A COMMUNITY has been praised for coming together to produce much-needed protective equipment and hand sanitiser for frontline workers as well as donating and delivering food during the coronavirus pandemic.

The residents of Pershore and its surrounding villages have continued to support each other by making hundreds of masks and thousands of bottles of hand sanitiser for frontline NHS workers as well as donating food packages to struggling families and furloughed workers and delivering medicine to the elderly.

Jacqui Marler, who has so far helped raise £435 through a JustGiving page, used some of the money to put together care packages with health and care products to help those who had lost their jobs or furloughed.

Shortages of protective equipment for key workers stirred locals into making masks after attempts to buy them failed with the four ‘Masketeers’ – Rachael Etherington from The Deli in Pershore High Street, Kerry Sinett and Sally Lamare – making more than 400 masks which have already been distributed to key workers in care homes, schools and shops.

Lorna and Paul O’Toole of Pinvin also helped through donations of elastic and materials.

Local business owner Anthony Cosnett, having had to close his company MO8 due to the lockdown, has so far produced 3,000 bottles of hand sanitiser. Robin Haines from Vick Haines Transport also donated 2,000 empty bottles to the cause.

The hand sanitiser is now being distributed alongside the homemade masks and purchased gloves to key workers across the town.

Pershore Football Club also donated the contents of its freezers to those who needed help, with burgers, chips, sausages and rolls all donated. The Meat Company based in Berlingham near Pershore also donated sausages, lamb and other products and The Community Cupboard, set up by Jane Keen-Smith, has also remained a lifeline for many.

Cllr Dan Boatright, who represents Pershore on Wychavon District Council, helped deliver equipment and care packages.

He said: “The past six weeks have really shown the best of Pershore.

“Whether sewing masks, undertaking shopping trips for those in need, or donating food and materials to those who need it, it has been humbling to work with so many like-minded people, making sure we are all safe during this difficult time."

“I have met so many amazing people as I have been on delivering duty.

“A special thank you has to go to the great people keeping the volunteer centre operational, our fantastic carers and key workers who are ensuring we are safe, well and fed.

“A very special thank you also has to go out to our wonderful volunteers keeping the town and surrounding villages going. Thank you."