We want to introduce you to some of the amazing people around Andover that are giving up their time, using their skills and helping others.
Meet David Coole… he’s one of the volunteers at the Andover Isolation Help Group.
When we all began to be locked down, local councillor David Coole put politics to one side to do what was right.
The independent councillor has been helping with the Andover Isolation Help Group since the end of March.
Both a town and borough councillor, he volunteered his assistance to the town’s most vulnerable people before lockdown.
The Upper Clatford resident said, “I don’t think I’ve ever had a normal job. My first was as an Army Logistics Officer, followed by running a local building company. My current ‘normal’ is very much community focused as a local councillor as is working with the Help Group.”
While ‘Modern Jive’ dancing usually keeps him and wife Joanne fit, it’s council work that also keeps the 59-year old active. He says, “I sit on the Upper Clatford Parish Council Committee, I am on Andover Town Council where I pushed for an Emergency Funding Grant scheme and I am also a borough councillor.”
Of the Andover Isolation Help Group which was only set-up in early March, Cllr Coole says, “Without the selfless volunteers at the Group, thousands of Andover residents’ lives would have been put at risk of catching and dying from Covid-19.”
Group co-ordinator Victoria Harber says, “Early-on, David queued for up to five hours a day for other peoples’ prescriptions. Fair play to him for taking a chair with him – and a sun hat. That shows he is not only willing but also prepared.”
“It’s heartening to see that David came forward as a human being, not as a councillor.
“The situation we are in goes way beyond politics.”
Having also given his time to answer phones at the Unity Coronavirus Helpline, Cllr Coole says ‘everyone in the Help Group is a hero’. “To voluntarily give up one’s own time and risk their own health to help others demonstrates true community spirit”, he says.
“I doubt volunteers will ever truly know just how much they have helped residents. What I am sure of is that the volunteers will never be forgotten by the residents of Andover and surrounding villages.”
David Coole works at the Andover Isolation Help Group. Their number is 01264 748946
Support David and the work of the Andover Isolation Help Group by visiting their GoFundMe page here.