AS Coronavirus impacts heavily on the country, volunteers in Lymm have set up a support group ensuring “no one is left behind” by helping elderly and vulnerable people in the village.
There was a huge appetite amongst the residents of Lymm to set up a support group to make sure that no one in their community was left feeling isolated or in need of support.
After a suggestion posted on the Lymm Locals site by resident Vasughi Sundramoorthy, the Leave No One Behind in Lymm Facebook group was set up last weekend and over 1100 locals registered their interest to ensure that no one in the community would be left to face the crisis without support.
A committed team of volunteers was immediately formed to drive the initiative through from the initial planning through to printing by Lymm Business Centre of almost 12,000 pieces of literature and then personally delivering these to each household in Lymm and Heatley. The timescale for this was one week!
The meticulous planning along with long hours and the goodwill of many people, local groups and businesses who were only too keen to offer their services made this happen over a total of only 4 days.
At the outset, safe-guarding and GDPR issues were carefully considered and steps were put in place to ensure no one is able to readily take advantage of vulnerable residents – all volunteers were asked to provide ID along with personal telephone numbers and addresses.
Information sheets and cards with a hand written volunteer’s name, street address and mobile number details the support on offer for things such as deliveries, shopping for essential items, topping up their electric or gas key, emergency dog walking or a friendly telephone call. A centrally manned telephone response service is being managed by volunteers on a rota basis to take calls from the community during daytime hours.
Graham Gowland, Lymm resident and member of the Parish Council says “It’s great to see the whole community pulling together; residents, the Roundtable, the Parish Council and other local groups who are all keen to help. Over the weekend, hundreds of people have turned up at the new hub within the library to collect literature as Street Champions for their immediate area. It has been amazing.”
In addition to the information sheets, a dedicated website (lymmhelp.co.uk) was designed with content written overnight by a team headed by Stephen Williams to provide support information which will be updated as the situation continues to change. Local businesses can provide details of available services and delivery offers for the community.
Already volunteers have been receiving calls from people who have been delighted to receive a card through their door and there have been requests for obtaining essential items which they would otherwise not have been able to access.
Lymm now also has its own radio service which has been set up by two local residents and veterans of local commercial and BBC radio – Paul Smith and Ian James. They say “As more local families self-isolate during the Coronavirus crisis, we had the idea to create a radio streaming service to keep our fellow neighbours entertained and informed at this challenging time. We are going to run this service for the next 3 months – if it’s successful – and if our listeners like it we may keep it going!.” The service is available via www.lymmradio.co.uk
Not wishing to leave any one in the immediate area feeling isolated, the volunteers have reached out to residents on the fringes of Warburton, Dunham and help has been provided to High Legh who will be forming a support group.
*The Lymm group is one of many which have been set up across Warrington helping provide support in their local communities. If you are running a similar group email us your story to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try our best to help raise awareness