Gloucester City Council to honour local Lockdown Legends

Published
17.03.2021

Gloucester City Council is paying tribute to the inspiring efforts of people who have gone above and beyond to help others during the pandemic.

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Both groups and individuals are set to be recognised for their service to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Twelve local lockdown legends will receive an award and be commended by cross party councillors at tomorrow’s meeting of the Council for their significant contributions.

These are individuals and community groups that made the ‘Food Consortium ‘ and street champion schemes happen and helped organise efforts that supported thousands of people across the city.

In addition, over a hundred volunteers who actively helped deliver food and other essential items will receive a letter and commemorative pin specially-designed by Gloucester artist Ella Daniel-Lowe.

Over the last year, the lockdowns and social distancing measures designed to keep people safe have put an enormous strain on the health and wellbeing of communities.

However, there have been many inspiring examples where volunteers and groups have gone to great lengths to help each other.

They included distributing food to picking up prescriptions, taking dogs for walks, food shopping to simply having a chat or showing a friendly face.

In addition, community groups have created arts and wellbeing packs, offered on-line physical or social activities to help keep families occupied and entertained.

Among those being recognised and also presented with the Mayor’s Medal is volunteer Hash Norat whose organisation Gloucester Feed the Hungry helps the homeless and vulnerable providing hot meals, free haircuts, clothing and emergency food parcels.

Set up five years ago Hash coordinates the deliveries with a group of volunteers.

Initially he and his wife had a shop in Barton and Tredworth and would support vulnerable families to top up their shopping. However, when the shop closed he was approached by a local family and felt he had to do something. 

Throughout the pandemic the organisation has been at the forefront of the community response having distributed 8,000 meals and over 2,500 food parcels alongside bedding and toiletries.

A joint statement on behalf of the Mayor of Gloucester, Cllr Kate Haigh, Leader of the Council, Cllr Richard Cook, Cllr Jennie Watkins and the party leaders, said: “The community response to managing the impact of Covid-19 has been outstanding and we could not have done it without the help and sacrifice of the 12 individuals and community groups, or the hundreds of volunteers across the city.  The Council as a whole is in awe of the commitment and compassion we’ve witnessed across Gloucester and we’d like to express our gratitude to these selfless individuals.”

Hash Norat of Gloucester Feed the Hungry, said: “Covid has changed the landscape in which we live over the past 12 months there have been many positives as well as some very sad days too as people have lost loved ones including myself. Supporting the most vulnerable and bringing a little bit of hope is what me and my team of volunteers work for. There are many organisations that have been part of the community project over this past year and every single one of them deserves a medal not just myself on behalf of Gloucester Feed The Hungry. It is phenomenal the amount of people that have stepped up and made a difference.”

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