I am after a few things please:

1. we have been asked for videos/photos of us doing things in the community - it will drive money - so if you area able to take a photo of you doing any of the things we are doing for the helpers - shopping, taking calls, prescription runs, sewing, reading stories, virtual homework helping, at the computer ...... - then please send them over (if you can put the helper logo in the back even better) so we can send them in for this - I will take some from FACEBOOK but it would be lovely to have pictures with peoples faces in as well. They have asked for them this week so asap. 
2. In one of the many chat rooms I am in it was pointed out that some of our community will be struggling in an area that I hadn't considered. If you have a little one then you will be going through baby clothes quickly and generally you will be buying the next size up quickly.  I am told that the supermarkets aren't open in this area and obviously car boots aren't either.  So, and really don't know how big this issue is, any one interested in helping the coord of this.  it will mean collecting and washing clothes and then bagging in the same way as we are for the scrubs bags and face-masks.  We will put out the advert that we can help and coord drop off so we don't have an issue with data protection. 
3. VE day is coming up and some groups are doing some type of social separated street party.  Not keen on that as it isn't really inclusive however the idea of a competition to fill the village with homes decorated in Red, white and blue and then pictures on Facebook that can be shared and judged seems to keep in the spirit of social isolating.  Any one able to help us with this.
4. Finally we roll out meals on wheel today.  A couple of the local businesses are involved in production and we will distribute.  So you order upto a Monday and distribution is on the Fri that week.  we have no idea how popular it will be.  The idea was that we also wanted it to be for those who were struggling but still haven't figured out how to make that happen - anyone that can help with this thinking - please shout

This week has been a hard one for me personally with a death from COVID and a person in the village who is really struggling with mental health and today news about another family member who is very ill.  But the team around us are brilliant.  We are making a difference to the community I know - we get told so fairly regularly

Andrew and I are still not that busy and are very grateful that you respond quickly to us when we ask for requests. The county ask us for statistics around once a month and we have been asked if we need any money from the central fund - I have said yes, never turn down cash!

and just as I press send they send out more info!

advertising video and we want to show some of the inspiring work that is happening here in Oxfordshire! If you're able to send in a video to us, below is a little brief on what we're looking for:
Clips should be 15 to 30 seconds long! This can be unloading a van, delivering shopping, calling a vulnerable person, etc.
Ask someone to film you using a smartphone or camera in landscape (horizontal) mode, keeping your hands steady and fingers away from the lens!
There will be a voiceover, so don't worry about talking to the camera!
Ensure anyone who is in the video has given their permission.
If you have any nice photos of the work you have been doing, please send them as well, again ensuring that you have the participants' consent.Once you're done, send your videos to the normal helper email and we will send on
We do need the names of everyone in the clip or photo (ie the lady in the red top is Beth and the man with the spectacles is Fred), a little explanation of what they're doing, your location, and of course their permission to use their image. The voiceover will be along the lines of "This is Beth who delivers shopping to elderly people every day" or "This is Fred who gets up at 5am every morning to load our van with food parcels", so the more information you give us the better.

Take care


Cath and Andrew. 


