Businesswoman Sara Ellis devised a way of informing local residents where fuel was available - and within days nearly 20,000 people had signed up.
Mum-of-three Sara runs a wedding business - To Have and To Hire Events - and was horrified when pandemonium first erupted last week as drivers queued for fuel and many petrol stations ran dry.
“I had 14 weddings last Saturday and my team couldn’t get to them because they had no fuel.
“My husband runs a cleaning company, cleaning doctors’ surgeries, and he couldn’t get to them as well.”
Sara decided to take action: “I couldn’t let people down on their wedding day.”
She launched a Facebook group - Fuel Updates Sussex - and asked people to post messages of where fuel was available locally.
Within hours, 1,000 people had joined and just days later nearly 20,000 people were informing everyone where they could get petrol and diesel.
“Members were all there helping each other to point out where the fuel is,” said Sara.
“It is not about people ranting, or criticising other people, it’s about helping. It has been really great. It’s just about enabling people to find fuel.”
And it’s been so successful that people have crowned her ‘The Fuel Fairy’ for her help. “It’s quite sweet,” said Sara, who lives near Billingshurst.
“I have had some lovely messages. It makes me quite tearful.
“For two or three days last week there was no fuel in Horsham whatsoever.
“When the government say there is no fuel crisis and people are panic buying, they are wrong. Yes perhaps at the beginning but now people are just trying to get through it.
“The group has been amazing and the people our community has helped are fab.”
To find where there is fuel in the local area, see https://www.facebook.com/groups/1050422335707717/