Get Organised, and Care for Each Other

(April 2020)

GELDESTON Coronavirus Community Resilience Hub

— Minutes of the Meeting on Sunday, 15 March 2020 (25 in attendance) — (48-72 hour response time)

Lydia Keep — Deputy Emergency Coordinator; Emma Ginn – Scribe

Many issues were discussed, and particular activities were considered.

These are some of the main points.

Vulnerability of volunteers

We must think of the safety of our volunteers if one or more of the group themselves become unwell.

If a volunteer falls ill and cannot keep in contact, it is important not to lose the information they have about the vulnerable, elderly and needy people they are helping.

Central register

This means we should develop some kind of central register of names and needs so that no one slips through the net.

Particular needs

Groups with particular needs were identified.

— Young families who may suffer financial hardship and be struggling to make ends meet, especially if schools are closed down. There was discussion of the need for a more local food bank and the team would contact the Trussell Trust to get more information about setting one up.

— One type of help considered is dog-walking for those who cannot go out. However, the BBC has suggested that even owners should not touch their dogs (!) since their coats are another contact point for the virus. We decided to seek the advice of a vet on this issue.

Specialist cleaning for the village hall. There was a lot of concern over this matter. The chair of the hall committee Mrs Loraine Loffstadt announced to the meeting that the Village Hall was closed for all regular activities and events from Monday, 16 March until further notice. There was already a strict cleaning policy in place. Would use deep cleaning principles outlined from NHS. Where needed use of gloves and mask and potentially disposable suits.

Local Businesses

Several people expressed concern for the viability of local businesses if they face a severe drop in income. One way to support our pub, our hall and other local enterprises, Revd. David Smith suggested, might be to make periodic donations in lieu of what we’d otherwise normally spend in those places.

The village hall finances were sound, Mrs Loffstadt told the meeting. It had enough in its reserves to survive the year without opening if necessary. What’s more, as a community centre it was happy to make that contribution during the present uncertainty.

Publicity and links with neighbouring villages

It was suggested that Geldeston, Ellingham, Kirby Cane, Gillingham and Stockton could and should share experiences and, where appropriate, work together.

There was a need for posters around the parish to keep people informed.

Revd Smith asked to know who was self-isolating, in order to be able talk to them as part of the support such people will need. (48-72 hour response time)

(First published, 17 March 2020)

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