Cath Convery, 23/04/2020


Easter Sunday – 12/04/2020 - happy Easter
Those we have helped: 165 calls
The number registered to help: 119
Quick explanation on how we work:
1.      We are posting things on Facebook (the village and Rowstock pages) routinely – good news stories, central messages and stuff like that
2.      If you are a helper you will have registered through a central database – this tells us where you are and what you would like to do.
3.      We have introduced a central safeguarding system and once you have been cleared by this then that coord will put you onto the central “what’s app” group
4.      We will post on the What’s app group asking for help.  Please do not use this group for chat – it is only for us to get messages out to you
5.      Requests come in to us via email and telephone to harwellcovid19@gmail.com
6.      Once you have completed a task please let us know (again email harwellcovid19@gmail.com) or we keep the call open and assume that we have to get another helper out
7.      If you are doing a regular task – a phone call or walking a dog and even shopping for a neighbour – please let us know if it gets too much – there are a lot of you out there and some are not helping at all yet
8.      Please also let us know if you are doing a regular task as we are being asked what we are doing and reporting these statistics up
9.      Please do not volunteer if you are feeling ill or have anyone in your house who is self-isolating – we don’t want to pass on the bug – you can of course ask for help if you need it
10.     Please follow the instructions we are giving out on “how to do” task.  Some of these are attached to this email. 
11.     If you want to step back for a while, please feel free to do so.  You can’t help others if you are feeling low or ill
12.     Don’t worry about the central coords – there are 4 adults in our home all of whom are doing things and it feels like our past roles so we are absolutely fine. 
The position relating to COVID19 is dynamic, in terms of national guidance for organisations and the general public and after a huge amount of reflection on the issue of facemasks we decided that continuing to follow government guidelines was the way to go.  Obviously that doesn’t stop you doing what you want to do??.  Diamond have been putting their 3D printers to use and we now are able to give out clips for masks, which is brilliant.  We also have some people making bags for NHS workers to put their scrubs in prior to them being thrown in the wash.  Many of these are going via a central coord but we do have some people in the village who would like them so please do let us know if you can make or indeed if you know of anyone who wants them. 
Cotton shopping bags – if you thing you could make them this might be something people could throw in the wash after you have delivered their grocery and we might cut down on the amount of plastic bags we are once again using – again we have some spare ones here from various trade shows if you would like them.  They do need to be cleaned after a shop to reduce the chance of passing on this bug. 
Key worker info received:
Many schools, early years and childcare settings are closed until further notice, but some are staying open for children of key workers and vulnerable children, including during the Easter holidays. If anyone in your area needs help to finding a school place please ask them to email Schoolplaceavailability@oxfordshire.gov.uk.
Details of open early year providers are also available email fis.enquiries@oxfordshire.gov.uk
We still don’t know how many key workers we have in the village so I can only assume that they are all well as we have had very few reach out for additional support.  If you think that we need to do more for any one family Key Worker, isolated, or vulnerable – health or financially, do let us know – your comments are obviously confidential.
Leading the way
COVID-19 Research – I have put the links on the village facebook page.  Remember if you are going to take part in a trail this is more than enough. 

Oxford is leading the way into research for COVID-19. Please see links to the various research projects responding to the COVID-19 pandemic:

• Vaccine trial - http://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2020-03-27-oxford-covid-19-vaccine-programme-opens-clinical-trial-recruitment
• RECOVERY treatment trial https://www.ouh.nhs.uk/news/article.aspx?id=1210
• New wearable technology that monitors patients' vital signs being used with COVID-19 patients on the isolation ward at the JR https://www.ouh.nhs.uk/news/article.aspx?id=1215

As some of you are aware we have been concerned about taking money for some time.  The reality is that some families will still prefer to pay by cash and some of you are content to do this.  If you do work this way please make sure you keep your distance. 

If you would prefer that money goes through a third party then we have set up a central bank to help this work. 

1.      If you’re self-isolating, vulnerable or need help collecting your prescriptions or shopping for groceries or medication just contact the Harwell Helpers on 07375 829 602 or email on harwellcovid19@gmail.com to arrange for a volunteer to help you.
2.      If you don’t know the volunteer, you can arrange to pay them through the Harwell Helpers bank account.
3.      Here’s how:
a.      Email HarwellHelpersTreasurer@gmail.com and someone will call you and take your details so you are registered in our “bank”.
b.      Email the Helpers as normal on harwellcovid19@gmail.com we simply need a list and agree how much can be spent
c.      If the volunteer can’t find what you need they will simply get what they can find
d.      When they return with the shopping they will give you a receipt
e.      Transfer whatever your shopping cost into the Harwell Helpers bank account, or email HarwellHelpersTreasurer@gmail.com and they will arrange to collect a cheque from you.
f.      By using this service you promise to pay the Harwell Helpers back as soon as you can, there is a limit to the amount we can lend. 
g.      If you’re a volunteer shopping for someone in the village and want to be paid through the Harwell Helpers bank account register your details here.
h.      When you’ve finished the shopping, take a copy of the receipt (photograph it) and email it to HarwellHelpersTreasurer@gmail.com, stating the name and address of the person you’re helping.  Give the original receipt back to the person you helped and remembering to tell harwellcovid19@gmail.com so we can close the call
i.      The Harwell Helpers treasurers will transfer the money into your bank account within 72 hours.
j.      If you have any problems or questions email HarwellHelpersTreasurer@gmail.com.
Other things
We are also looking to put in place a “meals on wheels” and “pass it on scheme” – both activities are still in the planning stage, if you think this is something you can help with then let me know.  Our aim here is to help:
•       key workers who just don’t want to cook every night
•       those who are struggling financially
•       our local businesses who are struggling with cash flow. 
Pass it on schemes work by you paying for a meal yourself and paying for another by “passing one on”.  We will be putting out notices about how to donate this week. 
As is often the case in an emergency the central government and local authority catch up with local initiatives eventually.  We now have a host of referral groups so please don’t sit on an issue – refer it up and we will let you know where to go with it. 
Hand sanitisers and cards to say “who you are”: we are told that some of the volunteers in other areas are now being stopped by the police.  I don’t think this will happen to us as we are trying to send you out once only and when you are doing a normal run – this reduces the chance of passing on the bug and there are a lot of you who are still not able to help as we don’t have that many requests.  However if you would like hand sanitizers or a card saying who you are, let us know via harwellcovid19@gmail.com
This bank holiday weekend has been fairly quiet our end on the email and phone, though I know many have been doing repeat runs. If that is you, please still let us know via email harwellcovid19@gmail.com that you have been out again, as we are asked centrally on numbers.
Remember the simple message: Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives.
Finally from the centre https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PcgotRHFao

