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​​​Life on the front line: ​Meet the team of drivers delivering food parcels to the vulnerable

Meet the team of drivers who have travelled the length and breadth of Redcar and Cleveland delivering food to the doorsteps of vulnerable people during the Covid-19 outbreak.

In just over two weeks, Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council's transport team have driven more than 3,000 miles and delivered a total of 3,278 food parcels to vulnerable households.

The Transport Team were one of the first to volunteer their services to the council's emergency response when lockdown started over three weeks ago and are delivering to people registered as 'at risk' by the NHS and who need council support.

With their fleet of vehicles, including mini-buses and eight-seater carriers, 20 staff members have journeyed to 700 households from Easington to Ormesby delivering their parcels from as early as 7am until 7pm at night.

Team leader Paul Johnson said: “We've had to adjust our vehicles slightly and remove the seats so we can fit all the boxes!

“It's been a fantastic team effort, with the back-room operation co-ordinating lists and routes, as well as carrying out a lot of driving.

“I feel very proud of every member of the team who is involved in the operation. They have worked immensely hard making sure hundreds of people get the essentials they need.

“We have many colleagues and volunteers in the Community Hub who are packing boxes and loading them up in vans to help us get them out as quickly as possible. We've also delivered food for the Chris Cave Foundation who are doing incredible work in the community during this outbreak.

“We will continue this service and do our very best to help for as long as required."

Councillor Barry Hunt, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Environment at the council, said: “From 7am until 7pm, our team of drivers are out and about going above and beyond to deliver these vital packages to our residents in need.

“We are very proud of them, and all of our staff members who are working tirelessly on the frontline to ensure our vulnerable residents are taken care of and that our vital services are running as normal.

“The team have even helped deliver food packages to residents in Liverton Mines following the fire at the recycling centre last week; they have just been fantastic. 

“The council has a huge role to play, and we know that there are challenging times ahead, but we will work until the very end to help those who need it."

Anyone in Redcar and Cleveland needing support or advice relating to Covid-19 can contact the dedicated phone number 01642 771122, email or join the Redcar and Cleveland Coronavirus Support Group on Facebook.

Likewise, anyone who is able to volunteer time to help people in their community can use the same contact details.​