CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

700 people volunteer to help out Hampstead Volunteer Corps

Donation helps patients at Royal Free speak to relatives using iPads

30 May, 2020 — By Dan Carrier

Helping out: Oliver Cooper, Ashley Ryan, Mandy Salter, Stephen Webb and Nicolo Di Borgoricco

PICKING up some ­shopping or popping to the chemist to collect prescriptions, gathering donations and taking them to families in need – all have become a daily occurrence for the 700-strong Hampstead Volunteer Corps.

Established as one of the first Mutual Aid groups in Camden when the coronavirus pandemic sent the capital heading to lockdown, the Corps were able to make an immediate – and long lasting – difference, says co-organiser Ashley Ryan.

The group, which is using the Hampstead Community Centre as a base, have delivered parcels of food, cleaning supplies and toiletries to individuals and families in need.

On Saturday, a donation drive at the centre on Hampstead High Street saw supplies restocked – and included nearly 30 iPads donated to the Royal Free Hospital, which will be used by patients in isolation to contact their families.

Volunteer co-ordinator Hannah Boston said that while some rules over the lockdown might be due to be eased, the need was as great as ever.

She said: “We’re delighted to have had an outpouring of support from the community, but these are vulnerable people and families with ongoing needs through this crisis. “We will continue to need these generous donations in order to continue to provide this vital support.”

To contact the group, email: hampsteadvolunteers@gmail.com

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