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Bishop's Stortford mayor pays tribute to Company at Christmas and Community First Responders



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Bishop's Stortford's mayor spent part of Christmas paying tribute to community champions.

Cllr Keith Warnell presented £1,000 to Alan Collins on behalf of the town's Community First Responders, volunteers trained by the East of England Ambulance Service to attend certain types of emergency calls where they live or work.

The mayor, who raised the money with a quiz at the start of December, said: "They do such valuable work in our community, especially during the Covid pandemic.

Cllr Keith Warnell with Community First Responders, from left, Allyson Booth, James Richardson (group co-ordinator), Ross Leary, Alan Collins and Mark Van Koolbergen
Cllr Keith Warnell with Community First Responders, from left, Allyson Booth, James Richardson (group co-ordinator), Ross Leary, Alan Collins and Mark Van Koolbergen

"They're usually first on the scene and I know that they've saved many lives by their timely arrival. They need new medical kit to avoid having to swap over kits at the end of shifts and the quiz night raised £1,000 towards this."

Cllr Warnell, whose term of office has been extended to 18 months rather than the customary year by the coronavirus crisis, also took part in Company at Christmas's operation on Christmas Day.

Each year, since 1984, representatives of the town's churches have worked together to provide a Christmas dinner, entertainment and tea at Bishop's Stortford Methodist Church to around 70 people who would otherwise be alone. As well as the get-together, they cater for around 40 people at home.

Jenny Klincke, of Company at Christmas, and Cllr Keith Warnell (53997520)
Jenny Klincke, of Company at Christmas, and Cllr Keith Warnell (53997520)

For the second Christmas in succession, the Covid-19 pandemic meant the helpers had to deliver hot food and gifts to each guest at home.

Cllr Warnell paid tribute to the team, which is co-chaired by Jenny Klincke and Andy McMillan.

"I must give heartfelt thanks to Company at Christmas and to those who donated food and goodies, the packers and those who took time on Christmas Day to deliver meals and presents to those who were alone at this time of year," he said.

"I delivered to three people personally and the smiles and welcomes were a joy to see as it's possible that the Company at Christmas deliverers were the only people they saw on the day.

"Well done to everyone involved in making Christmas a little more special for an often forgotten sector of the public. Hopefully, this can return to the lunch, entertainment and afternoon tea at the Methodist Church in 2022."



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