Pensioners say 'god bless' to Hive Portsmouth volunteers helping deliver their groceries and medication

TWO vulnerable pensioners have praised a burgeoning network of more than 900 volunteers after having groceries and medication delivered to their door.

Wednesday, 22nd April 2020, 7:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 22nd April 2020, 11:45 am

Sunny Crouch and husband Bill said they would recommend Hive Portsmouth to anyone in need after being impressed by volunteers – including their ward councillor.

They said their ‘local councillor really does work for you’ Luke Stubbs, delivered the couple’s groceries click and collect Tesco groceries order in his role as a Hive volunteer.

Sunny and Bill, who are both over 70, had initially contacted Portsmouth City Council after becoming concerned about getting vital medication and shopping due to being classed as vulnerable in the coronavirus outbreak.

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Sunny and Bill Crouch are thankful to Hive Portsmouth for their support.

Sunny is recovering from ‘a major operation’ while Bill has a compromised immune system.

Sunny said: ‘Being classed as vulnerable we were concerned about going out.

‘We heard on the news that three-quarters of a million volunteers had come forward to help supply food and medication to those people who are at most risk of the disease being fatal.

‘I contacted Cllr Luke Stubbs who said he was a volunteer with Hive and he would collect our first order and deliver it to our doorstep. You often hear the message “your local councillor working for you” – in this case he literally was.’

Councillor Luke Stubbs has been delivering groceries to vulnerable residents in his role as a HIVE volunteer.

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After the delivery, Cllr Stubbs provided a Hive contact number for the couple to register for support.

Sunny added: ‘We called and explained why we were classed as vulnerable and that we were due to collect some medication from Asda’s pharmacy.

‘Within a matter of hours a lovely young lady arrived and left the collected medication on our doorstep.

‘She also left a free supply of bread, milk and juice which we hadn’t even asked for.’

While the retired couple have now managed to get a slot on Asda’s priority online shopping service they said it was ‘reassuring’ to know the service is there if needed.

‘It’s lovely to know Hive are there to help us again if we need it. I would recommend the service to anyone. God bless all those volunteers who are putting themselves in danger to help others,’ said Sunny.

One of those selfless volunteers helping to ensure people don’t go hungry during the pandemic is former soldier, Tony Levy, 59, who works for Pompey in the Community and is helping Hive with the distribution of groceries.

Tony said: ‘There has been a massive need for this service. We are delivering food to the elderly, people who are self-isolating and even those who may be terminally ill.’

After serving in the forces for 13 years, Tony said he is ‘conditioned’ to putting his own safety to one side.

‘It’s a job we need to do,’ he added. ‘In my time in the army I had a number of situations where I could have been killed and so I’m able to put any concerns to one side. I’m just glad to be able to help.’

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