For Lockdown 2021, the West Bergholt Care Network has relaunched its scheme which aims to help those self-isolating or in need of a range of help from shopping to a chat. It will, once again, take calls from any village resident in need of help during the COVID-19 emergency.
This time around, the organiser, Mervyn Donnelly, is keen to highlight two services:
- If you are, or know, somebody who lives alone and feels lonely, Mervyn would like to set them up with a telephone-buddy who will keep them in contact.
- With the vaccine now imminent for many of the more vulnerable, the Care Network is there to get you there and back for your appointment if you need a lift. This is available for any other essential medical appointments as well.
Volunteers from last March are still on record but if you would like to add to their number you are most welcome. To do so, please call Mervyn on 01206 241656 or 07967 731197.
Any resident who needs help can now call the Care Network to get assistance with the following:
- Collecting prescriptions.
- Essential medical appointments.
- Posting mail.
- Dog walking.
- Friendly phone calls.
- Emotional support.
- Running general errands.
- Anything else you need.
How it works
This is how the scheme will work for residents
- Ring the Care Network on 0300 777 3100 and a friendly village-based volunteer will record your needs.
- The volunteer will then relay your needs to a central coordinator
- The coordinator will put the most appropriate volunteer in touch with you to try to help with your needs
How will the collection and delivery of shopping work?
- Online Shopping Deliveries – we would, of course, suggest this in the first instance, however they are not as easy to obtain as they used to be.
- Click and Collect – those with accounts at both Sainsburys & ASDA can contact the Care Network volunteers and ask for them to pick up their shopping from the store (shopping would be left on the doorstep by the volunteer).
- Never Tried Online Shopping – perhaps a friend or family member (no matter where they live in the country) can submit an order for you that a volunteer can collect if only click & collect available.
- Support with Placing an Online Order – for those who need help setting up online shopping for the first time we also have volunteers who can offer technical support and can talk you through the steps.
- No access to the Internet – for those with no access to the internet we hope shopping will take place on an instant reimbursement basis from volunteer to resident on supply of receipt. Although, we understand that some volunteers may not want to take this approach. We don’t have all the answers and want to keep everyone safe so will keep reviewing how this works as the days and weeks pass.
Nik and his team at the Pharmacy will continue to deliver prescriptions on a Friday; ideally, you should request these by Wednesday. Nik also commented that in the last Lockdown some of the bigger providers had difficulty supplying some drugs – he is more than happy to hep you out if this happens again
Additional To, Not Instead of
This is not a substitute for NHS medical or social service arrangements you may have already. It is intended as practical help with day-to-day requirements such as shopping or picking up a prescription; perhaps help walking the dog or moving the bins etc.
We hope that this service in combination with many other national and local initiatives will be helpful and supportive.
You are not alone. Your welfare is important to us as communities seek to combine forces to support everyone in the village. Thank you again to all the volunteers who have registered so far and to all of you in the community already helping your friends and neighbours at this difficult time.
In Other (Lockdown) News
Good news that playgrounds can remain open, as are the allotments. Orpen Hall is only to be used for Early Years provision. Sadly the tennis courts have had to be closed until further notice.