Western Morning News : 2020-04-23

WMN2 : 15 : 15


WMN2 15 Thursday, April 23, 2020 WESTERN MORNING NEWS Agenda Letters Opinion Village residents supporting each other in crisis R ATHWENNA IRONS talks to residents in the Dartmoor village of South Brent about how they’re supporting each other through the pandemic ESIDENTS of a Dartmoor village have shown unrelentin­g kindness in their support for each other during the coronaviru­s crisis. A month ago, a group of villagers and representa­tives from local organisati­ons and businesses in South Brent made a plan to help those self-isolating and experienci­ng financial hardship in the village and local parishes. In a matter of days, villagers had volunteere­d to support community efforts, fundraisin­g was underway and a team of volunteers organised a leaflet drop to homes across the village, providing details of a prescripti­on collection service, shopping support, takeaway deliveries from local businesses and a phone befriendin­g service. A Facebook group encouraged people to support each other and share informatio­n digitally. Now over 160 volunteers have come forward, the community has set up and launched a new village food bank for those experienci­ng financial hardship, and over 400 deliveries of shopping have been made to those in selfisolat­ion. Local counsellor­s, coaches and therapists have set up a listening service to support individual­s’ wellbeing and mental health and a phone befriendin­g service has made 281 calls to those in isolation. Virtual church services are underway for villagers and email bulletins are keeping people informed about the changing situation. Much of the effort was supported by staff, trustees and volunteers from South Brent and Community District Caring. Jane Sullivan, charity care coordinato­r for South Brent and District Caring, said: “It’s been a huge team effort. Some of my volunteers are helping me keep in touch with our regular lunch club and memory cafe attendees. “We are working together with The Village Shop, the pharmacy, Foggs Deli, the Coop, the butcher and The Packhorse to support those self-isolating and vulnerable in our community.” Villagers are being encouraged to look out for neighbours and there have been numerous acts of kindness. These have ranged from anonymous food donations on doorsteps, to offering to grow and share seedlings with the community. The food bank has reported donations of chocolate eggs for local families over Easter, and house plants have been delivered to lots of people self-isolating alone, organised by a village shop. Dr James Hill, chair of trustees for South Brent District Caring, added: “The response of volunteers, local businesses and donors to the crisis has been outstandin­g. “The spirit of community and co-operation in the area has been wonderful and heartwarmi­ng to see and will leave a lasting legacy when we return to more normal times.” All the latest informatio­n for villagers in South Brent and the surroundin­g districts can be found at the website www.sbadc. org.uk. The team are now sharing informatio­n about how they have organised their response and hope this can be used to help other communitie­s addresses similar challenges. THURSDAY £1,000 every ticket for in these winning postcodes RM8 2AE S40 2PZ SE6 2EY SR8 4BJ ST5 0ES SY11 1LQ TN8 5BB WD6 5DQ WF1 4JW WS3 1AL NG20 8FA NR1 3BB OX7 5JR PA4 0XE PA14 6DX PA28 6BP PE24 4TE PE28 2BQ RG2 8NX RG24 8UW EN5 5QW G12 0LG GL5 4QA HD5 8QY HG3 3SR HU2 0BQ IP26 5JS LN1 1AP M22 1SN ME16 9JJ B76 1LD BD4 0PW BN3 1DF BS48 4XR CF31 4PZ CM1 2RD CM3 6AD CO6 3DU DE22 2NH DG9 7QE