Kind Shoreham family brings neighbours together for support during lockdown
and live on Freeview channel 276
David Illman and his wife Alessandra have been helping Connaught Avenue residents in various ways, including shopping for food, setting up a plant stall, lending books and raising money for Shoreham Foodbank.
Alessandra said: “David wanted to start a WhatsApp group, as we are a friendly road, but he felt there may be quite a lot of people who may struggle to get food, etc., if they had to self-isolate and during lockdown.
“We didn’t expect it to take off as well as it has and it’s really brought together the whole road.”
David and Alessandra, helped by their children Francesca and Giovanni, started by putting a note through every letterbox in Connaught Avenue, suggesting the WhatsApp group idea to more than 100 households.
They said neighbours could join to ask for help, or offer help, not only to vunerable residents but also to each other in times of need, whether it be for support, shopping, collecting medicine or even dog walking.
Jean Rivers, one of those who received the note, praised the family’s community spirit.
She said: “I feel such kindness and thoughtfulness during these trying times shouldn’t go unrecognised, and perhaps would give inspiration to others.
“The WhatsApp group has proved very, very successful, with residents communicating and bonding with each other to the extent that people now know who their neighbours are and how helpful to one another we can all be.
“We are all looking to meet each other in person on the central green once lockdown is over. This would not have happened without Dave’s initiative.”
Examples include Dave expanding his own compost delivery to include orders for neighbours, so it came in bulk. He and Alessandra distributed it using a wheelbarrow.
A plant stall was set up by Francesca and Giovanni, with help from Alessandra, and it was filled with plants which were surplus from David’s garden and greenhouse.
They had an honesty box alongside and after a few days, they had sold out of plants and had collected £220, which they donated to the Shoreham Foodbank.
Alessandra said: “The plant stall idea came from a number of things - having lots of excess plants and a lockdown project that he could make with the children. It seemed the right thing to do, donating the money to the food bank, as it’s such a difficult time for lots of people.
“His new idea is a mini library that allows people to swap books.”
A message from the Editor, Gary Shipton:
In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news, I am asking you to please purchase a copy of our newspapers.
With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspapers.
Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.
Stay safe, and best wishes.