Press release from Wokingham Borough Council
December 24th 2009
Volunteers from the Hampshire and Berkshire 4×4 Response Group came to the aid of Wokingham Borough Council’s community care workers as they struggled to reach vulnerable adults during the recent severe weather.
The heavy snow and freezing conditions made it difficult for domiciliary care workers to reach their clients since the severe weather began and, on Wednesday December 23, the Council’s community resilience team contacted Hampshire and Berkshire 4×4 Response Group for some help. The Response Group sent two of their volunteer drivers, Matt Lincoln and Ian Andrews both from Aldershot, to help get care workers to their clients.
The response group is a team of volunteers who use their own 4×4 vehicles to help emergency services and local authorities during severe weather.
Wokingham Borough Council domiciliary care manager Sue Kelly said: “The conditions were very difficult but we always find a way to get to those vulnerable people who need our help. Our team have been coping with the very difficult conditions and the volunteers from Hampshire and Berkshire 4×4 were wonderfully helpful when they came. We had been struggling to get to all the people we wanted to – people who need help with day to day things we all take for granted such as washing themselves or getting dressed – and having those guys come with their 4×4 was a godsend.”
Hampshire and Berkshire 4×4 Response Group chairman TJ Nicolson said: “Local authorities and other services cannot really afford to have 4×4 sitting around all the time just for the very rare times when they are necessary and that is why we volunteer to use our vehicles – which are often our pride and joy – to help in emergencies. Our group was set up about three months ago and ways in which we have helped include taking paramedics to emergencies when their vehicles can’t reach them and following ambulance in case they get stuck somewhere. We were delighted to help out in Wokingham Borough and will always try to be available in the future.”
Hampshire and Berkshire 4×4 Response Group welcomes new volunteers who are keen to put their time and vehicles to good use and anybody interest can contact them via the website at www.hampshire4x4response.co.uk.
Wokingham Borough Council community resilience manager Peter Stuart said: “It is great to have volunteers such as the response group to help in difficult situations and I would like to thank them for giving up their time to help some of our most vulnerable residents.”