Unsung heroes

As part of our online celebration Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane Cllr Diane Taylor chatted to some of the nominees about their experiences and thanked them in person for the amazing work they did during lock down.

Below you can find the messages of thanks received for our unsung heroes of Basingstoke and Deane.

Mrs Hughes has been and is still making face masks free of charge for isolated residents and for Swan Street Stores in Kingsclere. No payment but a donation to St Michael’s Hospice Basingstoke.

Faye has organised a family quiz every Sunday in lockdown and live streamed this on Facebook for anyone to enter. She had lifted the spirits of many families throughout Whitchurch and beyond!

Thank you SO SO much for getting and delivering my medicines to me whilst I was shielding Sara. Your visits were a much welcomed joyous boost to my mental and physical health during lockdown. I’m so grateful.

Sarah has worked tirelessly setting up and coordinating the ‘Tadley, Baughurst and Pamber Heath Community Coronavirus Response’ group on Facebook. She has ensured the elderly & vulnerable in the entire area have been cared for by coordinating volunteers to help anyone in need be it shopping needs, medication deliveries or a friendly chat. Thank you Sarah.

Richard has provided the local community with entertainment in the form of online pub quizzes throughout the lockdown period whilst his pub has been closed. He has worked tirelessly to keep the local community and much further afield entertained and to stay connected whilst we were urged to stay at home and stay safe. Additionally, through running the quizzes, he has also raised a significant amount of money for charities across the local community, providing much needed support at a difficult time. Richard has certainly made a difference to my own wellbeing and that of many others during a very challenging few months. Thank you and well done Richard.

At the start of the pandemic, James repurposed his 3D printer to help produce face shields for frontline NHS and care home workers. Through local ingenuity and dynamism, James and Adam have now produced over 1,600 face shields, which have been delivered to Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital, local care homes and medical companies, along with local people working on the front line.

Katie has worked tirelessly as part of the volunteer group in Sherborne St John, collecting prescriptions and shopping and generally supporting the community. Thank you Katie!

Lynne has provided me with much needed life coaching, advice and guidance which without, I would not have been able to get through this lockdown period. Thank you for being an invaluable friend during this time.

Vanda has been there with endless support for everyone of her weight watchers community, she has hosted a FB live each evening to get us together and offer support and advice and keep us entertained, she is always a message away, without her I wouldn’t have been as successful in my journey during lockdown.

“Matt and Diana of Sycamore Halls Community Association have been instrumental during lockdown. Matt coordinated Spotlight’s use of the Sycamore Halls Community Centre in Winklebury, ensuring they had all they needed to run the food bank and keeping in constant contact with them so everything could run smoothly. Matt also coordinated, edited and presented our online show Winklebury’s Got Talent on Youtube, which was produced to entertain Basingstoke with talent from all over the borough as a replacement for the Winklebury Gala. Thank you Matt and Diana

Iggi has just turned 16, he was still 15 years old and in his final year at secondary school when COVID-19 hit the country. Home from school and GCSE’s cancelled, Iggi volunteered to do door duty at Swan Street Stores to ensure queue management and only 4 people in the store at anyone time. What a star clocking up between 2 and 4 hours every week (most weeks 3 hours) for 12 weeks+.

Barbara has worked tireless and often thanklessly in providing the village with one of its most valuable resources – Barbaramail! It is a fantastic facility for the village, has kept people in contact with one another, important information, safety advice, local services, jokes and neighbourhood watch. It is all done at no cost, all day every day, and even from foreign holidays at times! It is a large part of what makes Hannington a great place to live and has provided a huge amount of comfort and assistance during recent pressing times. Barbara is a star!

Mark helped set up the page Whitchurch live community events. This page served as a hub of entertainment throughout lockdown. Mark’s quizzes were extremely entertaining and bought a lot of laughter to the community during lockdown. Thank you Mark!

Thank you Holly for delivering our posts and parcels in Popley. Seen you in the heat and rain working with a smile on your face. Many thanks for all your efforts.

Diana has worked on various projects over the lockdown period. She is a member of the East Woodhay Neighbourhood Care organisation and has organised prescription deliveries for local residents unable to get their own medication from the local doctors surgery as well as co-ordinating other key tasks for vulnerable and shielding individuals in the community such as shopping. In between carrying out this voluntary role, she was sewing scrubs for healthcare professionals and lately making face masks! Well done Diana!

Kev met every customer with a smile during the entire pandemic, he then reported constantly on the local FB page for when Tesco has had a delivery and if someone was waiting for an item he would say ‘this has just arrived’.