Cath and Andrew

Attachment: Hygiene advice for receiving 28032020.pdf
Size: 198kb
Download: https://www.harwellandchiltonchurches.org.uk/User/DownloadAttachment.aspx?i=70165&k=h8plrqmv2h
Attachment: Hygiene advice for delivering 28032020.pdf
Size: 134kb
Download: https://www.harwellandchiltonchurches.org.uk/User/DownloadAttachment.aspx?i=70164&k=lzbay8zczt

Cath Convery, 20/04/2020


Day 7 of lockdown
104 volunteers
Total requests for help 77
Quick update today
Had our first request for a dog walk and starting to be concerned about some of the mental health issues that are coming out.  Not sure how to resolve some as it would appear that some age groups simply don’t want to talk on the phone – ideas welcome
We have had an issue with one of the pharmacies in Didcot so grateful if you can tell me if you get any hassle from any of them.  I appreciate they are busy but the behaviour that is being reported to me doesn’t seem acceptable. 
I do have a prescription run tomorrow if anyone is available for it please email. 
I know a lot of you are frustrated that you want to do more.  Equally I know the time will come when we need you too. 
Some changes in foot when the bank account is in place later this week.
If you are not on What’s app group then please message me on 07977 465886 and ask to be put on it.  Leaving it only for messages out please so no chat? I will delete the message as soon as I have someone who can help.  Don’t take on too much anyone, there will be lots to do I know and I need you all fit and healthy. 
Reports from the shops:
•       Sainsbury Didcot – No cues outside. Variety of choice of toilet paper. Yay!
•       Tesco – Didcot – Counting people going in and out but no queue outside.
•       ASDA – GCP has toilet paper that looks really rough!
•       Tesco Abingdon – Queues outside the store
Looks like the Coop is changing the way it is taking payments – more on that later in the week. 
Andrew, on harwellcovid19@gmail.com has a list of smaller places who are also taking card payments for us to collect.  If you need this just get in touch with him.  You might have noticed on Facebook that Sal is doing a pick up at the Hive on Saturday so if you want any cleaning equipment get that ordered and we can pick up on Saturday. 
Please don’t forget hygiene if you are out and about – the advice that we are asking you to follow is attached.  Please don’t forget this is a silent killer

Attachment: Hygiene advice for delivering 28032020.pdf
Size: 134kb
Download: https://www.harwellandchiltonchurches.org.uk/User/DownloadAttachment.aspx?i=69897&k=cltn95lccm

Cath Convery, 29/03/2020


Day 6 of lock down - Sunday lunchtime
104 volunteers
58 requests for help in total
Some of you will have already linked with people and are happy to repeat the run with them as they require. This is great but we need to consider two things:

1. I don’t want to overload any one of you and some aren’t doing anything yet, though are really keen to do so. 
2.  If you get sick, even start to have a temperature and don’t know if it is COVID19, then we really don’t want you coming into contact with others

So what does this mean. 
1. if you are going to be a “good neighbour” that’s great but keep us in the loop so we can register the “good deed” and not overload you – I know you don’t think you are overloaded but it is a “caring for the carers” safeguard. 
2. If you show any signs of being ill, please don’t do it, email the “deed” into the central coord. 

