At the start of the COVID-19 Coronavirus national emergency, Rhondda Cynon Taf student Anastasia O’Reilly felt she had to do something to help out in her community.
The 18-year-old Year 13 student at Y Pant Comprehensive School approached her Head of Year, Mrs Nowell Hughes, and expressed her interest in volunteer work.
An opportunity arose for Anastasia to help out at her local pharmacy in the Pontyclun area and she now spends her time delivering medical supplies to the elderly and vulnerable residents of her local community.
Anastasia said: “We are all living through history at the moment, and such a worrying time of great uncertainty. Like so many other students of my age, Year 13 was to have been such an important year for me.
“However, when the national emergency was declared, normal life as we all knew it ground to a halt, and we have all had to adapt to a new way of living. We stopped going to school in March and I felt I had to do something to help out in my community.
“I now make doorstep medicine deliveries for my local pharmacy, wearing appropriate PPE and delivering prescription medicines and other pharmacy items for elderly and vulnerable residents. I knock on their doors and leave their packages on the step before moving away.
“I then spend some time chatting to the resident before moving on to my next delivery. Everyone is so grateful for the service I provide, and I enjoy getting to know all of these people, within the social distancing guidelines.”
Beverley Cheetham, Y Pant Comprehensive School Headteacher, said: “We are not at all surprised that our Head Prefect Anastasia has been helping her local community as she was the first to approach us in school to see what she could do when COVID-19 broke out.
“Anastasia really is an incredible young lady with a really bright future ahead of her. Sensitive, caring, practical and quietly determined, she goes about her duties quietly and selflessly.
“She is an outstanding ambassador and role model for us all at Y Pant. We have always been proud of Anastasia and it is really lovely to see her natural inclination to do the right thing receiving such wonderful recognition from her community.”
Looking to the future, Anastasia plans to take a gap year to decide what she wants to study at University. She also hopes to spend some time gaining work experience or part-time work, depending on circumstances.
Councillor Joy Rosser, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Inclusion Services, said: “Anastasia is doing an amazing job helping out in her locality. Her acts of kindness not only provide a valuable service to so many people, but she is also showing the elderly and vulnerable in her community that they have support and assistance if they need it.
“There are currently hundreds of volunteers across our County Borough who are all helping support the Council at this time, carrying out duties such as dog walking, collecting prescriptions, shopping, making friendly phone calls and posting mail for those unable to leave their homes to do so themselves.
“These great acts of kindness are making a huge difference to people’s lives at this time and I thank them for their community spirit and assistance.”
Across the County, over 1,060 volunteers have registered with the Council and are in contact with 10,600 vulnerable residents via the Shielding scheme, providing an array of support and assistance services to those in most need.
The Authority would like to thank everyone who has offered their support during this truly difficult and unprecedented time.
Posted on Thursday 4th June 2020