A parish council has put a new system in place to make sure that everyone is looked after during the current coronavirus pandemic.
With so many people making the decision to self-isolate completely, the council wanted to make sure that everyone in the local community knew where to turn for help if they needed it.
Each home in the Werrington area – from Ash Bank Road to Cellarhead – has received a green card and a red card. If they are OK and do not require any assistance, they should put the green card in their window.
But if they are in need of help, they can put the red card in their window. A neighbour may see this and raise the alarm, or one of a team of 30 street volunteers that regularly patrols the area will see and can offer help instead.
Alternatively, they can ring a parish councillor, whose number is on the back of the card.
The parish council has a team of over 30 street volunteers who, on their daily exercise walks, will check houses for red cards – and investigate if one is displayed.
The street volunteers, who all communicate via a WhatsApp group, took to the streets to distribute the cards and regularly patrol the area to check for any red cars in the windows.
Howard Rylands is a parish councillor and wanted to make sure everyone in the area felt included and reassured during this difficult time.
Howard added: “We had to have over 2,000 red and green cards printed.
“If someone needs help, they can display the red card in their window and a neighbour can then offer help or get in touch with our volunteers. My phone number is also on the back of the card so people can ring me if they need anything.
“It’s not just the elderly that are vulnerable. There’s a lot of younger people who need support too.”
The team of volunteers have been helping residents out with a variety of things – such as shopping and being available for a chat.
The parish council are also working closely with the village surgery and chemist, for residents who need prescriptions but are unable to leave their homes.
Chairwoman of Werrington Parish Council, Annette Shipley says people in the area really came together to look after the most vulnerable in their community.
Annette explained: “Our community has really come together to help and times like this really bring out the best in people. About two weeks ago we knew the world was changing so we decided to suspend all parish activities for the safety of our residents.
“Howard and other councillors have worked hard with the card system and it’s been very successful. Volunteers will go out on their daily walks and check in on houses with red cards to see how we can help.
“Residents have been so grateful for our help. A lot of them become quite tearful and say Werrington feels like a great place to live. They’re so thankful and just blown away – we’ve had a fantastic response.”
Annette – with parish clerk Zoe Grindey – now wants to raise funds to continue to support the people of Werrington.
Annette added: “Now, myself and Zoe are working to source funding to create care packages for the elderly. A lot of them don’t have access to the Internet – and if they do, they are unable to find a supermarket delivery slot.
“I have been doing shopping for a few people but there is only so much I, and others, can do. We need some funds to ensure that people don’t go without.
“With our new scheme in place and so many volunteers available to patrol on their daily walks, it means that such residents now have the eyes of the whole village looking out for them.”
If you live locally and want to help, you can contact Werrington Parish Council on their website here.
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