26th May 2020 | News in your area

Fairlands, Liddington Hall, and Gravetts Lane Community Association (FLGCA), Guildford

The enterprising FLGCA Volunteer Support Group in north-west Guildford was formed by stalwart members of this existing community association at the beginning of the coronavirus crisis on 27th March. They recognised the pressing need to support local residents who were elderly and/or vulnerable and who needed to self-isolate – and so asked for local volunteers via email, website and Facebook. Upwards of 60 people came forward.

Volunteers are delegated their own roads and work together as a team, several to a road; they cover all the roads in this part of Guildford, plus Keens Park. They undertake shopping and delivering prescriptions and maintain general contact with residents, responding to any other requests that are made. In particular, a team of these volunteers – seeing the problems caused by long queues at the Fairland Medical Centre pharmacy – contacted the pharmacist and
devised a plan to collect prescriptions and deliver the medication when ready, in two deliveries a day. Volunteers are now delivering beyond the FLGCA area and by 15th May, about 1,500 prescriptions had been delivered.

Through the FLGCA, local residents also have the opportunity to borrow books and jigsaws from a library run from the home of Sheila and Bob Willis, who are heading the Support Group; these loaned items are delivered by volunteers to the individuals’ homes. The FLGCA also gives regular online updates on Covid-19 government guidelines and associated matters on its website and Facebook page, and has developed a WhatsApp Volunteer Hub where volunteers
can liaise and pass information to each other.

The Association’s popular monthly magazine has ceased publication during the pandemic and instead is publishing a fortnightly circular called ‘Keeping in Touch’. It offers four pages of local news, light entertainment and games, puzzles, poems and quizzes, memories and recipes. This is available either on the website or is circulated by volunteers as a paper copy to some 120 residents without online facilities.

This dedicated volunteer effort is proving of huge benefit to the whole community. In particular, the FLGCA commends the fantastic efforts of its younger members and reports that new friends and contacts have been made along the way!

This is the message sent by the Chairman of the Association, Laurie Edwards, to all those volunteers: “I thought I must send a thank you message to all of the wonderful volunteer heroes who have come together to help our community during these trying times. I started to make a list of the individuals who have gone one step further to help our neighbours, but decided not to list names – you know who you are! If I started to mention names, I am bound to miss someone out! We are so lucky living in this community, where neighbours really care about each other and we have seen so many examples of this. Stay safe!”



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