During this strange and unprecedented time, it has been heartening to see how local communities have come together, and the many acts of generosity and kindness across Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner. For many of us, an antidote to all the anxiety and uncertainty has been witnessing the relationships between neighbours, friends and strangers grow, as we are having to rely on those nearest to us more and more.
With uncertainty and gloom dominating the headlines, I wanted to share some accounts of kindness and community spirit across Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner.
Coronavirus Community Help for Northwood, Northwood Hills, Pinner and Ruislip
Over the past 3 months, Coronavirus Community Help for Northwood, Northwood Hills, Pinner and Ruislip have worked tirelessly to mobilise hundreds of volunteers and supporters to help their neighbours and to make a positive impact in our community. The volunteer-led, community-based mutual aid group has one very simple goal – to bring people together in our communities and to do their bit and ensure that no one feels alone under lockdown.
Shopping for groceries and getting prescriptions for home delivery, keeping local foodbanks stocked with essential supplies, saying thank you by supplying treats and baking for NHS and other key workers, providing items for outdoor space and gardens at local care homes, and distributing puzzle packs for the elderly, are just some of the wonderful acts carried out by volunteers.
I am truly delighted to have such a brilliant community-led initiative supporting the residents of Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner.
For more information, or to sign up for updates, please visit: https://www.coronaviruscommunityhelp.co.uk/
Fundraising for Friends
Pinner resident Prakash Daswani recently completed the final leg of a Double Marathon, which was walked in a number of consecutive stages, entirely in Ruislip Woods, every week since the launch of the 2.6 Challenge on Sunday 26 April, the date the London Marathon should have been taking place.
The iniative is aimed at helping UK charities to replace fundraising lost when the London Marathon was cancelled. Prakash took on the challenge to address the plight of cancer sufferers across the country, and in particular for three close friends with various cancers at different stages, whose appointments for life-saving treatment were postponed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Prakash has pledged to keep walking and fundraising until his friends have their planned treatments reinstated. Originally planned as a single marathon, it has taken on the form of a longer vigil, with Prakash starting his third consecutive marathon last Sunday (14 June).
Prakash has so far raised almost £4,000 for the cause, which is a fantastic achievement and a testament to his ongoing support for his beloved friends. I fully support Prakash in his determination and I hope that his friends, and patients across the country, will receive their treatment soon.
Prakash’s JustGiving page can be visited here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/prakash-daswani
PPE Makers – For the Love of Scrubs, Hillingdon Working Group
I have also been inspired by local volunteers across Hillingdon, who have been supporting the national campaign ‘For the Love of Scrubs’.
Volunteers, including sewers, drivers and procurement officers, have been focussing their efforts on producing scrubs for frontline health workers.
The local group have also joined forces with Sital Punja, founder of Ruislip-based firm Threads six years ago. Sital set up a subgroup at her workshop, where she cuts polycotton material for volunteers, who finish the scrubs at home.
This cause is particularly close to Sital’s heart, after her husband was hospitalised with Covid-19. He is thankfully home safe and well after receiving oxygen therapy at Hillingdon Hospital. I know that, like all of us, Sital feels an eternal gratitude towards our frontline staff for their efforts and dedication to patients throughout the pandemic.
It is wonderful to hear that over 1,350 scrub sets produced by the volunteers have been supplied to Hillingdon and Harefield Hospitals, care homes, hospices, GP surgeries and clinics across the borough.
Uxbridge College also responded to an SOS call from Age UK Hillingdon, Harrow and Brent to help provide overshoes, facemasks, hand sanitiser, aprons and gloves for frontline workers, as part of the national ‘For the Love of Scrubs’ campaign.
The group came together to collect more than 200 scrub bags for NHS workers.
I am inspired by the commitment and generosity of staff, students and all the volunteers who continue to support their communities in the face of so much uncertainty, challenge and change. Your efforts are greatly appreciated by us all.
For the Love of Scrubs Hillingdon: https://www.facebook.com/groups/356884778542439/?ref=share