CORONA VIRUS CRISIS
It was with a very sad but understanding heart that we had to completely close down the Community Centre including all of its activities as well as all the outside facilities. I thought that Carol was going to cry when we announced the closure at our last Mayflower Club meeting. In these anxious and scary times we worry that everyone comes through the crisis safely and we can resume as soon as it is safe to do so.
Echoing the words of the Prime Minister in his letter received today saying “It is with that great British spirit that we will beat corona virus and we will beat it together”. With this in mind we could perhaps take strength from the World War 2 spirit of hope in the words of Vera Lynn’s war time song during these difficult times.
“We'll meet again
We'll meet again,
Don't know where,
Don't know when
But I know we'll meet again some sunny day
Keep smiling through,
Just like you always do
Till the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away”.
But I must have to have a rant at a person who has clearly not got an ounce this British spirit. Words cannot describe our anger and disappointment at the low life who burgled the community centre during the early hours recently. Whilst we are all risking ourselves to help others this selfish person was risking us all to help himself. How selfish can he be? He obviously doesn’t care that his actions risked the life of at least 6 people including Police staff, alarm engineers and our own staff to sort out the mess he made. We have been strenuously keeping the Community Centre clean and sanitized to make it readily available emergency use but this person, through his selfish actions compromised this. We had to lock down the centre completely for three days and then clean and sanitize all over again to make sure the centre is ready for any emergency. Fortunately he hadn’t burgled the Centre just before the National Blood Service was due to use the Centre for emergency blood donations as this vital service would not have been able to go ahead. All I can say is “Shame on you”. Ironically it was all for nothing as there is nothing of value at the Centre. You fled empty handed when the alarm went off and put us all at risk. If you had asked we perhaps could have helped you with food etc. BUT NOT illegal drugs – it certainly would be less than the cost of cleaning and sanitizing materials as well as the Alarm Engineers call out fee!!
Equally as evil are those who are now coming out of the wood work to scam our elderly and vulnerable people. Please do not allow any unkown persons into your home under any pretext no matter how convincing. Also do not respond to any unsolicited telephone calls or emails. If you have a concern please let us know and we will check it out with the appropriate authorities.
BUT LET’S PUT ALL THIS BEHIND US and move on to all the positive and wonderful responses and support we have had in the village
MARKFIELD GOOD NEIGHBOURS SCHEME – SPREADING KINDNESS
Early doors we saw an opportunity to utilize the embryonic Markfield Good Neighbour Scheme to engage volunteers in helping others in the Village. We put out some emails and social media requests for voluntary help and BANG what a response.
We were immediately bombarded with offers of help and support from people of all ages and backgrounds. WOW so impressive and heartwarming. Within hours we had a flood of kind hearted villagers willing to offer their voluntary support for a Markfield Good Neighbours Scheme. Within a few days we had set up a network of volunteers covering every household in every street in both Markfield and Fieldhead.
They were soon out and about delivering leaflets to all households offering help and support especially for those who are self isolating or vulnerable. They are now spreading kindness by doing shopping, collecting prescriptions, delivering food packs, having reassurance chats with anxious people and much, much more.
The response was so great and so amazing we have virtually set up a WW2 Ops Planning Room in our conservatory. It is now cluttered with street maps, volunteer’s contact lists, information sheets, emails etc. etc. The telephone is going or “pinging” away from morning to night with queries and requests.
Our emailing group got so bogged down we had to set up Whatsapp Groups for the scheme so that we can keep our volunteers up to date with the current situation as well as enabling them to chat amongst themselves or request help or share ideas.
From all the comments of appreciation we are now receiving as well as flowers and cards it just shows how wonderful all our volunteers are and what a fantastic job they are doing for the village. One lady kindly donated a large quantity of no perishable food, sweets, toilet rolls and cleaning items so, we are now able to supply some emergency packs for the most needy. We have now even got a small stock of fresh eggs and frozen sausages. So, if you are desperate for some essential supplies please get in touch with us. Also The Groby and Ratby food bank project has also kindly offered to supply and deliver non perishable food items and you can use this service by either ringing 07368 213599. These supplies are available to anyone who is struggling with money or otherwise. Remember IT’S OK TO ASK FOR HELP you will not be a burden.
We are also now starting to get offers of cash donations. Any cash donations we receive will be forwarded on to the NHS to help support its need for personal protection equipment. By the way NHS and Care Workers are crying out for hand cream as their hands are suffering due o the constant use of sanitizing gel and disinfectant. If you have any unused hand cream let us know and we will arrange o pass it on.
No doubt things will change from day to day and things will get worse before they get better. We are now starting a volunteers reserve list so, if you can help us in any way please let us know. Simple things like taking phone calls from anxious people or lending street volunteers a hand please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Or telephone 07885 243000
Finally, it looks like every Thursday evening at 8pm there will be Clap for the NHS events. As well as supporting the Health Service, Care Staff and emergency and other key service providers how about clapping and cheering our local volunteers who are out there trying to spread some kindness. Bring out your pots and pans and make a right old racket of support.
Please follow the Government’s instructions on social distancing. Stay safe and we will get through these awful times together.
Ron and Dawn Grantham, all the staff at the community centre and all our wonderful volunteers and supporters