Messages from the centre
“On Friday afternoon, we got together for a meeting with the Community Leads from each District Council and Oxfordshire County Council.

We agreed how important it is that we work with Community Support Groups in a simple, clear, and coordinated way that responds to your needs and feedback as a priority. We committed to coordinating closely on the following areas:
•       The development and distribution of informational guidance and resources, and further methods of support
•       The collection of feedback and other data, and our mapping work
•       General publicity and communications
The goal is to create a simpler, more joined up landscape for us all to operate in. We will be in close communication with each other and making regular updates”
Seems that there is a move ahead to have food drops for the “most in need” – so I need a few people who can do this run twice a week – you will need to agree some paperwork – and again I would like to know who is doing it, if you are sick, where it is going – hopefully you are getting the theme here!
Prescription runs are also now a common requirement – we will do them twice a week – think we can get a better system in place for this – if anyone is familiar with using MS documents let me know as we need to use this to go on the web page
The local shops have also moved to a more efficient way of working.  Think the local shops are better than the big ones as less people will have been involved in handling.  We now have a list of shops that will do this and hopefully Andrew will get this on the web page shortly. 
I am posting routinely on facebook, trying to make it a mix of comedy and info – but if it is getting too much please let me know. If you can join in on the theme for the day in posting pictures, videos etc then it might take on?? 
A group of comedians has got together to “feed the NHS” great idea but they are only taking food into the hospitals.  Wondered if we should do something similar but “feed out key workers” in the village, giving them one less thing to do when they get home from work.  Individuals register on the web page.  It is paid for by donations from the village.  Fed by the local businesses around here – buy one dinner, pass it on style.  Let me know your thoughts and particularly if you can help with the set up on this. 
Sue G has come up with a brill idea to help make face masks “How about our team making face masks for non-frontline workers? I've made three & they are quite easy, WI members are bound to have the capability!”

Need someone to think through collection and distribution please – Know where they can go once we have them. 

Take care and …….


Cath Convery, 28/03/2020


Day 3 – in the house (oh no wrong task)!
So 98 helpers
36 requests for help
Our first requests have started to come in with regards to shopping.  We are still working this process through as the situation in shops is still not great but we think that we might have it about cracked.  The issue over payment still remains difficult but hopefully nearly resolved
A real feel good message tonight, or is it?:
“I wld like to know more about the harwell volunteers. Were you in operation before this virus. I have longed for someone local who I could call on when there isn’t an emergency situation going on.”
I think I have said previously that I have registered with all of the groups that I think we are supposed to be registered with and there looks as though there is a certain amount of coordination starting to take place now.  I received this from the leader of the OCC today
These are unprecedented times, we all need to take care and follow the latest Government advice. Staff at the County Council are working flat out as we cannot simply close down or ask everybody to work from home, we are there to support and protect Oxfordshire’s residents particularly the vulnerable. We are prioritising our work and where possible staff are working from home. There are some areas that will see an increase in demand at a time when some of our staff will become ill with the virus. There will be some changes as we have to prioritise our work to key areas.
The main area of work in Social Care both adult and children’s has to continue on a 24/7 basis protecting around 7,000 residents. We expect the number of people requiring care to increase as informal careers become ill and are unable to continue care. This work is vital as it’s important we keep as many people as possible out of hospital.
We are working closely with the NHS to provide care and facilities for those patients that do not require acute care to be cared for away from hospitals or at home freeing up beds for those that most need them. This includes the group that we need to shield from the virus who are thought to be most at risk across the county.
The Government are shielding the extremely vulnerable approx. 1.5 million across the country full details can be found on the website: Extremely vulnerable.
 Currently those people identified by the NHS as extremely vulnerable will be contacted by the NHS by letter, email, text or all 3 to say that they need to isolate themselves at home for the next 12 weeks. They will be asked if they have any help to collect prescriptions and food, this may be supplied by one of the brilliant local groups that have been set up. If they don’t have any help then they will be told to contact the council who will arrange a contact which again may come from one of the local groups. As you will see from the document these are certain groups within the population but there may be others that need help such as those in self-isolation which is where all the volunteers will help. If somebody thinks they should be on the list and haven’t been contacted by Sunday 29th March, then they should contact their GP or hospital clinician.
 To assist in the logistics across the country there are Local Resilience Forums, we are in the Thames Valley Based around the Police authority area. These are where the blue light services link in with the NHS and local authorities to consider the high-level strategy. These then delegate down to the County to work with WODC and other Districts to coordinate the local hubs. The Government have seconded military planners to assist in the hubs which is where all the local community groups come in to the local networks. This is about all working together to ensure that we do not duplicate provision or even worse miss a vulnerable resident
The organic growth of the community networks or hubs that we are seeing being set up is fantastic. These groups are providing some excellent services to local residents who are self-isolating or do not have relatives locally. It’s important that they are community led but we need to avoid duplication, so the County Council and Districts are working with Oxfordshire Volunteers to list them all and provide support where needed.
Unfortunately, there are some cases of people taking advantage of the vulnerable residents so Trading Standards are working with the Police monitoring the situation and will take action should there be a need. Should you be aware of anything please do not hesitate to contact me.
This is a very fast-moving situation so please use the OCC, NHS and Government websites for the latest information.
I would like to say a big thank you to all the residents who continue to work to help us get through this difficult time.
Above all please take care, stay safe and follow the advice.”
We did our first batch run to the pharmacies today.  It wasn’t as successful as I had hoped as the pharmacies hadn’t managed to do all of the preparation and are presently running 10 days late on orders. But small steps!  I think we will go with trying to pick up twice a week in this space while working on (I have emailed their head offices) how we might work in a little different way that would reduce their workload and our people out and about and therefore at risk of contamination. 
So tonights question to ponder – how do people ask us to phone them for a quick chat?  If they phone me as coord I can’t really say “hang on a moment” while I find one of you.  Do we ask them to register somewhere?  Your thoughts please and a helper who might have time to think through the process and how we set it up would be gratefully received.
Finally the two documents, which I have hopefully attached and will be on the web page shortly, are on hygiene both for the helper and for those you are helping.  I am starting to send the later out with people when I tell them you are coming.  Please make sure you are aware of the contents of both and come back to me with questions or if you can’t access them.  They have been checked against known advice at the moment. 

