This is how one South Downs village is coping amid the coronavirus crisis

Amazing community volunteers and businesses are going the extra mile to ensure support and supplies are available in Amberley.

The villagers have pulled together to support each other amid the coronavirus outbreak.

They banded together in early March buying essential supplies, setting up a volunteer register and delivering leaflets to all homes.

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The village established a Covid-19 Help Hub, involving five Wildbrooks parishes, to co-ordinate initiatives, and communicating via a daily video-conference.

Volunteer community heroes at Amberley Village Stores SUS-200422-104040001

A Neighbourhood Helpline was also set up to identify local needs. The parishes have been divided into 13 areas each with a designated area volunteer supported by two volunteer co-ordinators.

A pharmacy delivery service has been established covering four pharmacies in the immediate area.

Following lockdown, Amberley Village Stores has worked heroically to keep customers supplied and, although now shut to walk-in business, it runs a home delivery service with volunteer help, including a free newspaper delivery service. The total number of volunteers is more than 50.

Amberley Primary School closed its doors to pupils on March 20 and there was a great deal of sadness among the pupils, staff and parents. Amberley School federated with St James’ School, Coldwaltham, last year to form the Arun Villages Federation. St James’ School has remained open for the children of key workers and for vulnerable children from both schools.

The teachers have used creative ways to stay in touch with the children and provide them with activities to support their learning at home.

Communication is mainly done through class email and the teachers have been highly impressed with the commitment shown by the children in returning completed activities. Two teachers have created YouTube channels and the children continue to see their class teachers via screens.

Children who receive free school meals have been provided with hot meals and hampers which have been delivered by the staff using the school minibus. Over the Easter holidays, these children received eVouchers which could then be exchanged for food at local supermarkets.

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