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Herts County Council clocks up 110,000 food parcel deliveries during coronavirus crisis

A campaign to deliver 110,000 food parcels to Hertfordshire residents during the coronavirus crisis has concluded.

Since the end of March, staff and hundreds of volunteers have been working around the clock to provide groceries, household essentials and medicines to people who were asked to self-isolate by the Government and the NHS.

Around 43,000 Hertfordshire residents were identified as being part of the vulnerable group. The county council worked with partners to support over 6,000 households, delivering 110,000 survival packs as well as providing over 1,000 residents with deliveries of vital drugs.

Cllr David Williams with Marie-Claire and Martin (39943759)
Cllr David Williams with Marie-Claire and Martin (39943759)

A further 11,000 food packages were delivered to district and borough councils and community and charitable organisations to enable them to give direct support.

From the start of August, shielding paused across the UK. The leader of Hertfordshire County Council, Cllr David Williams, helped to deliver one of the final packages to 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. Until recently she had been visiting local care home residents to keep them company.

She said of the deliveries: “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.”

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