Kind-hearted volunteers continue to help those in need in West Norfolk amid the coronavirus pandemic.
With the elderly and those with underlying health conditions told to stay indoors, several groups have been busy offering to make shopping trips on their behalf or help out in other ways.
A group called Coronavirus Mutual Aid West Norfolk has been inundated with volunteers, with more than 100 signed up to help and 1,000 joining its Facebook page.
Jordan Stokes, 22, of Dersingham, who set up the group, said the response from the public had been “overwhelmingly positive”.
He added: “We are getting several requests each day from elderly or vulnerable people but if there’s anyone in need, such as those self-isolating, we are happy to help.”
Mr Stokes said he set up the group because he knew a lot of people who already needed help and he realised there must be even more who would benefit from the scheme.
Volunteers are available to help with collecting shopping and medication, arranging deliveries, posting mail, topping up gas and electric meters and even just a friendly phone call to help offset loneliness.
Mr Stokes said the safety of everyone was his priority and those handling goods will be asked to wear gloves and to wash any money which is exchanged between volunteers and those they are helping.
Deliveries are made using correct social distancing procedures.
“If you need help then please don’t hesitate to contact us,” said Mr Stokes.
“Nine out of 10 of the people calling have apologised for disturbing me but it’s not a problem, we are here to help.”
For more information see the Facebook group Coronavirus Mutual Aid West Norfolk or call Mr Stokes on 07956 621177.
• Downham Market has its own mutual aid group, set up by the town’s Eternity Church working closely with Arbuckles, downhamweb and Downham Market Town Council.
Volunteers are helping the elderly, vulnerable and those self-isolating with errands through a Facebook page, email and phone number..
To contact the group call 07971 372685, email firstname.lastname@example.org or search Facebook for Covid-19 Mutual Aid For Downham Market.
There is also a fundraising page set up at www.gofundme.com/f/supporting-downham-market
• The Angels of King’s Lynn community group now has a website thanks to local business Steele Media Marketing and Design.
The King’s Lynn-based company offered its services free and people looking for help can find updated information and share community videos. See www.angelsofkingslynn.co.uk
Group founders Jo Reynolds and Kerry Robinson said the community has “embraced the group as we might only have dreamed”.
“It’s vibrant, kind, and our Angels are already making it their priority to reach out and are helping so many. It serves the widest ages and needs and concerns being raised, as well as being a place where we can all share important local or international information. It’s totally family and pet orientated too, with watch parties, children’s stories, and Activity Angels.”
People needing help can also message the group via Facebook.
• Publicans Neil and Lisa Staples have launched a website for businesses able to offer accommodation to health workers after they were inundated with requests for rooms.
The couple, who run The Crown Inn at Gayton, offered rooms at the pub to NHS staff who have had to leave home to work at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
“Since this went public we’ve been inundated with requests that we can’t fulfil as we only have three rooms,” Mrs Staples said.
“Never ones to give up easily, we built a website where other accommodation owners could do the same.”
The couple want to spread the word to other businesses which might be able to help to add their details to the website.
“We are still getting calls from people. We have got critical nurses and those working in intensive care.
“People are coming from all over to work at the QEH. Some of our own nurses are having to self isolate or isolate because of their families,” she said.
If you are able to help add your details to the website: https://freenhsrooms.co.uk/
• Residents have formed Stoke Ferry Isolation Volunteers group looking after villagers via being assigned streets.
Volunteers have leaflet dropped households with their contact details in case they need help.
A spokesman said: “We want to reassure the community this is a genuine offer of support and if you have lost the contact details then please reach out and find out who your volunteer is.
“If you know someone who lives in Stoke Ferry that does or may need our help then please contact Sue Lintern on 07904071341 who will pass the information on to the assigned volunteer.”
A Facebook page has been set up for villagers only or those looking after a resident. Search Stoke Ferry Isolation Volunteers, request to join and you will be able to contact volunteers.
The group wants to hear from bigger stores to be able to source larger amounts of essentials, such as sanitary products, healthcare products and home cleaning supplies.