Royston vs Coronavirus group continues to grow – but more support is needed

PUBLISHED: 07:01 03 April 2020

Samantha Hanks, Rachel Haynes, Liam Mason, Kate Beed, Julie Lye, Julia Bradley, Dave Carter, Clare Swarbrick and Alex Prosser-Snelling from the Royston vs Coronavirus Facebook group. Pictures: Paul Lye, Paul Haynes, Imogen Prosser, supplied

Samantha Hanks, Rachel Haynes, Liam Mason, Kate Beed, Julie Lye, Julia Bradley, Dave Carter, Clare Swarbrick and Alex Prosser-Snelling from the Royston vs Coronavirus Facebook group. Pictures: Paul Lye, Paul Haynes, Imogen Prosser, supplied

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The Royston vs Coronavirus Facebook group has now amassed 2,500 members, with 200 volunteers putting themselves forward to help the vulnerable in the community during the coronavirus crisis.

Dave Carter started the Royston vs Coronavirus group on Facebook. Picture: Dave CarterDave Carter started the Royston vs Coronavirus group on Facebook. Picture: Dave Carter

Dave Carter set up the group last month, in response to the escalating outbreak and subsequent lockdown imposed by government to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Dave said: “Our volunteers have been allocated into ten areas within Royston, and we have two fantastic co-ordinators for each.

“We’ve set up an awesome call handling team of five, who are now fielding all the calls for assistance.

“We have received well over 100 calls so far – and probably as many emails – all from vulnerable people who are on our doorsteps, desperate for some kind of assistance.

“Some problems are easy to resolve, others far harder and outside our capability. These we direct to other organisations that we hope can help. Some people are just lonely and want someone to talk to.

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“Most calls have been requests for prescription assistance so we have set up a dedicated team of 20 to try and deal exclusively with that.

“We also have a management team of around six, who are somehow pulling all this together – you guys are amazing!

“The volunteers doing this are all still working from home, juggling full time jobs, trying to home school their children, and managing all the challenges life brings - but are doing this as well!

“We have walked dogs, delivered potatoes, dropped off thermometers, picked up urgent prescriptions and checked in on numerous people.

“Our next plan is to try and somehow resolve the problem of how to get urgent supplies and food to those that are self isolating and/or vulnerable, or are elderly and can’t leave the house with no relatives nearby to help. Any good ideas are most welcome.

“We are also always looking for more volunteers – interestingly the majority of volunteers are ladies, so time the gents stepped up.

There is a signing-up portal on the Facebook page or you can email roystonvscoronavirus@gmail.com.

“And if you need any assistance – or know someone how does – please call us on 01763 259203.”


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