Cath Convery, 26/03/2020


Day two of lockdown – I am losing the days already!
 93 Helpers on the list
29 requests for help
15 requests are for repeat prescriptions
Lots of people saying how great they think you all are – What a team. 
Last night I had a conversation with both County and District to make sure we were going to be involved in the thinking on the responses at their level and they do intend to incorporate us into this.  I have also received a message about a county scheme with regards to a local food bank.  Although it would seem sensible to go to Didcot for this it is felt that this might not work, so I am waiting for them to come back to me.
As I thought I have now received requests for information, I am so glad I did think of putting our requests for help it onto a spreadsheet.  I think it would be better on access database but don’t really have time to put this together.  What I have works but that is two days in.  If you can help let me know. 
Busier day today wrt to calls coming in but nearly all were for prescriptions so we have managed to bunch them together so that only one Helper picked up those ready today with another run planned for Monday.  This is the reason for my request to talk to a pharmacist.  I am trying to reduce the number of journeys we have to do, the number of people stood in a queue and one would hope less work for the pharmacist.  Yes very aware of the GDPR rules but we are only interested in Name, address, telephone number and when the prescription is due. Finally where do they pick it up from.   It should be possible to get those who have repeat prescriptions to fill in a form which would generate an automatic collection list each week – twice a week.  Simples for us, less checks for everyone.  The server I am connected to is very secure so if I did this as a questionnaire then I could host it in our server (or cloud). But I don’t have time to check to see if there is a reason why we can’t do this and also I need help in drawing up the form, not technically but what questions we need to ask.  – so anyone able to help?
We have some “how to” guides being written at the moment on things that we might need as helpers and what we need to tell people we are helping.  These will be on the web page once they have gone through editorial.  This sounds a little over the top but I have lived in this village for some time, not as long as many of you, but know how mistakes are viewed (frankly I am taking a chance on these letters!) The aim of these guides is to ensure people know as much as we can find on topics that are being discussed on line
“How to” topics include:
•             Hygiene
•             Mental health
•             Off roading your car
We are have someone watching for developments for council tax and have posted in facebook things we have seen for business.  Someone is looking at pets and particularly dogs.  Finally we are presently gathering together the contact details of those shops which will take orders on line for us to collect – the local ones seem to have more stock at the moment than the larger shops, though I acknowledge they might have less variety and be more expensive. 
The situation with regards to safeguarding is becoming clearer and we hope that we will have the results of this shortly. 
The bank account is also nearly there. 
We will do a couple of virtual training sessions over the coming evenings so that we are working consistently, more on that tomorrow. 
It might be useful to have some “how to guides” on the following – as normal let me know if you can do:
1. If anyone has time it would be useful to have someone keep an eye on the situation wrt to MOTs this seems to be moving rapidly – let me know if you can do this. 
2.  We haven’t had any requests yet to have a friendly chat but that isn’t really a surprise after two days.  Still not sure how that will work – “I would like a friendly chat” isn’t really a conversation I imagine is going to happen.  So how do we support in this area?
Do let me know by email if you have any other thoughts, concerns or queries.  Let’s try to keep the “what’s app” to me asking for help with you coming back to me by email. I will delete the requests as I get a response. 
To finish I haven’t heard about the following streets having a leaflet/poster delivered to them, or if I did it was before I set up the spreadsheet.  Please let me know if you completed these roads, some of them had two of you on them and I didn’t hear from both of you. 
Church Lane
Church Lane
High Street
Jennings Lane
Jennings Lane
Kings Lane
School Lane
Tabot Close
Teasal Road
Take care everyone

