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.