Pandemic support scheme honoured at awards ceremony

Published: Thursday, 17th March 2022

Sevenoaks District Council and resident Eliza Ecclestone won big at the the iESE Public Sector Transformation Awards last week (9 March 2022).

Eliza, of the St Clere Estate Kemsing, took home the prestigious Chairman’s Award for initiating ‘Care for our Community – Sevenoaks District’ in March 2020.

Eliza was worried about how vulnerable people would cope during the lockdown so went to Sevenoaks District Council with an idea to set up a ‘request for help’ volunteer service.

Within days, ‘Care for our Community – Sevenoaks District’ was launched and over 1,500 volunteers had signed up to help.

The volunteers worked tirelessly for over a year helping isolated residents with shopping and other small tasks, as well as being a friendly voice on the end of the phone when needed.

Sevenoaks District Council won a bronze Community Focus award for their work with Eliza in setting up, co-ordinating and publicising the service.

Cabinet member for People and Places, Cllr Lesley Dyball says: “We’re really proud of what we achieved with ‘Care for our Community – Sevenoaks District’. We helped thousands of residents who said the service offered them a lifeline during a very difficult time.

“We’re also delighted that Eliza has been honoured with the Chairman’s Award. Her initiative and hard work made lockdown a little bit easier for those shielding and in isolation. Eliza and the Council team would often work 18-hour days to make sure everyone who needed assistance got help.”