Volunteer update 1 April 2020
First, let me thank you for volunteering to help our self-isolating “at risk” residents (over 70s, pregnant or underlying specific health conditions) in the face of this Covid-19 crisis.
We have barely surfaced in the past two weeks, and we still have a lot to put in place, but we are making excellent progress and we want to let you know what we have done, what we are doing to handle today’s needs, and how we are preparing for whatever is coming at us.
Hemingford Hub Good Neighbour Scheme was created in 2019, with a seed grant from Cambridgeshire County Council Innovate and Cultivate Fund. We were ready to launch, with our band of volunteers, DBS checked and trained in Safeguarding Adults, when the Covid-19 crisis hit.
Since then, things have moved very fast, and as we were already prepared, we were quickly able to get posters up and posted printed leaflets through every door in both Hemingford Grey and Hemingford Abbots. We are very much a grass roots organisation, relying heavily on your time and good will, so thank you for that.
The following is where we are at, and what we plan to do next. All requests from at-risk isolated residents are being fulfilled and we are putting the processes and protocols in place, to help us to be as efficient as possible and provide a secure and effective service.
If you know of others in the Hemingfords who would be happy to go on the volunteer database, please encourage them to get in touch with Hemingford Hub (contact details below). As this pandemic spreads, and as volunteers have to self-isolate themselves, we will need replacements! We currently have 118 volunteers across the two villages. The villages have been divided into 20 Zones (2 in Abbots, 18 in Grey). Each Zone has a co-ordinator, who is in contact with volunteers in their Zone. The areas covered by the Zones, and their named co-ordinators, can be seen on the maps attached to this email.
You, the volunteers, have been mapping where the “at risk” households are, and are providing support to them if needed. If you are worried about a neighbour, or would like to make sure that they are on our list of people to check in on, then please get in touch.
If you have any great ideas, then share them with us, preferably with how it could be done and who would volunteer to do it!
Thank you to the hard-working Committee and those giving their untiring support; Riva Elliott, Christine Batter, Linda Dampney, Julia Kemp, Tish Peek, Adrian Smith and Maureen Gaudin - and all the many volunteers.
We will update you again in due course, but in the meantime thank you for volunteering and please keep yourself and your family safe,
Dr Josephine Wills
On behalf of the Team
Chair, Hemingford Hub Good Neighbour Scheme
Cross Keys, High Street, Hemingford Abbots
What Hemingford Hub has done and is doing
Recruited volunteers in Hemingford Abbots and Grey, gathering their data (name, address, email, phone numbers, when they are available, what help they are willing to give), and maintaining a central database, and updating daily
With the help of recruited volunteers, and with developed and printed leaflets, flyers, and information recording sheets, proactively mapping where the ‘at risk’ villagers live. Gathered information on their name, address, phone number, and what help they might need now (shopping, getting medicines, newspaper delivery, dog walking) or recording that they are okay at this time.
Divided the villages into zones, and appointed a co-ordinating volunteer per zone (see maps)
Set up communication structures between co-ordinating volunteers (WhatsApp)
Set up communication channels to all volunteers (email and WhatsApp)
Proposed best practice within zone communication between volunteers (WhatsApp and email)
Set up phone line and email contact, and processes for handling contact
Providing reactive support by actioning requests for help from villagers-in-need
Communicating to “at risk” villagers as to how they can make contact with volunteers for help
Produced leaflets, flyers, posters, and regularly updating the Hemingford Hub website (www.hemingfordhub.co.uk) and Hemingford Hub FaceBook page
Expanding the Committee and recruiting volunteer project managers to cope with increased activities and needs
Recruiting more volunteers
Identifying more “at risk” residents
Develop procedures and protocols for all support activities (shopping, prescriptions, newspaper delivery, dog walking, phone check-ins, etc)
Develop and source identity badges for volunteers, to provide security and reassurance for those we visit that we are from the Hub (and not scammers!)
Co-ordinating with other layers of local and national government and organisations i.e. NHS volunteers scheme, Huntingdon District Council register of vulnerable people, and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Covid-19 Coordination Hub