News: Covid-19 volunteering efforts aided by Churchill Fellow’s charity
Published: 1 May 2020
As Secretary of State Dominic Raab praises the armed forces’ contribution during the Covid-19 crisis, we look at the work being carried out by ex-military personnel through the charity Serve On, founded by Churchill Fellow, Simon Edwards.
“I founded Serve On in response to the realisation that our ex-servicemen are one of the nation’s great untapped assets” - Simon Edwards, Fellow
One way that Serve On volunteers have helped the national effort is by delivering over two million pieces of much-needed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to NHS hospitals across the country. They are also working with the homeless charity Alabare to deliver food to homeless people across the South and South West of England and Wales.
Wiltshire Council have asked Serve On for support in carrying out welfare checks on over 1,800 vulnerable people in Wiltshire who may be struggling during the lockdown. With social distancing in mind, volunteers have been visiting those who are self-isolating, which is proving vital for people who do not have friends and family close by. Simon says: “We call ourselves 'brokers of hope' to these people and make a point of spending time with them safely so that they feel valued and that their needs are being met.”
Through Serve On, Simon has enrolled over 120 volunteers in London, Salisbury, Portsmouth, Worthing and Gloucester, with more coming forward each day. As well as ex-military personnel, volunteers from all backgrounds and ages have come forward to help address the effects of Covid-19, including emergency services workers.
Simon founded Serve On in 2012 with the aim of giving new purpose to former military personnel by utilising their skills to be able to make a difference in their communities. Since its inception, it has grown to recruit volunteers from all walks of life and create highly trained rescue teams that support national and international communities in times of need.