95 year old S.O.E veteran mobilises volunteer group

AGE is no barrier when it comes to volunteering to help others in your neighbourhood – and when you’ve previously worked for the Special Operations Executive, you’ll certainly have the skills to organise calls for a local volunteer help group.

Peggy Wynter Bee, 95, who worked for SOE during the Second World War – the Special Operations Executive was responsible for the secret agents dropped into Europe – was determined there was something she could do to help during this crisis, even while she had to remain self-isolating.

WHITE QUEEN TO DANNY BOY: Peggy Wynter Bee, 95, who worked for the Special Operations Executive during WWII, is putting her skills to use, organising local volunteers helping vulnerable people during the Coronavirus pandemic

She is now the duty officer responsible for fielding all calls to the WEBCare phone number from 10am-noon, Monday-Friday. She is also one of a number of volunteers available to call those known to be self-isolating and lonely for a friendly chat and morale boost. 

WEBCare (West End & Bisley Care and Good Neighbour Group) which operates under the auspices of Surrey Community Action, was set up in 1994 to help people who cannot get out to continue to live independently in their own homes when family, friends or neighbours are not available. Its volunteers help with shopping, hospital appointments, completing forms – anything that a good neighbour can do. 

The spread of coronavirus meant WEBCare could no longer offer transport as most of its volunteers are over 70 or caring for elderly and vulnerable relatives themselves. But for many of its clients, the internet is not the first place they look for help. It was felt important that the WEBCare phone line – 07713 915393 – was manned, and able to advise people on other groups and resources available to help locally.

As well as being a WEBCare volunteer, Peggy has served the community of West End since the 1960s, when she was Akela to two Cub Scout packs. She was instrumental in the fight to save Brentmoor Heath from development in the 1980s and continues to organise an annual flag day in the area on behalf of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust when she will be found with her collecting tin doing her bit outside local shops. She also organises the flowers for Holy Trinity Church, West End and is president of the West End Old Folks Social Club.

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