a special mention to Steve Hubbard from Wiltshire Council also. 

“I haven’t lived here long, but in a short space of time I can feel the close community there is within Westbury, which is why I was eager to help. I have been out delivering food parcels and also leaflets around all the supermarkets.

“It’s great seeing the smile on people’s faces when they open the door (at a safe distance of course) knowing that you have helped those that need it most.

“Things are tough at the moment, so I would urge anyone who has the capability to volunteer, honestly it’s so rewarding! I would also really like to thank Westbury Leigh Primary School and Step Up Pre-school in Dilton Marsh, which have been absolutely brilliant with my children throughout. The Westbury community spirit will pull us through this together!”

Samantha Shore

Volunteer Samantha Shore said, “I am a single parent who is constantly on the go working in the local community with students, taking my children to various clubs, then for all this to suddenly stop was hard for me to comprehend. 

“So when Westbury Town Council asked for volunteers I jumped at the chance. Although I was still supporting my students through distant learning and also home schooling my children, I felt the need to give something back to this wonderful community. 

“I look forward to my deliveries each week, it has enabled me to stay sane, and I love being able to support others where I am able to. It’s been the highlight of my week and I hope to continue where I can after this is all over. 

“I would also like to thank the town council for giving me this opportunity, and to thank them for the great work they have done throughout this pandemic. 

“As a community if we work together ,we can get through this.”

Alexandra Poole

“When I saw Westbury Town Council were asking for volunteers, both me and my husband decided it was something we would like to do as a family. 

“We continued to be in good health, and even with me working as a key worker in the RUH in Bath, I wanted to be able to do something to help my local community on my days off. 

“We contacted Ryan one Friday at the start of lockdown, when he added a post asking for someone to deliver parcels that afternoon. We were more than happy to help as a family. 

“We continued to help every Friday, it becoming a highlight of our week and our sons. I felt like it was something important to do with my son (who is 2), as he will be learning about this when he is older. An added benefit was he would also nap while we delivered food parcels! 

“It was great to see people’s smiles when they opened the door knowing that as a family we were able to supply essentials to those in need and seeing the relief in their faces that for another week they had the essentials they needed! 

“Things continue to be tough, but volunteering really brightened up our week! Community support will pull us through the pandemic stronger than ever!”


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