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Bracknell Forest community rallies together during pandemic

Hands holding a heart

Hundreds of Bracknell Forest residents have already signed up to help their neighbours and community throughout the coronavirus pandemic with more work ongoing to make sure the most vulnerable are supported over the coming weeks and months.

Voluntary and community groups from across the borough are working together to plan how essential items, like food and medication, can still be accessed by those who are vulnerable and/ or self-isolating over the coming weeks.

Healthwatch Bracknell Forest joined with Involve Community Services and Bracknell Forest Council earlier this week to launch an official volunteering scheme, which has already received more than 800 responses.

Other groups, charities and organisations have also joined forces with the council, Healthwatch and Involve, to make sure supplies and support continues.

Residents are also being encouraged to check-in on their family, friends and neighbours that they personally know.

There are simple and effective things that people can do to help, including:

  • food shopping
  • dog walking
  • picking up prescriptions
  • phoning and video-calling to reduce social isolation
  • taking out or putting away bins

Cllr Paul Bettison, OBE, Leader of Bracknell Forest Council, said:

“I’m truly humbled by the overwhelming response by the Bracknell Forest community in wanting to help people who need extra support in the coming weeks and months.

“If you aren’t self-isolating and can check on your family, friends and neighbours that you know, please do so – just making sure they have enough food and medication and aren’t struggling with social isolation, can make all the difference.

“If you wish to sign up as a volunteer please make contact with Healthwatch Bracknell Forest and register your interest.”

 Mark Sanders from Healthwatch Bracknell Forest, said:

“This is an amazing response and shows the spirit of our community.”

Philip Cook, General Manager, Involve Community Services, said:

“At this time, community spirit and cooperation is essential, and it is fantastic to see so many people stepping forward to get involved in their communities. Reaching out to friends, family and neighbours is vital and offering support will keep people safe and well.

“I would remind everyone to be sensible and careful however, and encourage people to make sure they keep themselves safe. This is why helping those people we know is so important.

“A wider community response is being pulled together to help some of our more vulnerable members of the community so if you want to help but don't know how then sign up via Healthwatch now!

Find out more about volunteering through Healthwatch Bracknell Forest website.