Brentwood's unsung heroes helping the community during the pandemic
- Credit: Submitted
Since the world was flipped upside down by the pandemic, many people from all parts of our community went above and beyond to help those in crisis.
Although we would like to, it's impossible to list everyone who stepped up to help. However, here are just a few unsung heroes from Brentwood.
Dean Weedon, singer, Doddinghurst
Dean, 49, has raised nearly £8,000 since the start of the first lockdown thanks to support from the Doddinghurst community.
A professional singer who was made redundant in April last year, Dean spent the pandemic arranging virtual and drive-by music fundraisers, with some songs dedicated to a special someone of the donor's choice
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He has raised £1,740 for the NHS, £1,670 for Saint Francis Hospice, £2,097 for Mind and £1,100 in his latest foodbank appeal.
Not gone unnoticed, he was highly commended in the unsung hero category of the Pride of Essex Awards 2020.
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Dean started working with Mind because he faces his own mental health challenges.
He said: "I have black times and sometimes I can hardly speak on the phone and I find just getting through the day such a battle.
"But singing and raising money for others has been so good for me as it has kept me focused and given me a reason to keep on going.”
Peter Everett, Lighthouse Furniture Project
Peter Everett is chief executive of the project, which distributes donated furniture for a low cost, has helped over 15,000 families and individuals, and diverted more than 4,000 tonnes of goods which would otherwise have gone to landfill.
Since January, Peter and team have been working with the council to help out with the Essential Living Fund, supplying food, clothing and other essential homeware to those in need.
He said: “Any donations that people can give will enable us to meet the growing need for support that we are expecting when we reopen."
Kat Waterhouse, Brentwood Mutual Aid
Mutual aid groups were set up across the country in the wake of the pandemic in order to provide a lifeline across the borough, helping over 6,000 residents with day-to-day tasks. They also fully staffed the vaccine site with hundreds of volunteers.
Kat Waterhouse, who heads up the team, said: “We never ask for any money for helping and we can be reached on 01277 424953, seven days a week. Even if you’d like a chat with a friendly volunteer, we are here to help.”