Covid-19 self-isolators getting help thanks to 'awesome' Corby community

The Helping Hands - Corby group has grown from one member to nearly 2,000 in under five days

By Alison Bagley
Saturday, 21st March 2020, 5:58 pm

A Corby volunteer group set up to bring emergency help to the most vulnerable people in the town has been delivering their first food donations to coronavirus self-isolators.

Helping Hands Corby has rallied together estate-based volunteers to help people without family or friends able to help during the coronavirus crisis.

More than 1,900 people have joined Helping Hands Corby since Sunday (March 15) to support, donate and distribute emergency parcels.

Helping Hand Corby

Linzi Reid, committee member, said: "The response has been absolutely awesome. We cannot thank people enough for all their help and donations.

"We have teams on every estate in Corby, with each team leader DBS checked - some are police officers.

"We are looking to help people who have no support from anywhere else. For the most vulnerable people whose family cannot get to them.

"The people were are helping do not have the virus but they are at risk and cannot get to the shops or buy food in."

Helping Hands Corby have been asking for donations for emergency parcels

More than 150 volunteers have been deployed across the town's estate delivering to homes.

Emergency parcels are packaged by volunteers from donations including tinned goods, puddings, pasta (including gluten free), toilet rolls, rice, hand wash, soap, toiletries, pocket tissues, hand sanitiser, tea, coffee and sugar.

Packages also contain items to keep people stuck indoors occupied including puzzle books and magazines.

Lorraine McKimmie, landlady of the Phoenix in Beanfield Avenue, and Andrew Lapsley, landlord of The Shire Horse in Willow Brook Road have volunteered their premises as a drop-off point for donations.

Toilet rolls and pasta

Lorraine said: "The donations are going really well. I volunteered because people forget about the vulnerable and elderly and it breaks my heart.

"We are open for business at the moment but even if we have to close, I will take donations and carry on volunteering."

Items for parcels can be dropped off at the Phoenix pub at 129 Beanfield Avenue in Corby and at the Shire Horse in Willow Brook Road, from 12 noon to 11pm seven days a week.

Linzi added: "As soon as we get the donations in we pack them and hand them out. At the moment we have more volunteers than we can cope with and we have a back list.

Lorraine McKimmie, landlady of the Phoenix, Corby, with some of the items donated to Helping Hands

"We don't handle money at the door but people and community groups have been donating money to we can go to the shops and buy supplies. We have been donated £350 already today, and we have a company in Little Oakley making our boxes.

"The support from everyone has been amazing. We can't reply to everyone because of the number but thank you to everyone and keep it coming."