The Limpsfield area has been incredibly proactive over the pandemic, with over 100 volunteers from March to July 2020 registering with either the Parish Council, St Peter’s/Village, St Andrew’s/Chart groups and the Limpsfield Facebook Volunteer group.
Initially, two core groups formed themselves through St Peter’s Church in the Village and St Andrew’s and local residents on the Chart, with the fantastic Emma Tinker coordinating efforts on the Chart and Helen Ireland and Caroline Campbell coordinating the village volunteers from St Peter’s. Limpsfield residents also quickly formed their own road groups via WhatsApp and email.
It soon became apparent that with so many volunteers and with many people in need, we needed to create a central role to coordinate the two main areas and the Limpsfield Parish Clerk took on a coordination role, keeping a combined list of all volunteers and those people who were being assisted, dealing with other volunteers outside of the church groups, circulating all information (regulations updates and advice) from the Government and Tandridge District Council and acting as a local catchall for anyone in need not yet known by the main groups.
It has been lovely to see Volunteers of all ages from students to pensioners. Any over 70s were designated for telephone assistance where required, and volunteers were busy with shopping, prescriptions and general help as needed. We were in a very fortunate position to have more volunteers than we actually needed, but it was great to know there were so many people around, ready and willing to help out.
The Parish Clerk created an online and print poster, providing helpline telephone numbers and emails, asking people to get in touch if they or someone they knew needed help and to keep an eye on neighbours. This was posted around the area at key points (bus stops, village store, noticeboards etc.) and on all local social media as well as the Parish Council and LimpsfieldSurrey.com.
In the two main settlement areas, local volunteers kept in contact with vulnerable residents and visited any houses where we had received indication there may be someone in need.
Regular updates were posted on local websites and social media and the volunteer groups had weekly catch-ups to report any issues or requests as required. A list provided by Tandridge District Council was also cross-checked against the list of vulnerable people collated by the volunteer groups to try to ensure everyone was accounted for. The Clerk and volunteers also drove around various residents in more rural addresses to check they were being assisted.
Since July and the end of lockdown, as things have got back to some sort of normality for most, the Clerk and volunteers have also liaised with Tandridge Council’s community safety team regarding a few people who may need following up by Adult Social Care and we will try to check in on them on a regular basis.
While lockdown may be over for now, there are still many people in our community who may need some help, either now, or over the winter as the flu season kicks in and if any restrictions are re-imposed.
So please continue to keep an eye on your neighbours to make sure they’re ok, and if you are happy to remain or be added to the local volunteer list, please contact the clerk: firstname.lastname@example.org, call 07514 011355 or register on the Limpsfield Facebook Volunteer group.
Stay safe and healthy.