Come help and fight the virus

Bath MP Wera Hobhouse has added her voice to an appeal to local residents to put themselves forward and volunteer over the next few months as the pandemic continues.

The most pressing need is for indoor marshals at the recently opened vaccination centre at Bath Racecourse. BaNES 3SG, the local charity and social enterprise group, are recruiting for these roles. Visit https://www.3sg.org.uk/pages/volunteer-marshal to sign up. 

Wera also celebrated the work of local groups and charities in Bath, saying that she was “humbled as the MP” to think about how much “goodwill” the community in Bath has benefited from throughout this challenging year. 

She made these comments whilst hosting a lively and uplifting virtual public meeting on 21st January. The purpose of the event was to celebrate local volunteers who have supported the most vulnerable in Bath since the pandemic began. 

Wera Hobhouse said: “Last March, local residents quickly came together to help those most in need. James Carlin and Sarah Williams-Martin of BaNES 3SG set things in motion, recruiting more than 2,000 volunteers, setting up systems, and managing this unique venture. So far, volunteers have purchased over £65,000 worth of shopping for residents unable to leave their homes and completed over 3,000 shops or medication pick-ups. 

Guest speakers included Sarah Williams-Martin, the Emergency Volunteer Response Manager for BaNES 3SG, and Miles Lloyd, Coordinator for 3SG & Compassionate Community. Superstar volunteers Liz Ganapathy and Annabel Saunders spoke about their respective roles coordinating payments, doing shopping, and picking up prescriptions for those in need. Tracy Barnes, co-founder of the Bath Sewing Collective, recounted how more than 1,000 volunteer members have sewn over 10,000 items, including scrubs and face coverings. 

Wera said: 

“I am so impressed by the incredible dedication and engagement of our many local volunteers and am very grateful to them for sharing their moving experiences with us. They confirmed that in these challenging times, volunteering not only enables us to help others and form powerful connections, it also gives us a valuable sense of purpose and boosts our mental wellbeing.” 

“As the pandemic lengthens, there is still much to be done. Volunteers are needed to help as indoor marshals at vaccination centers, for example at Bath Racecourse, and to support with food and medicine collection for those who cannot leave their homes. If you can help, you can register at https://www.3sg.org.uk/pages/volunteering.” 

“The Sewing Collective is an inclusive and supportive community group that welcomes volunteers of any sewing ability. All that is required is a sewing machine and enthusiasm to contribute to charitable causes. To get involved, or for more information, join their Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/sewingcollective or email sewingcollectivebanes@gmail.com.”