Gracie-Mae, 10, playing her part in helping Scarborough's vulnerable people

She may only be 10 but this Staxton girl has been part of a project supporting hundreds of people across Scarborough and Filey.

Tuesday, 19th May 2020, 11:31 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th May 2020, 11:32 am
Age UK chief eExecutive Julie Hewitt with daughter Gracie-Mae Bell organising goods to disperse to the community during the pandemic

Gracie-Mae Bell has been helping the community response team led by her mum, Chief Executive Officer for Age UK Scarborough and District Julie Macey-Hewitt, to assist those who are self-isolating or shielding.

“She has been a real asset to our team, and has really kept us going at times,” said Julie.

“We are really proud of what she is doing and that she has been pro-active rather than just sitting on technology all day.”

Gracie-Mae, is a pupil at Hertford Vale C of E Primary School in Staxton but has been going to work with her mum since the schools shut to most students in March.

“Rather than doing nothing, Gracie-Mae has been really productive and helpful,” said Julie.

“She is making all our care packages that need to go out, she is making the book swap parcels, and ensuring these go to the correct volunteers, she is engaging with the volunteers when they come to pick these up.

“When I go out on deliveries, she is also coming out and organising these for me, ensuring the right items go to the right people.

“She is also making our volunteer packs that get sent out, and she is excellent at making tea and coffee!”

Gracie added: “It’s been hard not seeing my friends but it’s easier than for other people because I am at my mum’s work and I am helping people in need.”

In just the first six weeks of the project, Julie and her team answered 5,000 phone calls for help, collected and delivered 459 prescriptions and provided 220 care packages.

They have also carried out more than 900 grocery shops and deliveries, ongoing support calls to 270 people, answered more than 720 emails and social media enquiries, and secured over £6,500 in food vouchers and emergency grants.

In addition, 75 people have been matched with a telephone befriender for regular social calls.

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