Nus Ghani, MP for Wealden, is delighted to present four Wealden Heroes from all across the constituency with the Wealden Hero Award, and share their incredible stories about helping the community throughout the pandemic.
Shirley Holland has been the project manager of Mayfacs since it first formed as a charity in 2016. Mayfacs is a community charitable organization which stands for Mayfield & Five Ashes Community Services and offers a variety of activities and services. Throughout the pandemic, Shirley has worked tirelessly to provide support for the elderly and vulnerable in the area. She mobilised a group of volunteers to provide a huge network of services and ever-ready assistance to the whole community. Volunteers have been helping those in self-isolation with shopping, prescription collection, delivering meals or just making friendly phone calls. They have managed to support over 150 people in the community.
Julie Ruse coordinated the Withyham volunteer community response to Covid-19. She has been at the centre of support, offering to either directly help herself or find someone who can. Throughout the pandemic, Julie has kept the Withyham Village Hall Coronavirus page up to date with the latest information and liaised with local village stores and other businesses to ensure deliveries of food supplies and other essentials could be made to all Withyham residents. Earlier this year, Julie led a successful fundraising campaign and organised a Community Cook-Up for local children to learn how to make soup, bread, cake and homemade lemonade. All donations proceeded towards the village defibrillator, which is placed on the Withyham Village Hall.
The Reverend Alan Weaver is the Vicar at St Michael & All Angels church in Jarvis Brook. He has been the key person for the church community throughout the pandemic. He mobilised a group of volunteers from the church, organised rotas of people to support the vulnerable in the community and delivered PPE and other supplies quickly and efficiently to anyone who was in need - he is pictured with Nus.
Sue Foster works in Tesco Express in Uckfield. From the start of the pandemic, she has been working long hours, keeping the shelves well stocked for local residents. In addition to her full-time job, Sue has been going above and beyond for the local community, especially for the elderly and vulnerable. As her own family members were shielding throughout the lockdown, Sue has not only been doing their shopping, but also ran errands and shopped for other residents who were nervous to venture outside, and delivered items to their door for them to collect from a safe distance. Sue devoted her spare time to baking and delivering home-made food to her shielding friends.
Nus Ghani said: “Volunteers are at the heart of community-led support across Wealden and it is vital that our vulnerable neighbours have familiar faces they can turn to for support. Shirley, Julie, Alan and Sue have made an enormous contribution to their communities and their efforts proved essential to many local residents during these incredibly challenging times.
"I am delighted to present them with the Wealden Hero Award and to celebrate their dedication. Many thanks for all your work throughout the pandemic and beyond.”