Since lockdown was announced on 23 March, individuals and organisations in Stonehouse have gone above and beyond to support the town’s most vulnerable residents.
Within a week, the town council set up a Helpline for local people who are self-isolating and do not have family assistance. A leaflet was produced to promote the Helpline number – 01453 822070 – and to request volunteers to help with food shopping and prescription delivery. Within the first two weeks, over 50 people came forward to volunteer their services and were matched up with residents requesting help with some just wanting a phone call to check on their wellbeing.
The town council has worked closely with the local Co-Op store and our volunteers have made around 400 deliveries of groceries since the end of March; averaging 80 per week. Stonehouse Pharmacy has its own service so that medication can be picked up and delivered, supplemented by our volunteers when medication was required urgently.
The town council partnered with The Long Table to set up a frozen meal delivery service for Stonehouse residents. Our volunteers helped to deliver the leaflets and have delivered 186 delicious and healthy home-made meals to 18 households since the end of April.
Councillor Neil Gibbs, Town Mayor, said: “We always knew what a fantastic community we have here in Stonehouse but we have been truly humbled by the response we have received to our requests for help.
“It is in these extraordinary times that ordinary people pull together and look after our most vulnerable friends and neighbours and we want to thank everyone who has responded and helped out, in whatever way, to make sure that fellow residents receive help and support.”
As this situation is set to continue for some time, the town council is working with All Pulling Together (a community interest company) and the local churches to identify residents who have been self-isolating since the start of lockdown and are feeling lonely who might appreciate a call from a ‘phone buddy’ volunteer to check on their wellbeing.
Key businesses in the town have continued to provide essential services throughout lockdown and, as restrictions ease and more businesses re-open, the town council will be available to offer support and advice.