DEDICATED community groups across Oxfordshire have delivered 36,000kg of food, fixed 170 bikes and donated 24 laptops during lockdown.

More than 80 grassroots groups that make up Community Action Groups (CAG) Oxfordshire were at the forefront of the local response of the coronavirus crisis helping residents and covering Government blind spots.

During the pandemic 234 selfless volunteers distributed surplus food, repaired bikes for key workers, revamped donated laptops for schoolchildren, bought groceries for those shielding or self-isolating and set up ‘grow kits’ for residents inspired to grow their own vegetables and fruit.

Made up of community-spirited residents some of the groups include Abingdon Community Fridge, Oxford City Farm, Marston Community Gardening and Bicester Green.

Witney Land Army volunteers worked with Scouts to deliver 6,174 pharmacy prescriptions to residents in need.

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Rose Hill and Iffley Low Carbon on the other hand organised socially-distanced seedling swaps with 11 stalls across the area.

Harvest at Home – a community group in Summertown – has also been helping families with the popular 'grow kits'.

Households that face food insecurity or want to make use of their garden were given tools, compost and seedlings, and so far, 119 families have signed up.

A spokesperson for the group said: "The feedback from households is incredible.

"Most of them are first-time gardeners.

"One gentleman’s entire street is now invested in his garden.

"People have donated time to dig for him, but also pots and tools."

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Started in 2001 by Oxfordshire County Council and non-profit consultancy Resource Features, the network is the largest of its kind in the UK.

However, since December the grassroots movement is running as an independent body.

Communications coordinator Etain O’ Carroll, who joined CAG only in April, said these figures do not even reflect the real impact volunteers have made.

Ms O’ Carroll added: “Although a time of crisis across the globe, the lockdown has brought out many stories of kindness, community spirit and inspiration.

“We are incredibly proud of our member groups and all the volunteers involved in this effort.