1,000 sausage rolls: helping charities supply local communities
As part of coronavirus testing and wellbeing support to hauliers at Dover, military personnel have supported charities to ensure local communities received spare supplies
Personnel from 36 Engineer Regiment, based in Maidstone, have been supporting the distribution of welfare supplies to HGV drivers since Christmas Eve as part of Operation ROSE — the UK Armed Forces response to supporting haulier coronavirus testing in Kent.
Guy Gardiner is part of the Kent Resilience Forum Driver Welfare Cell. He came up with a plan to put their spare supplies to good use, involving charities such as the Salvation Army. He says:
“We had some supplies left when the operation of providing welfare to lorry drivers finished, so we have worked hard with local charities to make sure that nothing went to waste.
“Everything that we received has now been redistributed to food banks and homeless charities across Kent and Sussex.”
Overwhelmed with donations for the HGV drivers stuck at Dover, including 1,000 sausage rolls and 1,000 pies from one company, the team realised if they acted fast these supplies could still be used.
Members of 36 Engineer Regiment, the Salvation Army and others, have been involved in the delivery of food packages, which have gone to families, the homeless and Foodbanks.
Over 4 vans full of goods have been delivered in one day, including cupboard essentials and fresh fruit and vegetables.
Even overripe fruit and vegetables have been put to use, taken to zoos for monkeys and animal enclosures. Baby wipes intended for cleaning lorry cabins have also found new homes.
Captain Mark Paul of 36 Engineer Regiment said:
“It’s a great privilege to help out the Salvation Army. We have been working together closely to deliver food parcels in Kent and Sussex, which has been a vital support to the community especially at this time of year.
“It’s an opportunity I wouldn’t normally get, and I feel a great sense of achievement from being part of it.”