TOWNSFOLK are playing a crucial part in supporting family, friends and neighbours as restrictions put in place to slow the spread of coronavirus Covid-19 intensify.
Last week, support groups on social media were set up to help provide information and advice, as well as organising volunteer efforts to assist elderly and vulnerable people. The Facebook groups have also joined forces with Uttoxeter Knights, Renew Church and Uttoxeter Heath Community Centre (UHCC) in a bid to co-ordinate efforts across the area.
Jo Hatton launched Uttoxeter Support for the Elderly and Vulnerable on Facebook and is now liaising with Uttoxeter Covid-19 Support Group on the platform as well as the Uttoxeter Knights and UHCC to direct volunteers to people in need of support.
Three requests for assistance have already been made via leaflets distributed by the Knights and volunteers have provided help. Jo said: “200 flyers were printed off and sent out by the Uttoxeter Knights with two numbers for the elderly and vulnerable to contact, these numbers are Ellen and Mary from UHCC, who then put a message in the group asking if any of the volunteers are available to help and then details are sent privately.
“The flyer has also been uploaded to the groups for people to print off and deliver to those who people think may need the support. So far we have had three calls asking for support and volunteers have been out already! It’s all working well so far.”
Uttoxeter Covid-19 Support Group, run by Phil Irons and his partner, Kelly Smith, who is also involved with Uttoxeter Knights, has become a hub for information about the virus and its impact on the community, as well as a forum for people to share ideas and advice for adjusting to heightened restrictions around movement and social distancing, along with directing potential volunteers to the other groups.
Phil said: “Since this group went live, there have been countless acts of random kindness and offers of support from people. Teachers are sharing advice with parents who are having to think about their kids being off school, people have offered to shop for total strangers, along with offering supplies to people who desperately need them.
“Countless companies have rallied around to provide the town with delivery of their products, hundreds of others have offered their unconditional help – including a 15 year old from Leigh who offered to walk into Uttoxeter early in the morning to help those who may need it. A couple have started a fund to help supply NHS workers with free eggs, and have supplied countless eggs to the town already.
“People have offered their own land and animals as an outdoor space for people in the town to get some fresh air safely. A young lad offered to deliver leaflets whilst on his paper round to the elderly, and a little girl offered the new born nappies her dolls were using, to people that would need them more.
“The local taxi firm has offered to fetch and carry shopping and supplies to its elderly customer base. People have put themselves forward to volunteer and be there when other people really need it. And there is so much more that I’ve not even mentioned!
“We can all see what’s going on in the news, and how bad the situation is getting. We can chose to be defined by a virus, or by the way we support the people around us. Really listen to the advice that’s being given, keep yourself and your family safe, and keep supporting each other.”
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