'We just want to make sure no one is forgotten about': Northamptonshire 4x4 Response answers coronavirus call for help

Covid-19 crisis gives charity its longest-ever deployment with volunteers delivering food and medicine and checking on vulnerable

By Jack Duggan
Tuesday, 9th June 2020, 6:10 am

Northamptonshire 4x4 Response usually helps in adverse weather - but the coronavirus pandemic has seen the charity's longest ever deployment.

Hundreds of food boxes and prescriptions have been delivered and dozens of welfare checks have been made in the county by around 30 volunteers who normally assist when it snows.

Chairman Gordon Brown said it has been a different time for the team but one that has been very rewarding during a tough time.

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(L-R) Lilly Marabel from Northants RAYNET, Northamptonshire 4x4 Response chairman Gordon Brown, Tyler Bennett from the Red Cross and Robert Symes from Northamptonshire 4x4 Response

"The feedback we get, the gratitude and thank yous from people saying we're angels for what we do, has been lovely," he said.

"We're just dropping off a prescription but for those people who don't have anyone, it makes all the difference."

Northamptonshire 4x4 Response provides an all-terrain logistics support back-up service for the emergency services in the times of need, usually in poor weather conditions.

Anyone who needs a 4x4 to get somewhere can be assistance from the team, like police officers stranded at home during snow or carers unable to get to their patients.

Northamptonshire 4x4 Response volunteer Andrew Sullivan on a job during the coronavirus crisis

During the Covid-19 crisis, the charity has joined Northamptonshire County Council's operation to deliver food, medicine and make home calls to vulnerable people.

Volunteers who are able to go out have been making deliveries across the county while those who are shielding have been part of the control team.

Gordon said: "It's something very different to what we normally do, many are still working full-time but are doing this in the evenings and at weekends.

"It's given people something to focus on when perhaps they've been furloughed from work or some of the team are shielding.

"So it's been something to distract them from everything going on and kept them engaged."

Over the past 10 weeks, Northamptonshire 4x4 Response volunteers have travelled 8,180 miles to deliver 311 food packages and 125 urgent prescriptions as well as 181 welfare checks.

Gordon said getting food to those in need was the main task at the beginning of the crisis in late March but has progressed to more visits to the elderly or vulnerable.

"We just want to make sure they are not being forgotten about," he said.

Anyone who would like help from Northamptonshire 4x4 Response, should call the council on 0300 126 1000.