SEVEN selfless volunteers have been praised for their kind-hearted actions during lockdown.

Tiptree Volunteers was set up to help those in need while the country deals with the coronavirus pandemic.

In addition to collecting shopping and running errands, they have also made a mammoth contribution to the Colchester Foodbank and, in one week alone, they collected and donated more than 300kg.

“Colchester Foodbank said we were their largest contributor so it’s a great achievement,” said proud organiser Sarah Luisis, who set up the volunteering team with Clare Howlett, Carole Hull, Annette Hazell, Alison Dunn, Jamie Cross and Chris Ward.

“We’ve been appealing for people to contribute to our collection as we knew the foodbank was really struggling.

“People were so generous and, in one week alone, we collected and donated 333.80kg.

“In addition, we’ve also made up boxes and delivered them to Chelmsford and Witham Ambulance Service.”


  • Helping hand - Sarah Luisis, who set up the volunteering team

The group of volunteers have completed more than 500 shopping trips, in addition to collecting nearly 150 prescriptions.

Other smaller errands have included posting letters, ironing and cooking meals.

“We’re just a group of seven volunteers,” added Mrs Luisis, who thanked care company I and S Care for the support they have given, including helping arrange their DBS checks.

“We wanted to do something positive to help during this pandemic and I’m so proud of the response. It’s also lovely that we’ve built such close relationships with our individual, vulnerable friends. That won’t stop or end, even when the pandemic is over

“Annie Hamerton is our dedicated ‘chatter’ and she phones the lonely and has long chats with them while we can’t go into their homes.

“We have plans to continue to support the community after Covid-19, whether that be social visits in the community or assisting other voluntary organisations.”