A round up of what people have told us about community support in our local Staffordshire communities during the cornoavrus pandemic
Let us know about the good things happening in your local community by emailing us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
In Fulford Parish there is an excellent volunteer scheme that is up and running. The organiser is a senior paramedic and parish counsellor. Fiona, Fulford
“As a Qualified Consultant Paramedic and Parish Councillor I wanted to ensure our large Parish (One of the largest in Staffordshire over 5600 people) was well supported during this unprecedented situation. I made a proposal to the whole Council which was unanimously agreed……
A Community Action Group has been set up across the whole Parish. An emergency phone system for residents in need to call should they need help with shopping, prescriptions, postage and similar. We recruited a network of volunteers (111 to date).
To date we have helped 75 residents of various ages and health in the Parish and a further 15 just over our borders.
We are taking food donations for those in severe need with any surplus to be donated to the local foodbank network. Finally we also have an Easter Egg donation in place which will be donated to the children and staff at the Royal Stoke Hospital.” Dan, Fulford Parish
“I live in the village of Weston. Residents have formed a group called Weston Aid, this is support elderly, vulnerable and self-isolating individuals. Weston Aid members regularly check on people, do shopping and collect prescriptions. We started the support by sending a leaflet to everyone in the village, saying “If you are self-isolating, we can help”. We explained that support is available to people within the village and we can collect urgent supplies and shopping for those who need it. We have a phone line based at a local pub, manned by the publican, which is available between 10 am to 8 pm, inviting people to call and saying that one of our volunteers will try to help.” Jo, Weston
“My next door neighbour lives alone and is self-isolating, so each afternoon we go into our gardens and have a (socially distanced) chat over the fence, just for company and to check that all is well.
Several members of one of the groups I belong to are having to self-isolate. They are usually active and missing their regular walks in the park. So, when I have my daily permitted exercise there, I’m taking my camera with me and pausing (just very briefly) to take photographs as I go. Then each evening I’m posting a snapshot to the group’s email box. They are just of simple things like spring flowers, and trees and shrubs coming into bud and leaf, but I am being told how much the recipients appreciate seeing views of the natural world, especially now as it comes back to life in the Spring.” Will, Lichfield
“We have formed a Whatsap Group in our close. We keep in touch with our neighbours and shop for those who are elderly, in the shielding group or self-isolating and can collect medications if needed. If someone is short of an item or two, another can get it for them when they do their main shop. This reduces the number of visits to supermarkets and reduces the number of people in the supermarket. Although we have always been a friendly and polite group of neighbours, we are getting to know each other better and there is a great sense of community.” Jackie, Lichfield
Eccleshall and Croxton
“We have Eccleshall Cares – which currently covers the town but hopes to expand to cover the parish, local volunteers will shop for anyone isolating / pick up prescriptions / walk a dog etc. More locally, our road has set up it’s own group on Croxton Local, where members can post if they need anything / want to chat. Oh, and a neighbour who works at Eccleshall Surgery has volunteered to pick up any prescriptions, for those living in the area and who are registered at the surgery.” Pam, Croxton
“I am a member of the Chase Coronavirus Support Network (CCSN). It has nearly 10,000 members and, apart from offering help for dog walking, medication and grocery deliveries etc, it allows for people to ask for details of shop opening times, availability of certain items etc in their specific areas. http://www.ccsn.org.uk/isit the website: http://www.ccsn.org.uk/” Jeanagh, Rugeley
Burton on Trent
“I come in to the catagory of people who have underlying health issues that means I am locked in for twelve weeks. We have brilliant and kind neighbours who help out with shopping and other matters and others who ring us to check we are well and safe. It is a truism that in a crisis such as this you find out who your real friends are. As regards shopping, after a difficult time seeking out who to contact we are now able to order our shopping on line.” Robin, Burton-on-Trent
“I’m signed up to the national initiative of NHS volunteers as a coach and know that most of my ex NHS friends and colleagues are too.” Fiona, Stone
The Artisan Boutique in Stone was set up just under 2 years ago and has become a hub of creativity with a great community feel through all the workshops and activities that go on there.
In response to Covid-19 Government guidance our doors have been closed so n response to this we quickly took things on-line by setting up various Facebook Groups.
Our first was the Artisan Social Well-being Group as we recognised that social isolation and social distancing would be a difficult experience for many. The aim of the group is to be positive, sharing ideas, coping strategies and to give support to all the members. An example of things we do are daily elevenses Live into the group, bake alongs, book clubs to name but a few.
Alongside these we are running some craft groups which we are charging a one off payment of £15 to join, these include
- Artisan Crochet Club
- Artisan Embroidery Club
- Artisan Art Club
- Artisan Beginners Tarot Club
- Artisan Painting Club with Frenchic
- Artisan Knitting Club
Susan, The Artisan Boutique