Bedfordshire PCC’s office, police charity and fire set up emergency parcel service for the elderly Image By Andrey Popov AdobeStock_289583444

50 care parcels in the first week

Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, Bedfordshire Police Partnership Trust and Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service have been working together to help support communities by setting up an emergency parcel delivery service for vulnerable elderly residents.

The PCC’s office now heads up oversight of the police charity, the Bedfordshire Police Partnership Trust. This runs the well-known Bobby Van scheme countywide.

However, since the COVID-19 pandemic started, the scheme has been reworked to start delivering free home deliveries of food, personal hygiene and household cleaning products.

The Bedfordshire Police Partnership Trust started their campaign two weeks ago. It delivered 50 care parcels in the first week to individuals who were assessed as highly vulnerable.

Bedfordshire’s Fire and Rescue Service then agreed with the PCC’s office to take over and extend this scheme, given their higher numbers and access to transport. Commissioner Holloway said:

“It’s clearly vitally important that all those in public service come together to offer the support that’s so needed by our communities and this was one practical way in which we could really help, well before the Government’s Community Hub delivery scheme for those without family support was proposed.

“I’m incredibly grateful to Chief Officer Paul Fuller and his workforce who did not hesitate for a moment to accept the offer to get involved and parcels have now been delivered to their Halsey Road base in Bedford to help distribute on our behalf.”

OPCC is taking nominations for those in particular need

The emergency parcel service was first suggested by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s (OPCC) Chief of Staff Clare Kelly. Clare had negotiated with supermarket chain Lidl to provide the contents of parcels. She said:

“I really wanted us to do something practical to help those who just can’t get out to the shops at all and who might be faced with empty shelves if they could. Knowing the resources we had within the Partnership Trust, I just knew they’d be really keen to help.”

The OPCC is taking nominations for those in particular need via email at pcc@bedfordshire.pnn.police.uk as the Commissioner’s office continues to co-ordinate deliveries.

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service Chief Officer Paul Fuller said:

“I am pleased we are able to develop this great idea from Clare Kelly and the PCC which I hope will enable our firefighters to help several hundred people throughout Bedfordshire.”

Elderly and vulnerable residents needing further help may wish to contact the following specialist services as well:

  • Age UK – 0800 169 6565
  • British Red Cross – 0344 871 1111
  • Refuge – 0808 200 0247
  • Samaritans – 0330 094 5717
  • Salvation Army – 0300 303 8151
  • MIND – 0300 123 3393 www.mind.org.uk
  • NHS self-help guides www.selfhelpguides.ntw.nhs.uk/bccg/
  • Bedford Borough Council – 01234 267 422
  • Central Bedfordshire Council – 0300 300 8000
  • Luton Borough Council – 01582 546 000
  • Healthwatch www.healthwatch.co.uk