Hampshire charity members drive over 27,000 miles to deliver food and PPE to those in need during pandemic

A Hampshire-based charity has been playing a key part in supporting those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over 45 responders from Hampshire and Berkshire 4×4 Response (HB4x4R) have driven in excess of 27,000 miles across Hampshire to deliver pallets of emergency food and personal protective equipment.

Hampshire and Berkshire 4×4 Response is a registered charity, which was founded in 2007 and is run entirely by volunteers who offer their time and their 4×4 vehicles during times of severe weather and other emergencies. They offer their skills and experience to support the emergency services, local authorities and other volunteer agencies when non four wheel drive transport is compromised.

HB4x4R is also a member of the Local Resilience Forum (LRF) and one of the members of the Hampshire County Council Emergency Planning Office Snow Cell, along with ServeOn Portsmouth Community Resilience Team who are also the Quartermasters of the PPE Hub; this team is responsible for picking and packing all the packages before passing them to HB4x4R to deliver. In total, they have processed and delivered in excess of 1100 deliveries and collections of PPE and food to people and organisations in need during the pandemic – meeting 100% of the requests for assistance.

The LRF voluntary sector group was asked to activate the logistics team at the end of March, with the first taskings to HB4x4R being on 31 March. The initial tasking was to deliver 19 pallets of food out to the boroughs within Hampshire, with 10 responders being initially deployed. Since then, over 45 responders have driven in excess of 27,000 miles to complete 330 taskings.

HB4x4R members have delivered to a huge range of different people, organisations and businesses, including doctors, health centres, dentists, adult and child social care, voluntary organisations, South Central Ambulance Service, hospitals, undertakers and hospices.

And this isn’t all the charity is doing to help. Members have also been tasked by University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust to collect swabs from the Isle of Wight and take them back to the mainland. They were also working for one community pharmacy in Totton delivering urgent prescriptions.

Members of the LRF, along with HB4x4R members are continuing their much-needed support for those in need across the Hampshire during these difficult times.

Mike Sutton, Vice Chairman for HB4x4R, said, “I’m truly humbled by the response from our volunteers; our team have stepped up to the task at this very difficult time and helped to deliver a highly recommend service. In fact, The Royal Logistics core stated that the service being provided by HB4x4R and ServeOn Portsmouth CRT was Gold Standard and would be recommended to the other LRFs as the standard to follow.”