Selsey volunteers on hand to help during coronavirus pandemic - 'We want to make sure we are here for everyone'

A team of volunteers in Selsey have been offering their support to those in need during the coronavirus pandemic.

Jo Hughes and Karen Pirks, from the Selsey Community Forum, were chosen to lead a Covid-19 Mutual Aid project designed to help anyone who is struggling
Jo Hughes and Karen Pirks, from the Selsey Community Forum, were chosen to lead a Covid-19 Mutual Aid project designed to help anyone who is struggling

Jo Hughes and Karen Pirks, from the Selsey Community Forum, were chosen to lead a Covid-19 Mutual Aid project designed to help anyone who is struggling.

Jo said: “In the early days of the outbreak of Covid-19, the Selsey Community Forum needed to respond quickly as to what this would mean to the residents of Selsey.

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"We needed more help as a lot of our volunteers in the community forum are over 70 so they all needed to go into self isolation. We put a call out for volunteers and we deployed 120 buddies in about two days.

“We printed out cards which were posted though the door of every resident in the town with a buddy’s contact number on. They can contact them if they need shopping, prescriptions or a friendly call.

"Staff and volunteers rose to the challenge and provided a friendly contact during these testing times."

Jo said the team are on hand to help anyone who needs it and ‘not just older people’.

She added: “There are families out there either not working or furloughed and need help too. We want to make sure we are here for everyone.

“We are delivering emergency food parcels to people in need. Nigel from Cafe Grumpys is cooking for us.

“We deliver meals to people in need, identified through the buddy system and system we already have in place.”

Jo said the initiative was set up in partnership with Selsey Town Council, local care homes, the Selsey Foodbank and Selsey Medical Practice among others.

She said: "We're communicating with residents via Facebook and the forum does the Selsey News for carers. We're doing it every fortnight and it goes out to 1,000 homes.

"We've got a team of people making face masks and we have five volunteers in the forum calling about 80 people a day, which has doubled from 40.

"We've also been given about 100 DVDs and we've put a call out for books and jigsaws. Buddies can deliver them to someone who wants them. They've all been sanitised.

Sage House have given us about 100 activity books which we are feeding out to people who don't have things to do at home."

Jo said the scheme has ‘really brought the community together’, adding: “It’s been a challenge but we’ve done it.

“But it couldn’t be done without the residents getting involved and supporting every member of the community without judgement. And for which we thank you all.”

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