He kept working throughout even though he would be in the vulnerable category and brought smiles to lots of stressed out people with his kindness.

Our community loves you for your efforts Kev x

Iris is 9 years old and she decided during lockdown that she wanted to do something to help. She knew that charities like the hospice are struggling at this time so she came up with an idea to raise some money for them. She decided to run 5km a day for a week, so 35km in total. At this time we were only allowed out for exercise once a day so we used this time to run her 5km laps around our local area. She did it and raised £950 for the hospice. I am very proud of my daughter.

Thank you thank you thank you Joy! You have been a vital friend and help during lockdown whilst I have had to shield. I could not have got through the last few months without you. You are a Godsend.

While Steven was on furlough he volunteered for the Westside Community Centre to help with prescriptions and food parcels. He also did all the food shopping for one set of Grandparents as they had to stay shielded. Thank you Steven!

I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in February and started chemotherapy the week lockdown began. My whole family were shielding because of this. For the first few weeks being able to get a food delivery was extremely difficult. A local lady, Helen, set up a volunteer hub in the village. Pippa was allocated to our street. She has been amazing. Always messaging to ask if we want anything. We honestly don’t know what we would have done without her and appreciate it even more knowing that they have been having their own difficult times too. Thank you Pippa and all of your family! Love from us all. X

Folu delivered newspapers to 15 Oakley residents who were shielding every day for 8 weeks. He provided this service completely voluntarily. Several of the residents said that seeing Folu cheerfully bringing their newspaper was the highlight of their day!

A team of sewers in Sherborne St John have also produced more than 50 sets of scrubs, 130 hats, 70 scrub bads and over 200 face coverings for the village. Thank you!

Eirwen has made a really positive contribution to our community effort by sewing hospital scrubs and countless face coverings for out immediate community. Thank you so much!

Jenna has been an absolute lifeline to me and so many during lockdown, by providing a much needed escape from all that’s been going on via their awesome exercise classes week in week out and bringing pure joy to me.

Thank you Rob for single handedly set up the technical side of the Oakley Support Network at the beginning of the Coronavirus crisis. He took time off work specifically to set up a highly complex and safe Call centre/support network to support the village where he lives. Funding phone lines from his own pocket. Thank you!

Emma has been amazing through this whole covid pandemic. She is a true unsung hero. She has been running a foodbank for some vulnerable households in Kingsclere, Headley and Ashford Hill. She has also been amazing at ensuring our church services can still run with the church being closed. She has learnt lots of new skills in running live services on Youtube so everyone can participate – both old and young. We have had amazing virtual coffee times where Emma cleverly puts us into groups on zoom. Emma is always upbeat and everything is always possible and never too much trouble.

Laura has been supporting our Nursing Home throughout with making plenty of donations such face shields, uniforms and many more. She is our true hero.

I didn’t know Melanie prior to lockdown but my husband has been receiving cancer treatment throughout the pandemic and when I put out a desperate call for a reliable thermometer as he developed a fever, she dropped everything and rushed one round. Since then she has tirelessly collected all his prescriptions and shopped for us when necessary and most importantly provided support and a link to the outside world along with dropping off occasional home made treats. I cannot thank her enough. Her kindness and selflessness for someone she didn’t know has been amazing.

Terry & Mandy run The Vine pub and have been pillars of the community providing assistance to the village and isolated individuals throughout the lockdown delivering not only takeaway food but also putting together groceries when they were difficult to come by. They have acted tirelessly as a hub for village life. Thank you!

Caroline set up the Oakley Stitchers group and has worked tirelessly since lockdown began (alongside studying for a Masters in Law!) to provide scrubs and accessories for key workers. She gave over her porch and summer house, has organised all the posting, sewn loads of things herself, organised 120+ volunteers, ensured no one feels pressurised, everyone feels supported and appreciated. She has been AMAZING.

Barbara has worked tirelessly to help the residents of Oakley not only as the Parish Council’s Clerk but as one of the mainstays and Treasurer of the Oakley Support Network. She has cheerfully worked long hours to fulfil her commitment to the people of Oakley throughout this difficult period.

Sarah has spent 4 months volunteering 3 times a week to walk a shielded resident’s dog. Come rain or shine she has taken Archie the dog for a walk. Her owner would have been lost without this act of kindness. Sarah deserves a big thank you for using up her spare time to do this. Overall Sarah has volunteered 35 hours to walk the dog.