20th May 2020, 16:29 | Community
Martin Blondel is in the running to be named Britain’s Coronavirus Community Hero by the Daily Telegraph, as he continues to go the extra mile for the people of St Helens and surrounds – in the process burnishing the legacy of Steve Prescott MBE.
Blondel is on a shortlist of four in the Community Hero category of the Telegraph’s Lockdown Awards, with voting still open ahead of the winner being announced next week.
He was in at the start of the Steve Prescott Foundation in 2007, and has worked tirelessly as its General Manager to maintain the profile and momentum of the charity since its inspiration passed away six years later.
That has never been more evident than during the last few months.
Having watched a television news report focusing on the struggles NHS nurses were having buying food from shelf-stripped supermarkets, Blondel teamed up with Blackbrook Royals and the Eccleston Arms to turn them into essential stores for NHS staff and the elderly.
Their efforts have also included sourcing and distributing PPE to NHS staff, GP practices and the local hospice, as well as sourcing and collecting food donations for the local food banks.
They have attracted high-profile support from Rugby League heroes such as Paul Sculthorpe, Lee Briers and Tommy Martyn, and also from the boxer Martin Murray and St Helens fan Johnny Vegas who even attracted a message of support from South Sydney and Rugby League evangelist Russell Crowe.
Martin told the Telegraph: “We’ve probably delivered over 10,000 orders so far. We have a wide reach of people who are willing to help others in adversity, as Steve taught us to do. It’s been a real team effort, and I’m absolutely overwhelmed, gobsmacked to have been nominated.”
He certainly went the extra mile at the weekend – in fact the extra 10k, having agreed to explore the outer limits of his fitness by running the anchor leg of a virtual Lands End to John O’Groats relay which has already raised more than £12,000 for the Foundation.
For voting details, and to read of the inspirational efforts of the other contenders, click here.