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Covid-19 VCSE Story

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Click here to read information on the status of Community Action Norfolk's Services. As well as links to other information and advice
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Community groups working together at Wells-next-the-Sea

The COVID-19 lockdown in in March triggered a fast and effective response from key community groups in and around the Wells area.  

Mattishall Volunteer Hub – supporting the vulnerable in the community

We often feature articles about the inspiring initiatives happening in response to Covid-19. Except they don’t just happen – they’re the result of innovative, often spontaneous efforts by local individuals who see a need in their community.  Mattishall Volunteer Hub (MVH) began life in the very first week of the lockdown in response to the Coronavirus pandemic and is still going strong.

Working through the pandemic: Citizens Advice Diss, Thetford and District

Citizens Advice Diss, Thetford and District has adapted its services during the pandemic to maintain public access to its advice and support. Caroline Mackinson, Project Coordinator, explains, preceded by a brief retrospective of how much the national network is valued.

Norfolk Scrubs - Norfolk VCSE Covid Stories

Norfolk Scrubs was inspired by the ‘For Love of Scrubs’ Facebook group set up by a Lincolnshire A&E nurse. Launching on the 20th March they would mobilise 1,200 volunteers to manufacture scrubs, laundry bags, hats and masks. The first set of scrubs would reach front line workers on the 19tH April, going onto to distribute 3,000 items to care homes, GPs, opticians, dentists, individual hospital teams, the air ambulance, mental health trusts, ambulance trust and community health teams.

The Matthew Project - Norfolk VCSE Covid Stories

The Matthew Project would shut their offices on the 18th March, switching immediately to offer services remotely, through the phone, online groups, and doing door-step visits when a welfare concern was raised as the Police were unable to do this due to capacity limitations.

Wells Central Support Hub - Norfolk VCSE Covid Stories

Wells Town Council, Wells Maltings, Heritage House, Wells Churches Together, Wells Community Hospital, the Holkham Estate and local community volunteers came together to offer a coordinated response to support the most vulnerable during the COVID-19 outbreak, in Wells-next-the-Sea and surrounding villages. Launching on the 25th March they would initially operate a seven day a week service, scaling this back to 6 then 5 days as needs were met, providing telephone befriending, collection and delivery of essential items and delivery of simple hot meals.

North Walsham Good Neighbour Scheme - Norfolk VCSE Covid Stories

North Walsham Good Neighbour Scheme was already a well-established and successful group at the start of Covid-19.  From the 15th March to the end of April they would fulfil 595 support requests in addition to providing regular befriending and wellbeing calls to 70 individuals each week. North Walsham already provided these regular checks to some of the more vulnerable members of their community.

Norfolk Citizen’s Advice Bureau - Norfolk VCSE Covid Stories

Norfolk Citizen’s Advice Bureau would normally conduct around 75% of their support face to face. Over three days they moved to 100% remote support model via phone, email and webchat.  

Creative Arts East - Norfolk VCSE Covid Stories

Creative Arts East’s normal activity with vulnerable people focuses on face to face arts, music and dance sessions. These events were unable to take place as a result of Covid-19. Some organisations took activities online. However, many of Creative Art East’s clients suffered from Dementia and online options were unlikely to be effective. Instead creative activity packs were developed with themes from Egyptian dance to creative writing. These could be sent out by post and provided a range of activities that could be done alone or with carers.

Yaxham Cares - Norfolk VCSE Covid Stories

Yaxham Cares launched on the 20th March by distributing leaflets to every household offering assistance and asking for volunteers. A joint initiative of the village hall and parish council, they recruited 74 volunteers from a community of 330 households. Over the crisis period they would successfully respond to 37 requests for help.  Many of these focused on shopping and prescriptions. However, the group responded flexibly to needs as they arose.

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