Volunteer army rallies in Coquet Valley in response to coronavirus

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Community volunteers have stepped forward to deliver shopping and medication to residents in the Coquet Valley during the coronavirus outbreak.

More than 100 volunteers have been tasked with providing support – with the relevant protections in place – to Rothbury and surrounding communities.

“We are taking every precaution possible but doing it in calm and low key manner,” said Coun Steven Bridgett, member for Rothbury ward on Northumberland County Council, which has a high proportion of elderly residents.

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He said volunteers will set up a computer in any resident’s home who might require a video conferencing call with the Rothbury GP because of any underlying health condition that they have been seeing their GP regularly for.

Coun Steven Bridgett.Coun Steven Bridgett.
Coun Steven Bridgett. | JPIMedia Resell

“We also have a list of volunteers who will do phone calls to any elderly residents who request it, if they are self-isolating and just to chat with someone, find out what is going on and have some contact with the outside world,” said Coun Bridgett.

In a Facebook post, he added: “Thankfully our area has been ahead of the curve when it comes to community groups where a high proportion of elderly and vulnerable people regularly attend and I commend those organisations for taking early action to either suspend or cancel their regular meetings or events.

“I would like to reassure residents that there is an enormous amount of planning going on behind the scenes with regards to statutory provision of services to residents and how continuity of service can be carried out in the event of the situation deteriorating further.

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“The communities that I represent in the Coquet, Rede and Aln Valleys are not adverse to difficult situations. We have faced many over the years

The Coquet Valley.The Coquet Valley.
The Coquet Valley. | JPIMedia Resell

“As a community, we are judged on how we look after our most elderly and vulnerable so we have a duty to ensure that we do everything that we can to protect and support those residents and their families.

“Going forward, we are going to need an enormous community effort but I have no doubt we will all meet the challenge.”

Residents who are self-isolating and need support can call 07500 784372 or email [email protected]