Chilterns Villagers & Midcounties Help the Community through Lockdown
Published 23 May 2020 in Community
Volunteers in a Buckinghamshire community have formed a new group to support local people who are stuck at home during lockdown, with support from Co-op Midcounties.
Prestwood & Missenden Volunteer Group was founded in March and quickly attracted a network of 150 volunteers by spreading the word on social media, who have helped to deliver hundreds of bags of essential shopping to the community.
Organisers Colin Tyler and Lindsey Farn helped found the scheme, linking up with the Co-op and organising the volunteers so each street has a familiar face to provide trusted support to everyone who needs it.
They have been helping out by delivering supplies from the local Co-op Midcounties Food store in High Street, Prestwood, as well as picking up prescriptions, supporting on hospital visits or just popping by for a chat.
Lesley Nicholl, one of 10 zone leaders helping run the scheme, said: “We’ve got a really good network of volunteers and, so far, have made more than 1,000 calls on people who asked us to help, including delivering hundreds of orders from our local Midcounties Co-op Food store.
“The staff there have been so brilliant.
“Even with the latest update in guidance from the Government, there are lots of local people who are still shielding or self-isolating, many of whom are vulnerable or elderly, and they are so grateful for a visit.
“It’s not just delivering essential supplies, its providing that human interaction and engagement with the outside world that’s also so important. We might be the only person they see that day or even that week.
“It has been wonderful to see our community pull together to help those who need it.
“Many volunteers are juggling working, home school and life in general and it’s been really heart-warming to see how our community efforts are making such a difference.”
Co-op Midcounties has partnered with more than 60 local volunteering groups and over 700 volunteers close to its Food stores to provide home delivery services for vulnerable people in the communities.
Safe social distancing is maintained at all times, with shopping deliveries left on the doorstep.
Phil Ponsonby, Chief Executive of Co-op Midcounties, said: “Supporting our communities and members is at the heart of what we do, and always will be.
“We want to do all we can to protect those who are most vulnerable which, for now, means continuing to help them to stay at home and stay safe.
“If you, or anyone you know, could be helped by this scheme, please get in touch with us.”
If you live in Prestwood, Great Missenden, South Heath or Great Hampden and need to arrange and pay for a home delivery from Co-operative Food, call 0800 435 902, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the group on Facebook.
Co-op Midcounties Food stores will also continue to run a priority shopping hour from 9.30 – 10.30 Monday to Friday for carers of the elderly and vulnerable, as well as NHS workers.
To find your local Co-op Food store please click here.