Swimbridge Coronavirus Support Group
Swimbridge is located 5 miles from Barnstaple and 5 miles from South Molton. We have 311 houses, many of which are located outside the village over a 4 mile radius.
We have a village hall, a pub, a school, pre-school and playing field.
The week prior to lockdown for the Covid-19 outbreak the Swimbridge Coronavirus Support Group (SCSG) was set up by the Swimbridge Jubilee Hall Committee with the support of the Parish Council.
- In the first instance we set up a mobile phone with its own specific number
- Set up a facebook Swimbridge Coronavirus Support Group page
- We sent a hard copy of our Swimbridge newsletter to EVERY household in our Parish (using the electoral roll for addresses to ensure no one was missed). We had a team of volunteers who came forward to deliver them but our Postman offered to post them all.
- The newsletter informed the village that there was a support service available which included : picking up essential supplies, picking up medical supplies, transport, learning how to do an online shop, posting mail/picking up a newsletter, a friendly phone call. In addition we asked volunteers to come forward (we now have around 30). This system has so far worked extremely well.
All enquiries are directed through the following:
- the SCSG mobile contact number: 07395 319378
- email email@example.com - website: www.swimbridgejubileehall.com
- facebook page : Swimbridge Coronavirus Support Group and Swimbridge Forum page
The website and forum pages have lists of local businesses offering deliveries, transport, etc, which can also be downloaded.
- X4 lead volunteers came forward who had DBS checks and we each set up a gmail account and used Google sheets to record (1) names and details of volunteers on what they could support with, (2) names and details of requests from vulnerable people in our community, (3) a list of people who lived on their own. Each of those lead volunteers have access to the Google sheets (which means they all have up to date info) and take turns in manning the mobile phone (generally a week at a time – the phone is thoroughly cleaned before being passed on). The volunteers regularly phone those that live on their own or are vulnerable to check they were ok and have a chat.
- The village hall foyer and adjacent meeting room remains open from 10am – 5pm every day. This enables our parishioners to drop off surplus non perishable food for Foodbank and vulnerable people in the community. Books, puzzles, games, DVDs, toys are also left for people to take/donate. The front door and meeting room door is left ajar to minimise risk and clear signs have been put up stating x1 person or x1 household in the building at any one time, social distancing, washing hands, etc. Antibacterial hand wash, spray disinfectant and paper towels are located next to the sink in the meeting room. All other doors in the hall are locked.
- The village pub is offering takeaways x3 times a week – Sun (roast), Wed (assortment) and Fri (burgers and pizzas). This is popular. People pay in advance and there is a collection rota and distancing measures in place.
- Lyncroft Stores in the nearby village of Landkey offer a free delivery service to vulnerable people in Swimbridge.
- The post office is open on Tuesdays between 2pm – 4pm in the Church.
- The community have united together by putting rainbow pictures and teddies in their windows, some have even painted their houses. Everyone claps on Thursdays for the NHS. Parents have set up trails on the lanes to keep children occupied on their walks. We will be taking part in VE Day by decorating our houses.
It is a testing time for us all, but as a community we have pulled together. It feels that everyone is looking out for each other.