Cath Convery, 25/03/2020


What a difference 24 hours make.  Please remember we have been asked to stay at home where possible. 
So we now have 82 volunteers
We have had 8 requests to date – mainly prescriptions but some just asking how we work.  Everyone who is talking to us is really glad we are here and so pleased to have help. 
Grateful if you can remember to let me know when you have completed something then I know to close the “call”. 
We must stick within government guidelines so please only offer to do a run if you are going out to do your shopping or pick something else up.  Some of the pharmacies are now on restricted opening so you might not be able to complete on one visit.  Just let me know so I can update the individual and indeed close the call when you are done. 
Many of you are now on “what’s app” if you aren’t and want to be, then please text me (07977 465886) so that I can add you – I have your numbers but it is far easier to transfer you from a text.  I am using What’s app to ask for help, along with this nightly email.  It has been requested already but if you can then come back to me by email, then we keep the “what’s app” to limited chatter. 
We are setting up “how to” pages for both helpers and those who want help on the following:
•             Shops
•             Newsagents
•             Phone calls
•             Dogs
•             Prescriptions
We are also setting up the web page so that it signposts organisations to authoritative sources.  If you can write or are good at editorial work please do let me know so we can ask you to do some of these. 
I still don’t have any offers to set up our food bank – food bank of last resort – if you can help let me know.
I have been considering if we should/could offer to cut the lawn for people – really don’t know – your thoughts?
The treasurers are still working hard to ensure that we have a “bank of last resort” and the processes we will use wrt it.  They are also working on some grants.  I heard today that one town council had been able to fund “meals on wheels”.  As a much smaller village this isn’t going to be possible for us I don’t think but once the treasurers are ready we may ask the village if they want to contribute financially and then we might be able to do something like this. 
One of the team is looking at the issue of safeguarding. 
When we first looked at this I suggested we might need something to identify who we are, I am very aware that there is not only a cost to this but that it needs to be sustainable.  I now have costs for this £6 a jacket – is this too much, am I going mad?  You would have the jacket and not give it back, it would need to be washed after each help.  Please let me know.  As it is people know who is coming to help and we are standing back from the door when we deliver whatever needs to be delivered – we put the delivery into a plastic box that is owned by the person we are delivering to if there is one available and then encouraging the person we are helping to wash their hands when handling the goods.  Leave the goods in the box if not perishable for 72 hours and then wash their hands again once they have put things away.  Throughout all this please keep your distance as much as possible and do not enter their home, even if invited. 
This morning I contacted all of the village groups to ask them to cascade to their groups that we are here.  However it doesn’t matter how often we say it some will miss the message, indeed I heard today that someone, who is very much in the vulnerable group, is so busy trying to get food that she simply put it on the side in her house and ignored it.  I will continue to post on social media but if you have details of individuals in the village please pass it out to them. 
Liz found this https://www.stockporthomes.org/about-us/media/latest-news/customer-news/covid-19-advice-customers-with-prepayment-energy-meters/ and I have posted it on facebook.  I am trying to update that regularly and again some of you are also doing similarly. 
We still haven’t quite leafleted the whole village, some rounds went today when dog walking, can you let me know which roads you covered and then I will ask some people tomorrow, the dog walkers, to finish off delivery. 
I have spoke to both the County and District Councillors today and have received the following message:
"In a nutshell over the coming days those people identified by the NHS as extremely vulnerable will be contacted by the NHS by letter, email, text or all 3 to say that they need to isolate themselves at home for the next 12 weeks. They will be asked if they have any help to collect prescriptions and food, this may be supplied by groups such as yours which is brilliant. If they don’t have any help then they will be told to contact the council who will arrange a contact which again may come via yourselves. There are certain groups within the population but there may be others that need would need help such as those in isolation which is where all the volunteers will help out.
To assist in the logistics across the country there are 9 Local Resilience Forums, we are in the Thames Valley Based around the Police authority area. These are where the blue light services link in with the NHS and local authorities to consider the high level strategy. These then delegate down to the County to coordinate the local hubs. The Government have seconded military planners to assist in the hubs which is where all the local community groups come in which are the local networks are involved. This is about all working together to ensure that we do not duplicate provision or even worse miss a vulnerable resident"
I have registered on the necessary groups so that people know we are here to help. 
Finally I had a message from a helper today who said she can’t help at the moment.  This isn’t an issue.  There will be occasions when we all need a break.  Feel free to simply ignore us if you need to. 
Stay well and speak soon

