We are lucky to live in a town with such a thriving community. At the time of writing Frome is very much open for business with our shops, restaurants and venues looking at how they can continue to offer their services and support the community at a time when we are all worried about Covid 19. We are also lucky to live in a town praised for its community spirit and now as thoughts turn to how we can protect ourselves against Coronavirus it is time to think about using that spirit and those existing networks to support each other, to stay connected and to support the most vulnerable in our town.
One thing that we can all do is think about the handful of people that we could each support if the situation becomes more serious and we are asked to socially distance ourselves from each other. Who are the people, our friends and neighbours, that are vulnerable; who in Frome might not have access to food, may be isolated, or if they get ill or are self-isolating need someone to walk their dog, collect medicine and bring them supplies? And of course, who is the person who lives on your street who you know is elderly, or housebound and who doesn’t have many visitors. There may be overlaps and that is good too.
There are lots of things that we can do for each other from childcare to shopping, and it starts with thinking about how we contact each other. Do you chat on the phone or text? Or do you rely on over the fence conversations? If you rely on face to face contact, you might want to consider asking for the phone numbers of the people you might want to support? Do those people have your number? These conversations might be difficult to have or seem to be unnecessary now but if we need to self-isolate then phone conversations may become a lifeline.
There are lots of ways we can help each other in Frome just by being a good friend or neighbour. Here are a few suggestions:
- Think about preparing for a snow day: Who are the people that might need support? Whose driveway would you go and dig out? These are the people who are potentially the most vulnerable.
- Make sure that you have phone numbers to check on your networks and neighbours if we need to self -isolate
- Talk to your neighbours now to identify potential issues – who needs regular medicine, who needs their dog walked, who wouldn’t have access to a two-week supply of food, who relies on social care
- Think about where you can share skills and resources to support each other
- Think about what you really need and share where you can – add a couple of extra items to the food bank
- Check that thermometers work and that simple supplies such as tissues, soap and paracetamol are available
- If you are DBS checked then offer your services to a community group who may be in need of more volunteers in the coming weeks
- Keep the conversation going, stay connected, and support those you might otherwise be isolated to stay connected too
Above all don’t panic, follow guidelines and keep up to date with current information and government guidelines – stay connected.