Covid One Year On: How the Huntingdonshire Volunteer Centre has supported the community

Huntingdonshire volunteer centre

Huntingdon Together Team outside the shop when it re-opened in the summer - Credit: Huntingdonshire volunteers

The Huntingdonshire Volunteer Centre talks about how it stepped in to support the community during the Covid-19 pandemic.  

Volunteer run four community car schemes, using their own cars to offer transport to those who need help. 

Manager Ann Bunting said: “The car scheme usage fell as people stayed at home and shielded, but with extra COVID-19 procedures in place for our volunteer drivers, we still served the community enabling essential car scheme journeys to continue. 

The scheme was able to help 1,131 people to attend essential hospital appointments and later vaccination appointments. A total of 20,901 miles was covered and 2,169 journeys took place. 

Volunteers have also been able to support people to do their shopping and was able to deliver more than 40 hot Christmas lunches to people in the St Ives area.  

The volunteers were supported by Mike Baker, chairman of the volunteer centre, who worked with St Ives Community Hub, Councillor Philip Pope, St Ives deputy town mayor, Pasco Hussain and Rotary volunteers from St Ives and Huntingdon.

They also run a scheme called (NATTER) which stands for Neighbourly Afternoon Tea Time Exchanging Reminisces.  

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This was a project which was used to reduce isolation in the community, which took place before lockdown. 

Ann said: “There would be 25 people who would meet monthly, out and around parts of St Neots for a lunch and for some sort of activity.  

“Be it a quiz, and we used our car scheme and volunteers to make that all happen.

“That would take place in the ex-services club and we would normally have an outing in the summer.

"To make them feel not feel forgotten during the lockdown, we provided 30 hampers within the community."