Community Response group Surrey Heath Prepared (SHP) will no longer be operating from Wednesday, July 1, 2020. 

Set up by voluntary groups in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, and supported by SHBC, the group has been an extraordinarily successful example of how the community can come together to coordinate support to those self-isolating and the isolated across the Borough. 

In a short time, a huge amount was achieved, with each ward of the Borough represented in a coordinated network of volunteers who helped with tasks like shopping, prescription collection and dog walking. 

Food parcels were also delivered to those in need, along with or friendly phone calls for those feeling lonely. 

SHP’s headquarters were set up at High Cross Church in Camberley, and on average the group responded to around 200 weekly requests for help, resulting in thousands of people being supported through the lockdown. 

SHBC supported SHP from the outset, both financially and practically. 

As lockdown restrictions have eased, and with requests for help reducing, the group is now drawing to a close. 

SHBC Acting Chief Executive Tim Pashen said: “Surrey Heath Prepared has achieved a huge amount in such a short space of time. 

“From a standing start they set up an excellent system for helping those in need across the Borough, and by working in close coordination with the Council, were able to ensure their efforts complemented our own work to protect those classed as vulnerable within our community. 

“By working in partnership we made sure the right help got to the right people in a way that was safe for all involved. 

“I would like to thank everybody involved in Surrey Heath Prepared, from organisers to volunteers, for all their hard work and community spirit – you should be very proud. 

“For anyone that still needs help, and isn’t sure who to contact in the absence of Surrey Heath Prepared, please call the Council on 01276 707100, email or visit the Coronavirus webpage on our website, and we can help you find the support you need.” 

Anyone who volunteered for SHP and still has time available is encouraged to continue to volunteer in the community. To find out more about local volunteering opportunities contact Voluntary Support North Surrey via their website or call 01276 707565.