One thing for sure is that 2020 has brought communities closer together. When a crisis hits, it is remarkable how many people are willing to provide support. The success of the Corona Volunteers in Goostrey has shown how committed we are to supporting one another.
As Boris Johnson was making his speech, to ‘Stay at Home, Save Lives’, Corona Volunteers were signing up in their droves to support local residents.
Tasks included collecting prescriptions, trips to the Post Office, listening when people needed a friendly ear, and shopping for food. The Trading Post played a pivotal role, putting together orders for local residents, which volunteers would pick up and deliver. Local shops provided a sense of familiarity and neighbourliness during these unsettling times. We were also involved in dog walking, selling items on the internet, referring people for statutory assessments such as from Community and Adult Social Care, liaising with families about their loved ones’ well-being, and driving for hospital appointments. Our duties varied widely; volunteers happily obliged.
Coronavirus has shed a rare light on the significant contribution that volunteers can make. As the effects of Corona begin to subside and public interest in the virus wanes, the value of volunteers must not be forgotten.
How can we all help in future?
The next phase is to support other community projects in the village. We want to continue the positive work of the Corona Volunteers and continue to demonstrate Goostrey’s remarkable community spirit.
Do you know anyone or anything requiring support, or perhaps you are part of a local group wishing to support a good cause? Or perhaps you would like to volunteer yourself? We need your thoughts….
These tasks might be as simple as volunteering to mow a disabled persons lawn if they cannot otherwise afford to pay somebody. Or you could get involved in a wider initiative which involves year round support. We are also looking for volunteers to coordinate the scheme. Are you good with spreadsheets? We will have roles for you. We want to link need with support and vice versa, to improve outcomes for local residents. Perhaps consider how we could support:
- Individuals in need.
- The environment.
- Social inclusion.
- Links with services such as GPs, Scouts, The Rotary and existing voluntary groups in Goostrey.
One example of a project might be a variation of ‘Friends of Goostrey Station’, called ‘Goostrey in Bloom’, involving providing planters and flowers, planting trees, litter picking, and making general aesthetic improvements to the whole village. We could work with local businesses to support the scheme and vice versa.
It is fascinating to see how we, as a community, have pulled together into, what is for now, our new sense of normality. The impressive response to Corona shows a sizable, potentially untapped, set of individuals willing to support the community, both now and in the future.
If you are interested in getting involved, or have ideas for voluntary projects we could support, please contact Jenny Mills on email@example.com.