Cath Convery, 24/03/2020


Evening everyone. 
Well I looked out my office window for most of today, in between things and have been disappointed by the number of cars on the road still - I hear that other areas of the country as as busy - we really do need to encourage people to STAY HOME and STAY SAFE and that obviously includes us. 
So update on today.
1. There are now 82 helpers with people phoning routinely to ask if they can help.  Our phone (07375829602) it takes incoming only as this was the lowest cost option - so grateful if you can use email as your primary comms with central coord.  I will continue to use the What's app group and this email to ask for help.  If you are not in the What's app group my own number is 07977465886 I can include you if you want to be included. 
2. We have nearly completed the leafleting of the whole village.  I wish we had asked for peoples emails so we don't need to go out again with leaflets - but perhaps if we do another drop. I fully appreciate this wouldn't cover everyone but it would have covered a lot.
3. I know that not all of your are on Facebook and some of you hate it but if you can just keep an open mind during this crisis - it is still the easiest way to get messages out to the whole village - just join the Harwell Community page and don't worry about posting, you can lurk:) 4.  We have collected another prescription today and  picked up a gas and electric key - this will be a separate "how to" on the web page but if you are asked to do it this is how - The method is to collect the gas and meter keys (small bits of plastic) from the person who is self-isolating, take them to Asda customer service desk, at the far side of the entrance door, and pay CASH to have them topped up.  Make sure you get a receipt. They will not accept any other method, but you can use cashback at the tills to get the cash, rather than have to go to a cash-point. (You have to buy something, and don't use a credit card or you will be charged for a cash advance: only use a debit card.) Then return the keys to the self-isolating person.
Obviously this is not ideal in terms of three separate people touching the keys, so I would suggest the person self-isolating wear gloves in order to take them from you and put them in their meter, and you wash your hands thoroughly before and after the procedure. Today the Asda staff member was not wearing gloves but there's nothing to be done about that. Gloves would only protect the keys from bugs if they changed them for every single transaction anyway.
5. We have also had a call from two people concerned about people in the village - one has an older parent in the village and wanted to see if we could get shopping for them - that was an easy one as yes we can, particularly if she orders and then tells us where it is so we can pick it up.  The other was someone worried about a neighbour.  This one is a little more difficult as we are not taking the place of the police.  I am going to ask the road coord to go check but at the end of the day it might well be a call to 111. 
6. The treasurers are still working on setting up a bank account for us (lender of last resort) and claiming for a fund that has been made available.  We will give people the opportunity to donate to this fund if they want to 7. One of the Helpers is presently pulling together a list of all of the emails for the village groups so we can also cascade through that. 
8. One of the Helpers is presently looking at safeguarding checks.  We do not want to take money but might still need to put some safeguarding in place.  Wait out on this one. 
9. Guidelines to helpers are ready to post on the web page.  I hope that this will be in the next day.  If you feel this needs amendment do come back to me by email.
Things I need done - volunteers to come back to me please
1. We think we might need a small food bank. We will be using the village hall but I need someone to sort out how it works - I have some thoughts on this but would be grateful if you think you can help that you contact me by email 2. I posted onto FB (the village group) today two notices about dogs - grateful if someone can take a look at both and draw up some guidelines for us - both for us helpers and for us to tell people we are helping - apparently the GWP has a number of people asking for help with dog walking and I believe we need processes in place to ensure we don't spread the virus but also that we are not putting our-self in a difficult position with the dog or owner - again let me know by email if you can help.
Please do shout if you think there is something else we should do.  No idea is a bad idea in a new experience like this. 
Suspect the PM will make a significant announcement at 2030 tonight.  In the meantime, stay safe and #KeepWashingThoseHands

