The stories below are a small sample of the fantastic work that volunteers are doing in communities across the county in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. Almost everyone who told us their story is positive about how communities are pulling together and looking out for each other.
Cherry Willingham, Reepham & Fiskerton Coronavirus Support Group are very proactive in their community. Even before the Coronavirus pandemic their volunteers visited lonely and isolated residents in Cherry Willingham, Reepham and Fiskerton. They now have 60 people that receive friendship calls, they assist with shopping and collecting prescriptions and dog walking. They appealed for more volunteers via their Facebook page and received 160 separate offers of help! At the start of lockdown they leafleted all three communities with offers of support and did a large collection for the Lincoln food bank; encouraging residents to leave donations at the end of their driveways or drop off at the Vicars for collection!
Welton & Dunholme Parish Councils are busy helping 500 residents with around 600 jobs. They have recruited 260 volunteers following a successful leaflet drop to both villages and a Facebook post. They have received offers of help with collecting prescriptions, cutting lawns, shopping, dog walking, window cleaning and food larder outreach from people of all ages. They don’t offer a telephone service, but should the need arise they refer this to the local Vicar who covers St Mary’s Church in Welton and St Chads in Dunholme.
Dunston CHIPS was formed 8 years ago to offer particular support to the community; hence the name Community Help in Particular Situations (CHIPS). Prior to the Coronavirus outbreak the group had 15 volunteers. After a leaflet drop by the group’s coordinators they managed to attract 36 new volunteers to help with tasks including shopping, collecting prescriptions and holding up banners outside windows to say hello and help cheer people up. People have donated meals, cooked Sunday lunches and a 9 year old baked cakes to deliver to those who are particularly lonely and isolated.
Sturton by Stow Emergency Planning Group started up a few years ago with 5 volunteers to offer a myriad of support to the community, so when Covid-19 struck they were best placed to offer support to around 30 residents with about 50 different jobs, including shopping, collecting prescriptions, advising those who are shielding and IT. The group’s volunteers are continuing to support those in the community who need it most.
Lincoln Lions Club in Washingborough knew help would be needed in the community when Covid-19 struck. They placed requests for volunteers in local shops and the pharmacy spread the word. They managed to recruit 30 volunteers to help with collecting prescription, food drops for essentials and calling residents if they felt there was a need. They regularly phoned an elderly gentleman so when one day he didn’t answer the phone they were concerned and asked the police to check on him. They found him unconscious and in need of medical assistance. A great example of how communities pulling together can make such a difference. They have so far carried out around 660 jobs for around 100 families since lock down and received 20 referrals.
Link Ups Magazine in Swinderby took on the challenge of gathering volunteers together to respond to the Coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lock down. Through a leaflet drop to 300 houses in the village they managed to recruit 50 volunteers to help with collecting prescriptions and shopping. They purchased a community phone which operates from 8am to 8pm and advertised the number in the magazine and on social media. This resulted in the group supporting individuals and families with on average 15 jobs a day. They believe that the Coronavirus outbreak has definitely brought the community closer together; with families pairing up with isolated elderly residents.
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