‘We’re family, when family can’t be there’ - companion service to continue amid coronavirus uncertainty

Andy Airey sanitising a Driving Miss Dasiy vehicle between clients. Picture: Driving Miss Daisy

Andy Airey sanitising a Driving Miss Dasiy vehicle between clients. Picture: Driving Miss Daisy - Credit: Archant

A transport and companion service providing support to those who are unable to get around themselves, have said they will carry on regardless despite coronavirus fears.

Andy Airey sanitising a Driving Miss Dasiy vehicle between clients. Picture: Driving Miss Daisy

Andy Airey sanitising a Driving Miss Dasiy vehicle between clients. Picture: Driving Miss Daisy - Credit: Archant

Driving Miss Daisy King’s Lynn, a companion driving service covering Downham Market, King’s Lynn and the surrounding areas, offers personal assistance to clients who need help getting to places.

It was set up by Melanie Beardmore and Natalie Bressani three and a half years ago and has around 50 regular customers, who are mainly retired and over 70.

They have said their service, which employs five people and is run from three cars, is vital for those who need help getting around and will continue to support them during the uncertainty over coronavirus.

Mrs Beardmore said: “We have spent a lot of time phoning around clients we knew may be sat worrying at home alone and have reassured them.

Andy Airey sanitising a Driving Miss Dasiy vehicle between clients. Picture: Driving Miss Daisy

Andy Airey sanitising a Driving Miss Dasiy vehicle between clients. Picture: Driving Miss Daisy - Credit: Archant


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“We obviously deal with the elderly and so we want them to know they can call us anytime, as many are anxious and a lot are on their own.”

The team have been shopping for clients and delivering it to their houses as well as picking up prescriptions for those who have no other way of getting them.

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Mrs Beardmore said: “Obviously we’re sticking to government and NHS guidelines and being careful about hygiene.

“As we’re a small team, it’s quite manageable. But drivers are aware of their own safety and others and if there’s any doubt of them feeling ill, they won’t go out.

Andy Airey sanitising a Driving Miss Dasiy vehicle between clients. Picture: Driving Miss Daisy

Andy Airey sanitising a Driving Miss Dasiy vehicle between clients. Picture: Driving Miss Daisy - Credit: Archant

“We’re hoping that with this in place we can carry on as normal and provide needed service.

“We are of course being more cautious and have been using wipes on trolleys and cars and have had passengers sit in the back with windows open.”

The 52-year-old added that they are also getting in touch with local GP and pharmacies services to access the need and to support them where they can.

Vets 1 Limited near Crimplesham is providing free delivery of essential medicines to their client base to save them from travelling and to “reduce footfall into the practice.”

Accent Fresh, a fruit and vegetable wholesaler, will be extending their delivery services across Norfolk, Suffolk and the surrounding areas.

Join the Here to Help Facebook Community here.

If you are doing something to help in Downham Market - email sarah.hussain@archant.co.uk

For updates visit our Coronavirus Facebook page.

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