Residents rally to help during virus pandemic
Members of the community have rallied round to help their vulnerable or self-isolated neighbours in St Peter’s, Battenhall and Norton during the coronavirus pandemic.
Help groups sprang up virtually overnight as it became clear that older people or those with underlying health conditions making them potentially more susceptible to the virus were advised to self isolate.
Volunteers enlisted in groups for St Peter’s and Battenhall to carry out errands for their fellow residents who suddenly found themselves confined to their homes.
There have also been examples of support in Norton for those most at risk.
Members of St Peter’s Coronavirus Support Group
Within days of an informal meeting the St Peter’s Coronavirus Support Group was set up and had printed and distributed information cards to let the ward’s 2,300 households know it was ready and willing to help.
The group brings together St Peter’s Parish Council, St Peter’s Baptist Church and residents in helping see their neighbours through the crisis.
It is backed by South Worcester Voice and Steve Mackay, who represents St Peter’s on Worcester City Council.
Among errands the volunteers are carrying out are picking up shopping or urgent supplies, collecting medication, assisting with hard-to-source supplies, posting letters and assisting with urgent pet needs.
To counter the potential loneliness that might come with self-isolation members of the group can also get in touch with a friendly phone call.
The volunteers are also following recommended precautions to prevent potential transmission of coronavirus, also known as Covid-19, as they carry out the errands.
Mr Mackay said: “I saw two entries on the St Peter’s facebook site from local people wanting to help residents who may be isolated and unable to access basic needs.
“I contacted them and a meeting was arranged when we co-ordinated our activities with St Peter’s Baptist Church.
“Volunteers from their church then delivered the information cards with relevant information to homes in the locality.”
One of the group’s organ-isers, Kristy Walters, said: “St Peter’s Coronavirus Support Group was established to turn lots of offers of help and good intentions into one practical and safe idea.
“We are in uncharted waters here, so nobody knows the effect this will have on the local area.
“What we do know is that we need to collectively ensure that those that are vulnerable are looked after.
“Family, neighbours and friends are all supporting each other right now and this support group ensures that nobody slips through the net due to not having family or friends in the area and that there is a contact number for every single resident.”
St Peter's parish councillor John Renshaw shops for residents as one of the ward's coronavirus support group volunteers
Andy Browning, Minister for Pastoral Care at St Peter’s Baptist Church, said: “St Peter’s Baptist Church decided to help lead the co-ordinated community effort to support those who are self-isolating as we believe it is important for us as a church to show the love and compassion of Jesus to those around us.
“The coronavirus support group is a great idea and we’ve been delighted to combine efforts with a fantastic group of local residents, the parish council, South Worcester Voice and work in conjunction with councillor Steve MacKay to ensure that all those on the St Peter’s estate who are self isolating do not go without help.
“We realise that we are well placed on the estate to help resource this response and want to make sure we do all we can to help. These are unprecedented times and it’s great to see such a positive community reaction here on St Peter’s.”
ST PETER’S CORONAVIRUS SUPPORT GROUP
If you live in St Peter’s and need help with:
Picking up shopping or urgent supplies
Assisting with hard-to-source supplies
Assisting with urgent pet needs
Posting a letter
Keeping in touch with a friendly phone call
Call the community group: 07745 782865 (8am – 9pm)
Call St Peter’s Baptist Church: 01905 767090 (9.30am – 5pm weekdays)