Heavy snowfall doesn’t deter the area’s heroes

Eastbourne Responders and Beachy Head chaplains were on hand to help in the snow
Eastbourne Responders and Beachy Head chaplains were on hand to help in the snow

SNOW heroes braved the wintry weather and went beyond the call of duty to deliver services in Eastbourne last week.

Emergency services were under pressure in what was the heaviest snowfall for five decades but Eastbourne Community Responders and Beachy Head Chaplains worked together to help the ambulance service respond to emergency calls. The chaplains supplied four-wheel drives and attended more than 30 calls across the region.

Staff and volunteers at Eastbourne DGH are also being thanked. Members of the TA in Seaside were among those helping to ferry hospital staff to and from work in four-wheel drive vehicles.

Darren Grayson, chief executive at the East Sussex Hospitals Trust, said, “We would like to thank everyone for their efforts and help in the last few days. Lots of hard work and effort has taken place across the trust to ensure minimal disruption to our services.

“There are many heroic tales of staff getting into work, with some having stayed on site overnight to ensure they were available for their next shift.

“Many have walked several miles in extreme conditions to reach our hospitals and have gone above and beyond the call of duty to help others.”

Margaret Barton, 79, who is recovering from a knee operation praised DGH nurses who braved the snowy conditions on foot to treat her at her home in Viking Way.

Mrs Barton, who needed her daily injection, said, “I just could not praise them enough, I thought it was wonderful for them to walk in that snow. I want to say thank you to them for getting out in such atrocious conditions.”

A maintenance man from Bupa’s Elstree Court Nursing home got stuck in the snow on Meads Road and was dug out by three passing women. When he arrived at work he became cook for the day to stand in for the chef who was snowed in at Seaford. One Elstree nurse even trekked two miles to work on her day off because she heard how understaffed the home was.

Police officers in Eastbourne also went the extra mile and checked on the elderly and vulnerable. PCSOs helped elderly residents with everything from getting milk to fixing their heating.

Chief Superintendent Robin Smith, East Sussex policing commander, said, “The level of commitment which has been shown by members of staff has made me incredibly proud of my team in East Sussex.”

And intrepid delivery people from the Hankham Organic Box scheme managed to make almost 600 deliveries despite the snow. They often had to dig their way through deep snow to ensure that all customers received vegetable and fruit boxes on the correct day.