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More than 700 people have put themselves forward as new volunteers to help the vulnerable and housebound in Sunderland.

The City Council made the call for extra volunteers with more than 120,000 leaflets posted to households and through local and social media channels.

They join the others who are already out and about across Sunderland (see links below).

It followed a Government call for more people to come forward, help support the NHS, and help the vulnerable who have been advised to stay indoors and shield themselves from COVID-19.

Leader of Sunderland City Council, Councillor Graeme Miller said: "On behalf of everyone across the city, I would like to thank all those that made contact and said 'yes, I want to help' and to all those who are already helping. Well done to you all.

"There's a lot of neighbourliness and community spirit out there in Sunderland and it's more of those good works that we wanted to tap into with our appeal."

By the Easter weekend, the council had signed up 701 more volunteers via its Freephone number and by email.

Cllr Miller said: "During this difficult and uncertain time, it's good to see and hear that there is community spirit and so many more people want to help those that may be less fortunate than themselves."

Council staff have begun matching up profiles to ensure the safety of those who are volunteering their time but also to those most vulnerable. New volunteers are likely to be helping with tasks such as shopping, picking up medication, transport to and from hospital, social calls and checks, or even taking a dog for a walk.

Cllr Miller added: "We already have a strong volunteer and community network in Sunderland and now we have just made it stronger.

"We made our appeal as volunteers can help take some of the burden off the NHS. Volunteers are already making a real difference to helping keep vulnerable people safe, well and out of hospital and now we can do more."

If you can help by volunteering, please contact volunteering@sunderland.gov.uk or call 0800 234 6084.

 

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Did you know?

Sunderland marks the easterly end of the 140-mile C2C (Coast to Coast) route. The C2C cycle trail from Whitehaven in Cumbria to Sunderland is Britain's most popular long distance route, with up to 15,000 cyclists completing it every year.

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