A Sellafield Ltd employee has drawn on the strength of her grandmother who volunteered in WWII to do her bit as the Coronavirus Pandemic goes on.
When someone asks you what you did to help during the Coronavirus pandemic, what will you say? This was the question that compelled Caroline Easdon to answer the call for volunteers to help people in their local community.
Caroline said: “During the Second World War my gran volunteered to be part of the land army. In years to come, when we look back on all of this and people ask me what did I do? I want to be able to say that I helped. And hopefully someone down the line will be proud that I stepped up in the same way that I am proud of my gran.”
To do her bit, Caroline has volunteered to help at Cumbria County Council’s emergency call centre for vulnerable people.
Along with her fellow call centre volunteers, Caroline is connecting people who need help with the community hub that can best provide support.
“Most of the people who I have spoken with at the call centre are ringing in because they are worried about how to get food and prescriptions,” she added, “Others are concerned that they haven’t seen their neighbour for a while and want someone to go and check on them.”
Then Caroline takes the details of those calls and feeds them into the network of community hubs and local groups so that vulnerable people can get the help they need.
Caroline ensured all the precautions you would expect to see, like social distancing, welfare and handwashing facilities are in place.
She urges anyone who is considering volunteering, ‘go for it’ – she said: “Hearing someone tell you that they appreciate being able to talk to a real person about their concerns, and that you’ve helped, is really rewarding.”
Caroline works as part of the Corporate Affairs team at Sellafield which is headed up by Jamie Reed.
Jamie commented: “Like all our volunteers, Caroline is heeding the call from our community and doing her bit. As an individual she’s doing what she can to make a difference in the situation we all find ourselves in.
“I’m proud of her response and that of everyone else who has been able to step forward and answer the call in their own way. Right now, volunteering is making a real difference in helping our community meet this unprecedented challenge.”
Stephen Hall, assistant director of economy and environment at Cumbria County Council, said: “We can’t thank the staff from Sellafield enough. The helpline is supporting around 200 people each day now. It’s not just the material support with food and medication that we can provide that is important but also the reassurance vulnerable residents feel by being able to speak to a caring and sensitive member of the team.
“We are incredibly grateful to them for volunteering their time, it has been invaluable and has made all the difference to those people in the community who need our help and support at this difficult time.”
Sellafield Ltd has confirmed this week that any employee who isn’t a key worker can volunteer to support their local community during work time.