The meeting of the parish council on Wednesday 27th May 2020 at 7.30pm will be a ‘virtual’ meeting online. It is still a meeting held in public and any member of the public wishing to ‘attend’ should email the clerk at email@example.com and ask to be sent the invitation link by email about 10 minutes before the start of the meeting. The agenda for the meeting is available on the parish council meetings page.
May’s edition of the Parish magazine is now out and has lots of useful websites and contact numbers for help during the lockdown. It is another edition that is unfortunately unable to be delivered, so please pass on the message that it is on the website – to view it online click here
0800 246 5591 is the chat line known as the Parish Pump. It opens on Monday 20th April for five hours per day, six days a week from noon to 4pm and in the evening from 7 – 8pm for anyone who fancies some conversation to help pass the time.
More volunteers willing to take calls would be welcome so that the opening hours could be extended either during the day or in the evening or just as back up cover for an existing slot. If you’d like to know more about becoming involved call the hotline on 07836 716723 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have made a list of some of the local shops that will deliver to Ashburnham and Penhurst. If you think of any others, let us know and we will try to add them and keep the list up to date. We hope this is helpful – it is still worth signing up to some of the ‘Vulnerable person’ priority schemes offered.
For a trial period of a couple of weeks the Parish Council is offering to cash a cheque for anyone who needs cash and cannot get it via their usual route. Simply call or text the hot line on 07836 716723 or email email@example.com with your name and address and the amount you need up to a limit of £100. We can arrange for someone to deliver the cash and collect your cheque. Cheques should be made payable to Ashburnham and Penhurst Parish Council. And if you are reading this you will quickly realise that the people most likely to need this service are also the least likely to be reading a web page. So please, if you know someone for whom this service might be useful, please speak to them and let them know about it.
Most repeats are on a four week cycle and so by now many people will be looking at their current arrangements and checking that they still work for them. However, if they are not then please call or text the hot line on 07836 716723 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. Every surgery and every pharmacy has a range of different ways of filling repeat prescriptions, but the one thing they all have in common is that someone has to physically deliver the meds even if the request process is electronic. Some pharmacies can also deliver, but the Parish Council has a corps of volunteer couriers who will run the necessary errands. Additionally, if you know someone who might need this assistance but is unlikely to be reading this webpage, then do please let them know.
On Monday evening this week, the Parish Council (PC) held the second of its weekly Sit Rep meetings, using internet conferencing to connect all Councillors remotely. The objectives of the meeting (which will continue for the foreseeable future) are to discuss any new developments / concerns emerging within the Parishes relating to the Covid-19 pandemic and to think ahead of what more could be done to help those in need of support in our villages as the lockdown period extends.
The PC telephone “Hotline” (07836 716723) started the week quite busily. However, it is encouraging to be able to report that many of the phone calls taken were with offers of help rather than cries for help. Several errands have been run by volunteers to collect groceries and prescriptions on behalf of others. So far, things appear to be under control, albeit with the caveat that we are only just over a week in to the lockdown period.
Looking ahead, we are busy exploring several new ideas, as follows :-
0800 Freephone chat line – Thinking ahead to the real possibility of some people feeling very lonely in the current lockdown situation, we are planning to establish a freephone number for people to call for a friendly chat. This will be run and supported by a network of local volunteers, taking calls at certain times of the day. This will be looked into further before the scheme goes ahead, we hope to have more news next week on this.
Prescription pick-ups – A reminder to look out for any upcoming repeat prescriptions and let us know if you need one picked up. We have already successfully linked a number of pick-up requests with different volunteers who were on their way to the shops or pharmacy. We are exploring ways to make the process even more streamlined. Watch out for more news.
Need Cash? We recognise that for those in isolation and unable to get to the bank or Post Office, there may be no easy way to access cash (particularly if they don’t use online banking either). Cash may be needed to pay for groceries being collected by others hence this could become a significant issue for some. We have plans to solve this and will have more news very soon.
Battle Foodbank – We have also had news that the local foodbank in Battle has seen a great drop in donations after local collection points have been shut. They are under huge pressure as more people come to them for help. A list of the items most in need are:
- Tinned soup
- Tinned cold meat (Ham / Spam / Corned Beef)
- Tinned tomatoes
- Tinned or packet potatoes
- Pasta and Rice
- Pasta sauce
- Tinned fruit
- Tinned custard
- Tinned rice pudding
- UHT milk (500g packs)
- Any other donations of ambient food which is in date.
The current drop off point is: The Hurst, Netherfield Hill, Battle, TN33 0LA
Finally, we realise that the people most in need of our help may not have access to the internet and therefore may not see these updates, so please make anybody that you know to be in this situation aware of the local help on offer.
When the parish council met for the last face-to-face time on Friday it was decided to have weekly ‘virtual’ meetings on line on Mondays at 7.30pm. This is in recognition of the fact that we are in a very dynamic situation and the council wants to make sure that it is (as best it can) supporting with help to address the needs of the community as it deals with the challenges of staying at home, as directed by our Government.
The first virtual meeting was last Monday. House to house deliveries of a help leaflet having been completed, ideas for future support were discussed. Among these are help with people who need to get some cash but are unable to follow their usual route and help for people who just need someone to talk to by setting up an 0800 number which will patch through to a rota of volunteers willing to lend a listening ear.
In the meantime, the number of people volunteering to run errands or shop continues to grow and several requests for help have been successfully met.
The Parish Council met on Friday to discuss their action plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and how we as a community can come together to look after those most vulnerable in our Parishes.
Over the next week, every home in Ashburnham and Penhurst will receive a leaflet with details on who can be contacted locally if you need help – whether this is with weekly shopping or getting prescriptions delivered. You can also volunteer information regarding your circumstances, if you wish, so that we ensure some one checks up on you regularly (this can be if you are showing symptoms or just social distancing as a precaution).
We have already had many local people volunteering to help in different ways and there will be more information to follow on how to register your interest in helping out. Look out for more details in the Parish Magazine and regular updates on here.