More than 150 families and individuals have received support from a newly-established help group in Cumbria.
Carlisle’s SWWATCH group (Scotby, Warwick, Wetheral and the Cooperative Hearts) has been delivering medication to those ill, shielding, self-isolating and the elderly since the start of the coronavirus lockdown. The 50-plus volunteers have just notched up their 350th delivery – and say they’ll keep going just as long as they’re needed.
The group was established by Wetheral and Holme Eden vicar Graeme Skinner at the start of the lockdown. Using a grant from Cumbria County Council it quickly printed and hand-delivered a flyer to homes across its patch offering the prescription service. They’ve also been shopping and taking donations to the food bank operating at Petteril Bank.
The group’s Stephen Higgs said SWWATCH deliverers were sometimes the only human contact some of those shielding had.
He said: “Our volunteers are often engaged in conversation as it may be the only person from the outside world that person has seen. Our volunteers have understood the need for that.
“The volunteers have been so generous with their offers of help and those on our database have been very generous with their thanks for what’s being done. We’ve had people trying to pay us, but that’s not what the service is about.”