Celebrating over 120,000 food deliveries made in Hertfordshire

Hertfordshire County Council is asking residents to continue to play their part in protecting their communities

Tuesday, 4th August 2020, 3:30 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th August 2020, 3:34 pm

Council staff and hundreds of volunteers in Hertfordshire have been providing food, household essentials and medicines to people who were asked by the Government and the NHS to self-isolate for health reasons.

Around 43,000 residents in Hertfordshire, were asked to shield as they were at the greatest risk of serious complications should they have contracted coronavirus.

Hertfordshire County Council has worked with its partners to support over 6,000 of these households, delivering 110,000 food parcels as well as providing over 1,000 residents with deliveries of vital medication.

David Williams with Marie-Claire and Martin

A further 11,000 food packages were delivered to district and borough councils and community and charitable organisations to enable them to support people directly in their local communities.

From August 1, shielding paused across the UK, and so Leader of Hertfordshire County Council, David Williams went to help deliver one of the final packages to resident Marie-Claire Mellor and her husband Martin.

The couple have been self-isolating for over four months due to Marie-Claire’s osteoarthritis and other underlying health conditions which have made her particularly vulnerable.

A former paediatric, geriatric and general nurse, Marie-Claire moved to the UK from Mauritius when she was 18 to train as a student nurse.

She began working at Alder Hey children’s hospital in Liverpool, then lived in Reading and worked at the Royal Berkshire Hospital.

When she could no longer nurse, she worked as a medical summariser. Around six years ago she moved her family to Hertfordshire to help care for her older brother living in London Colney, something she was still doing until she was told to shield.

Until recently she had also been visiting local care home residents to keep them company.

David Williams, Leader of Hertfordshire County Council, said: “It was lovely to meet Marie-Claire and her husband and to learn how these deliveries have enabled them and many others, to stay safe and well during these uncertain times.

"I cannot thank the hundreds of volunteers, businesses and community enough for their efforts to support those most in need.

“It’s made even more special by the fact that Marie-Claire has herself dedicated much of her life to helping others.

"That’s why I urge everyone now to play their part in keeping our communities safe.

"Not just for the clinically vulnerable, but also for all those working in the NHS, in social care and other key worker roles providing vital services across the county.”

Marie-Claire said: “This support really has been a lifesaver for us.

"Things have been so different, and so to know we can protect ourselves by not going out to get food where we would be putting ourselves and others at risk has been a great help.

“I’m used to being the person that looks after others and I’m a sociable person, I love people, so self-isolating has been very difficult for me.

"I miss my friends and my family and so to see the thought and care that has gone into these packages and receive a regular, friendly delivery has really cheered me up and made us feel well looked after.”

As people go back to their day to day lives, it is important that everyone continues to play their part in protecting the communities.

Please play your part:

- wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds or more

- respect each other’s space by keeping your distance and stay at least one metre apart

- wear a face covering where required and in enclosed places where it is hard to distance

- if you develop symptoms start self-isolating immediately and book a test.

If you have been affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) and need help or advice contact HertsHelp on www.hertshelp.net, or call 0300 123 4044.

They can signpost you to local and national organisations for financial advice, mental health support and much more.

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