Volunteers travel 6,000 miles delivering vital equipment to mental health units

Dedicated charity volunteers have travelled more than 6,000 miles, which is the equivalent of heading from Sussex to Japan, to deliver vital supplies to Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust's mental health sites.

Sussex 4x4 Response is a group of more than 90 individuals from all around the county, who freely give their time, expertise and enthusiasm to help the community. During the Coronavirus pandemic they have been travelling from Chichester to Hastings, and as far north as Crawley to deliver stocks of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) to Sussex Partnership staff working on the frontline, who are dealing with patients who require mental health treatment at this time.

Peter Molyneux, Chair of Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which provides specialist mental health and learning disability services in Sussex and Hampshire, said: "To take on a job like this is an incredible act of generosity. At a time when stocks of PPE are in high demand, it is amazing how these volunteers are going out of their way to make sure our frontline staff are properly protected.

"Our own staff have been brilliant in terms of getting PPE stocks out, often working through the night. To have the additional support from Sussex 4x4 Response has been a real help and made a huge contribution to this important work."

In the first two weeks of the campaign, Sussex 4x4 Response has helped deliver:

  • 259,150 face masks
  • 179,000 pairs of gloves
  • 88, 400 wipes
  • 67,000 aprons
  • 500 shoe covers 

Chairman of Sussex 4x4 Response, Alex Barrett said: "Sussex 4x4 Response is hugely proud to be able to play a part in keeping our NHS front line services stocked with the PPE that they so desperately need. Our team of nearly 90 responders is out on the road every day and have now covered over 6,000 miles throughout Sussex at all times of day, entirely voluntarily. We will continue to support our NHS partners for as long as they need us and we thank the public for any donations that help to keep us on the road."

The charity has also suspended its charges to help as many people as possible during the current crisis. Volunteers are also helping the Trust's own Heads On charity to deliver Home from Home packs to inpatients services across the county.

Heads On is Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust's charity. It helps people with mental health problems to feel supported, to stay active and to be more involved in their communities.

More details about the Sussex 4x4 Response charity can be seen here.