‘It’s lonely in isolation’ - help group celebrates anniversary with afternoon tea package
PUBLISHED: 08:22 29 July 2020 | UPDATED: 08:22 29 July 2020
North Walsham Good Neightbour Scheme
A help group which has seen a surge in volunteers and people in need during the pandemic is to celebrate its fifth anniversary by bringing an afternoon tea to isolated people.
North Walsham Good Neighbour Scheme has been helping elderly people and those with trouble leaving their home in the town for five years, and had planned to hold a party at the Atrium to celebrate.
However coronavirus has meant that volunteers will bring the party to more than 100 people in isolation on August 25.
Normally the group helps people with tasks such as collecting prescriptions, maintaining the garden and buying groceries, as well as providing a befriending service which sees a volunteer visit an isolated member of the community for a cup of tea.
Cassie Kealey, who organises the scheme, said lockdown had seen the group called on more often, but thankfully had also seen a surge in volunteers with many people on furlough.
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She said: “We’ve always been around, but because of the coronavirus the council came to us and asked if we could take over with support for North Walsham, obviously as more people had a lot more time on their hands we got a lot more volunteers so yeah that’s helped massively.
“Normally we do one-off jobs such as gardening, helping around, but that was before the coronavirus now we’ve been helping to arrange online shopping, prescriptions and hospital runs, but we did already do a lot of that before the virus.
“We do hundreds of jobs each month, we do phone befriending now because of the virus and people can’t go round and visit, we do hundreds of those alone per week. The virus has massively increased what we do, because a lot of people don’t have the technology or knowledge of technology to get help themselves.”
The packages delivered to celebrate the group’s anniversary will include all the necessary ingredients for an afternoon tea along with activities such as a crossword.
The group raised £200 through a virtual raffle on the group’s website to fund the packages.
Ms Kealey added: “It’s just a nice little touch for them really, because it’s lonely in isolation and this is just something to cheer people up.”
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