A network of 15 street wardens in Appleby-in-Westmorland is ensuring those self-isolating or without family support have someone to call on in their time of need.
Volunteers with the Appleby Emergency Response Group delivered cards to more than 2,000 properties in the town letting residents and businesses know about the support available.
The wardens, recognised by their hi-vis Appleby Volunteer jackets, have divided up the town between them and are on call for those unable to leave their homes because they are self-isolating and do not have the support of family and friends to help them with vital supplies and the delivery of medicines.
So far the group, established after Storm Desmond in 2015, has fulfilled 388 requests for shopping and prescription deliveries since lockdown was announced. It is working with businesses in the town including Low Howgill Butchers, Stephenson’s and Boots to make the regular deliveries.
Volunteers have also been helping keep the shelves stocked with essential supplies at the town’s Spar shop after a number of its workers were forced to self-isolate.
Group co-ordinator Caroline Dodgeon said: “Because we are such a small community, keeping our local shops operational and stocked is a community service that stops people having to travel further afield for what they need.”
Cllr Deborah Earl, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet member for Local Communities, said: “The Appleby Emergency Response Group is doing an amazing job and I am so grateful to the many local groups like this who are making a huge difference in their communities – it’s reassuring to know the Cumbrian spirit is alive and well and I know their efforts are hugely appreciated.”
The group, whose website is https://applebyerg.co.uk, has 50 volunteers on its books and is now looking at further ways to help the community, possibly with a ‘check and chat’ service for those who want it.