IHB are a group of volunteers in the London Borough of Bexley. The group was launched on 17 March 2020 in response to the looming COVID-19 Pandemic. Our concern was that the elderly and vulnerable of Bexley, particularly those with no digital footprint, would find the necessity to isolate a significant challenge. Concerns became a reality and for many the everyday possible became simply IMPOSSIBLE.
Simple tasks like collecting a prescription, buying a newspaper or walking a dog, suddenly attracted a degree of risk. Thankfully the fine people of Bexley quickly rose to the challenge and in the space of just over 2 months, every household in Bexley had received one of IHB’s flyers. Over 800 Bexley residents had joined IHB’s ranks and voluntarily provided practical help to many hundreds of elderly or vulnerable neighbours. One of the saddest discoveries, was just how many people were ‘isolated’ before there was a need to self isolate and so Bexley’s COVID legacy will be the birth of IHB.
We are a local community group dedicated to working together and with our partners to ensure that elderly and vulnerable members of our communities know that they will always have a lifeline in a time of crisis. Put simply, our ethos is that we are committed to ensuring that ‘NOBODY in Bexley feels isolated’.
IHB aim to make Bexley ‘London’s Friendliest Borough’.
Let’s Build An Even Better Bexley!
IHB is totally volunteer reliant and we have no regular income. Financial donations are essential, allowing us to purchase supplies for our emergency provisions boxes and to keep our essential communication channels open so we are always there when Bexley needs us. So please join the lottery on IHB’s page and behalf of all of us at IHB and the countless people of Bexley that we have helped so far, thank you for your generosity and support and the very best of luck.Click on the Bexley Community Lottery logo or click here to go to the IHB page to buy your tickets.
IHB’s Comms Team (our IHBees) use the very latest technology to view a request for help on a mapping system showing the location of each and every IHB volunteer. This means we can identify the most suitable volunteer for a task in a matter of seconds. That request for help will result in the allocation of an IHBuddy (a good neighbour, if you like). IHBuddies help with shopping, prescriptions, dog walking or are just there for a chat. Where the needs are more pressing, a volunteer driver will deliver an urgent provisions box from IHB’s Provisions Hub IHB also have a team of highly skilled ‘Listeners’.
Please see our Useful Links and FAQ page here.
Michelle is our Communications Coordinator and with her dedicated team of IHBees, they manage the very busy task of matching requests with available volunteers. The HELPdesk team responds to automated emails created via our website. It’s these forms that allow all of our Volunteers and persons in need to be automatically mapped on our dispatching system.
The IHBees prioritise needs and assign the most appropriate volunteer to that person. They will also dispatch volunteers to other tasks, such as collection of food or care donations, as they become available. This can be a demanding role but the rewards are high.
Fiona is our Strand Liaison and Problem Solving Coordinator, dealing with escalations and tricky situations to help us find a resolution to problems as they arise.
You can click here to send an email to Fiona.
Liz and the team are responsible for the day to day collection and delivery of donations and care packages. Donations are collected and taken to the our provisions centre, from where care packages are dispatched to Persons In Needs via their allocated volunteers.
Liz is also our Safeguarding Officer, to look after the welfare of our volunteers and persons in need.
The most recent change to this team is the addition of a Listening Service, where persons in need can be referred to a phone buddy or a person who has training in dealing with distress via phone.
You can click here to send an email to Liz.
Dave is our Secretary and as such is responsible for our public image. He has oversight of our Media and Social Media and is responsible for liaising with outside agencies, like London Borough of Bexley (LBB) and Bexley Voluntary Services Council (BVSC). As Secretary, it’s also down to him to take minutes, set agendas for meetings and generally make sure that the IHBeeHive runs properly and that our meetings are constructive and duly documented.
You can click here to send an email to Dave.
And then there’s technology. It takes a lot of effort to coordinate the tasks and people in an organisation. With over 700 volunteers and over 800 requests for help (that’s a 70%/30% split of online forms vs. phone calls).
Colin is our Treasurer and helps us look after finances. That includes donations and outgoings to make sure that the very generous donations are well looked after and spent where there is the most urgency.
The Treasurer also works with other teams in our fundraising efforts.
You can click here to send an email to Colin.
We would like to thank the following supporters for donating product licenses that make running IHB possible:
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