VOLUNTEERS have been kept very busy during lockdown supporting key workers in Herefordshire.

Late in March as the country went into lockdown Herefordshire Community Recycling Group decided to change what the group did, as it was no longer possible to collect recycling and instead to see where they could best help the local community.

First working with Dawn Skull from Wye Valley NHS Trust on her Wellbeing Project, with the help of the people of Herefordshire, they have donated 400 plastic garden chairs and tables that people no longer had use for.

Along with parasols and bases, these helped create these outside rest areas for staff at the county hospital, Gaol Street Dental Access Centre, Ross Road children's centre, NHS Belmont and Ross Community Hospitals.

These area were further enhanced by the kind donation of Bug Houses from Widemarsh Ventures, hundreds of plants from Allensmore Nurseries and the painting of unwanted plastic plant pots by children still in school at the time.

Next they helped Hereford Foodbank with a request for bags for life, accumulating over 10,000 in just 48 hours. Hereford Rank Taxis very kindly helped move them all to the Kindle Centre for use by the foodbank, thanks to Paul Rone. They also helped Ross Foodbank with donations of food.

The group were also approached by the county council to see if we could help with items for West Mercia Womens Aid in Hereford.

Group spokesperson Andrew Wood said: "In a few days we completed this request. We put out a post on our Facebook page for items and the offers came flooding in, allowing us to fully furnish two two bedroom properties for West Mercia Womens Aid.

"We have some amazing people in Hereford who wanted to help, we have been given use of a container at Rotherwas by Clear Storage, and another at Holmer courtesy of central roofing - we couldn’t have done this without their help.

"We have also helped with requests for clothing from the refuge, and we have had excess items we have helped the RSPCA shop get its stock levels back to pre lockdown levels. We have also given quilts to Hereford and Worcester Animal Rescue and helped Hereford Homeless Support, Vennture and a housing association with the rehousing of refugees. Donations of food came from TPG Disable Aids, a guitar for a very special 10 year old's birthday from Hereford Music Shop.

Hereford Times:

Dawn Skull from Wye Valley NHS Trust with chairs donated by public, plants donated by Allensmore Nurseries and a Bug House donated by Widemarsh Ventures.

"To do all this we have a small band of enthusiastic volunteers who worked through lockdown and still continue to give their time freely. All they asked for was a cup of coffee, mug of tea or glass of water. Thank you to you all."

As lockdown eased, the group have returned to recycling in a limited way, using the Salvation Army premises as a base on Friday mornings, they are collecting items including crisp packets, plastic bottle tops and plastic plant pots. A full list of items is available on their Facebook page.

Hereford Times:

Carol Leigh and Mark Groves with crisp packet collection at Salvation Army

"Meanwhile the lockdown for the Herefordshire Herd continues, William, Jimmy, Brummie, Ermentrude and Holly are enjoying the peace and quiet, they will be back when we are able to recommence the school recycling project, hopefully later this year.

"The community pulled together to help those less fortunate and in need, thank you to everyone who has contributed."