Glastonbury Coronavirus Support Network mobilises an army of volunteer helpers

  Posted: 23.03.20 at 15:15 by Tim Lethaby

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In response to the coronavirus public health crisis, three Glastonbury residents - Tanya Moore, Mark Swann and Kama McKenzie - kickstarted the community response to meet the needs of local people.

Knowing that many residents would be self-isolating and identifying that the need for assistance would rapidly grow, the trio sparked a “call to action”, galvanising an army of volunteers to assist vulnerable and elderly people, including anyone else who needs assistance without a support network. 

Co-ordinator Kama said: “Tanya and Mark are the driving force behind this quick response, organising all the vital components to make this a safe, well managed operation.

"I am helping to advise on safeguarding procedures, liaising with stakeholders and respond to calls from digitally-excluded members of the community."

Working in partnership with Glastonbury Town Council the group has:

Set up a database of volunteers to assist with shopping, telephone support and collection of prescriptions. It has an additional database for people needing one-off and ongoing support.
Linked with groups in both Street and Wells, offering one another peer support, advice and guidance.

Ensured it follows GDPR, safeguarding, health and safety and infection control guidance.

Co-ordinated a leaflet drop across Glastonbury with volunteers (leaflets funded by Glastonbury Town Council and printed by Blue Cedar Printing).

The town council is providing a van and driver for shopping deliveries. The group has purchased a portable card reader machine and set up a dedicated bank account for people to pay for shopping securely when they don’t have cash to hand.

Demand for support is growing rapidly by the day, including people being discharged from hospital, people with health conditions which are impacted by supermarket stock shortages and people feeling isolated by their situation.

Deputy Mayor of Glastonbury, Jon Cousins, said: “I fully support and am very proud of the amazing community response to Covid-19 in Glastonbury.

"These are challenging times, but by working together we will get through them. Many people already have – and certainly will have – no choice but to self-isolate.

"Many will not have family or friends to help them, and they will need to safely rely on others. As a community, we must be organised and ready – and this is where Glastonbury’s Coronavirus Support Network will prove vital.”

Let's get you going Glastonbury folk - maybe you have some extra time on your hands? Pick up your pens all you poets and writers, and weave the...