HIGH Sheriff of Cheshire Nick Hopkinson has made an impassioned plea for people to use action rather than words to help the vulnerable cope with the new Covid-19 lockdown.
And Mr Hopkinson – perhaps better known as “Hoppy” – has made a start himself by working with Warrington Youth Club to set up a hamper production line which is already distributing nearly 1,500 hampers to people who are vulnerable, hungry, homeless or suffering.
He said: “We have another 4-5 weeks of lockdown ahead of us and I think it is really important for us all to carefully consider how we are personally going to deal with it.
“I would really love to reach out to all the influencers, the entrepreneurs, leaders in the business and civic world, the people who are in those businesses that may flourish during lockdown, the wealthy, the solvent, those in authority…in fact anybody who feels capable of making a difference..however large or small.
“We all have a massive opportunity….an opportunity so huge that it could impact on the lives of others, it might even save the lives of some.
“We can use all our skills and resources to complain, articulate and explain where we think the government and their advisors have got things wrong or we can use them to find ways of helping people who are vulnerable, hungry, homeless, cold or suffering.
“It’s a big ask I know. You will all have your own mountains to climb and some will be huge, but there are always some folks who are in worse situations…and it’s those folks who need our help.”
Mr Hopkinson said after working with Warrington Youth Club to set up the hamper production line he used contacts on social medial to raise enough cash to pay for nearly l1,500 family hampers in just a couple of days.
The hampers were now being distributed – thanks to action, not words.
“I guess my challenge is to help, teach, inspire and encourage all those who are able to do something positive to help those in the county who for one reason or another are not in a position to help themselves.
“It might be as simple as making a donation, it could be knocking on a neighbour’s door or buying some food for someone who is hungry. It might be as simple as just asking someone if they need help or searching out someone you know needs assistance.
“It comes down as ever to choices….do you choose to take this opportunity to make a difference or are you going to be shouting the odds, with alternative advice and statistics…listened to mostly by others who agree with you already and making no difference at all?”
Mr Hopkinson stressed he was not trying to make any political statement.
“We all have legitimate views and opinions….I am purely making a humanitarian plea….there are real people out there who need help and all I want to do is mobilise great people to recognise that and to act….
“Actions, not words………together we can make the difference “