Coronavirus (COVID-19)

See our dedicated coronavirus webpage for changes and updates to our services, how to get help in your community and support and advice for businesses.

All coronavirus information
Celebrating our community heroes for Volunteers Week

Celebrating our community heroes for Volunteers Week

Braintree District Council and Community360 are celebrating the selfless acts of kindness that have made a huge difference to others in the Braintree district.

Braintree District Council and Community360 are celebrating the selfless acts of kindness that have made a huge difference to others in the Braintree district during the coronavirus lockdown, as part of National Volunteers Week (1st to 7th June).

Since the annual Braintree District Volunteer Awards ceremony, usually hosted during Volunteers Week, has had to be cancelled due to coronavirus, the Council and Community360 will be sharing the stories of volunteers in the district looking out for others and making a difference to people’s lives via social media, as part of the Council’s heroes’ campaign.

One stand out project has seen the collaboration between Community360, The Ruby Braintree and First Stop. Together they have been providing and delivering over 200 meals to key workers and NHS staff at Broomfield Hospital. A ‘go fund me’ page was set up which raised over £3,000 to cover the costs of the provision. 

Joe Lewis, one of the district’s volunteers, has been delivering to Leahurst Hostel in Braintree for 12 vulnerable people, key workers and volunteers.

As a way to mark the celebration, Braintree Town Hall will also be lit up overnight during the week, in partnership with Community360, to thank local volunteers for their hard work and dedication throughout the coronavirus pandemic and the past year.

Councillor Frankie Ricci, Cabinet Member for Communities, Culture and Tourism, said: “This Volunteers Week is a special one and I would like to extend my gratitude, on behalf of Braintree District Council, to every single volunteer in the Braintree district who is helping someone during the current pandemic. Many of our vulnerable residents have managed to stay home and keep well solely because of the kindness, creativity and commitment of these volunteers, and we look forward to shining a light on the value of these people and our fantastic community spirit for Volunteers Week.”

Tracy Rudling, CEO of Community360, said: “This year because of the coronavirus pandemic never has it been so important to say thank you to all the wonderful volunteers across Essex. We are privileged to work with hundreds of volunteers each year and always seeing people with an interest in the community who would like to share their skills and knowledge with others, thank you to each and every one of you, our unsung heroes. This year has been even more inspiring to see how many people are prepared to give up their time to help others in any way possible. A huge thank you to our wonderful volunteers”.

Over the past few weeks, Braintree District Council has co-ordinated a virtual community hub, supported by Community360, helping over 250 vulnerable people with shopping, collecting prescriptions or just having someone to talk to during the pandemic, as part of the Essex Welfare Service referral scheme.

To date Community360 have registered 63 volunteers via Volunteer Essex and Timebank, with over 900 hours being generated through Timebank to date. Most of the volunteers were already volunteering within their own community groups, however their interest in volunteering grew as a direct result of speaking with Community 360 team members. In the first week alone of lockdown they received over 20 community call outs. In the village’s, volunteers have responded to over 150 requests for community support.