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Community help scheme with over 100 volunteers off to flying start

PUBLISHED: 14:52 07 April 2020 | UPDATED: 18:14 07 April 2020

Alison Webb, the district councillor behind Dereham Cares. Picture: Alison Webb

Alison Webb, the district councillor behind Dereham Cares. Picture: Alison Webb

Archant

A new scheme with an army of 116 volunteers is already proving to be a lifeline for residents in Dereham and Toftwood.

Dereham Cares will co-ordinate volunteers to help out those living in Dereham and Toftwood who cannot get out to the shops for essentials. Picture: Dereham CaresDereham Cares will co-ordinate volunteers to help out those living in Dereham and Toftwood who cannot get out to the shops for essentials. Picture: Dereham Cares

Dereham Cares, which was set up by district councillor Alison Webb, delivers prescriptions, food parcels and makes phone calls to vulnerable people in the community.

With the requests for help starting to come in, co-ordinators are busy pairing up volunteers with those who need it.

Mr and Mrs Dickson, 89 and 90 respectively, no longer have a car and have been unable to get a timely food delivery slot.

After their son in law contacted Dereham Cares, they were thrilled to get a phone call.

Mr Dickson said:“Within minutes we had a call. We have some help with family, friends and neighbours and we’re delighted to have extra help and back-up.”

Mrs Dickson said: “I think it’s a brilliant scheme. Alison Webb and the team at Dereham Cares have got this up and running so quickly and efficiently. We’re absolutely delighted.”

This local scheme is not part of the government’s UK-wide NHS scheme to help 1.5m extremely vulnerable people with specific cancers, severe respiratory conditions and people who have received organ transplants.

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Mrs Webb, the district councillor who set up the scheme, said: “I’d like to thank the volunteers who are making all this possible, we’re already making a huge difference to vulnerable residents.

“One of our community cried when we took her the food parcel as it meant so much to her, she’d run out of food and had no other help.

“Another resident was over the moon with some milk for her husband’s tea, as they’d been making do without.

“Please, if you need our help, or you know of a neighbour that may need it, or perhaps you have family in Dereham but can’t visit, do get in touch.

“Family, neighbours or friends can register somebody on their behalf.”

To register for support, either call one of these numbers or register via aboutdereham.org/dereham-cares/

• If you want a phone call - 07749 577212

• For prescription collection - 07867 522769

• For a food basics delivery - 07810 203803

Once registered, you’ll receive a phone call to confirm help and support is on its way.


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