Staff volunteer during Coronavirus pandemic
Carol, our Engagement and Information Lead, is providing support to two people who are in the shielding group, one being a relative living several miles away and one being a lady in the next village. This includes shopping, collecting medications if necessary and keeping in touch by phone, carefully following social distancing guidelines. By providing individual support these people have not needed to access any Local Authority or NHS Volunteers support.
Carol has also been keeping in touch with all our volunteers on a regular basis, some of whom fall within the vulnerable category and many within the group of people who need to take extra precautions. She has, when necessary, been able to give information about local support available. One volunteer was returning home after a hospital admission for a broken leg, who unfortunately went on to develop Covid-19. As they recovered and were due to be discharged home from hospital, having maintained contact with them during the hospital stay, she was able to assure them that if they needed any additional assistance apart from family help, that another of our volunteers who lived very locally, would be happy to assist with shopping.
Carol has also learned from our volunteers of the support that local communities are providing, whether it be a WhatsApp group on an individual road, to a village network, to a parish support group or a larger organisation. Our volunteers told us:
“I live in the village of Weston. Residents have formed a group called Weston Aid, this is supporting 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 10am to 8 pm, inviting people to call and saying that one of our volunteers will try to help.”
“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”
“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.”