This scheme is an outstanding example of community groups working together and our neighbourhood volunteering to look after each other.
Within a week Burpham Church and Burpham Community Association had joined forces, set up a small team and put a postcard through every door in Burpham offering support through the weeks of this epidemic.
We have had over 200 people offering to volunteer which has been staggering and we now, unfortunately, need to turn volunteers away. It has been so heartening to see how people generously want to help others. We can never thank each volunteer enough and we really do not want people to be disheartened if we do not use them. Unfortunately, we have had little demand for dog walking despite this being the most popular request from volunteers.
As of the middle of April we have had sixty requests for direct help. This has involved shopping, collecting prescriptions and one dog to be walked. We have signposted many people to local delivery services and other sources of advice. We have established a system of telephone support to check our growing group of people who need a bit more than a simple task being done. We ensure all the correct safeguards are in place to protect those asking for help and our volunteers. People have contacted us from all over the country to ask for help for their relatives and friends living locally.
We are also hearing of amazing road groups keeping an eye on each other. Please let us know about you so we do not duplicate the great local networks.
We have put long lost friends in touch after someone contacted us about the whereabouts of their neighbour from 50 years ago and heard some great tales about Burpham in the process. We have responded to calls from East Anglia to look after an aunt. We have listened to people’s concerns and provided listening ears and contact. We have had numerous messages of gratitude for our wonderful volunteers.
We are very keen to ensure we are reaching people who need us. Please spread the word and remind neighbours who maybe alone of any age, maybe lone parents struggling to shop with young children or families self-isolating and not sure how to get food and other essential supplies.
Contact us for help:
Liz, Gracie, Lisa, Marcelle and Ann your Burpham Community Support Co-ordinators.