Cath Convery, 23/03/2020


Update for this evening
Thought the PM might close us down tonight but not yet.  Have had several messages from people today saying that Didcot was full and people weren't keeping their distance, which is a real shame.
Have also received messages on FB and by phone asking for help and indeed offering help - no surprise this is a great village
So what have we achieved today:
1. I have registered us on the community mutual support groups page
2. Leaflets are being distributed or have been - if you are doing any please let me know when they are done
3. Fabulous Sunday service from St Matthews
4. Language training on FaceBook
5. Exercise classes on FaceBook
6. #virtual conversations with family and friends
7. Treasurers are sorting the bank of last resort and how it will work - including applying for a grant
8.  Someone requested support with a key for electricity and gas - I suspect this will be a routine thing so I have asked someone to draw us up a "how to" list
9.  We are writing some guidance on what you should and shouldn't do - it's with the pedant checkers atm, you have probably realised already this isn't me!
10. Probably more things but it's been quite a day....
Still need to consider and come back to me if you think you can help:
1. We think we might need a small food bank - not for distribution yet but who knows. I think I know the rules we need but I would be grateful if someone can get in touch to lead on this initiative - ie write how it works for the moment. 
2. Can you all take a look at the web page - what other pieces of information do we need to show on it?  is there information on it that we shouldn't be showing? http://hcchurches.org/hh
3. There are over 50 of us.  I don't know you all.  I hate to ask this but do we need someone to check on all of us for safeguarding reasons? 
Lots of emails and chats today. 
As I said earlier we will get this wrong in places and we are here to help not take over from normal agencies.  if you feel you haven't done anything today - don't worry there will be loads to do!
The following roads are being leafleted. Have I missed any?
Abingdon Road
Alder View
Barrow Lane
Barrow Park
Barrow Road
Blenheim Hill
Burr Close
Burr Street
Church Lane
Church Lane
Didcot Road
Grove Road
Hengest Gate
High Street
High Street
Jennings Lane
Jennings Lane
Kings Lane
Kings Lane
Linden Gate
Manor Green
Newbury Road
Orchard Way
School Lane
Tabot Close
Teasal Road
The Cleave
The Croft
The Park
The Styles
Tyrells Close
if you are leafleting can you let me know you have finished the road.
Thanks everyone. 
Take care, keep safe and #GoWashYourHands

Cath Convery, 22/03/2020


Well I knew there would be issues so no particular surprise

Seems I have not attached the poster/leaflet - they are the same thing - to the email

If you need it then please do email me.
If you can print at home please do so
If you can't print at home let me know and they will be printed at the Church for pick up - please only take the ones for your road - and use your shoulder or elbow to get into the church
Please let me know when the road is done

Following are the road coords

You will see some roads are missing, let me know if you can cover off on them

Olwen - Rowstock
Debs - Tyrell Road
Cat and Jane - High Street
Fiona A - High Street to Rowstock and south of the A417
Amanda and Susan - Kings Lane
Hannah - The Cleave
Liz - School Lane, Church Lane
Penny - Westfield, Gaverston, Orchard Way, The Styles
Karen - The Willows
Alison - Didcot Road, Blenheim Hill, Burr Street
Karen - Townsend, Barrow Lane, Barrow Road, Barrow Park
Debbie - The Park
Yvonnne - The Croft

Still areas to go in the village - can anyone help with these?



Cath Convery, 22/03/2020


Need someone to do a run to get a gas and electricity key from ASDA - no need to reply if you can't do it.

The individual will pass the money to you by bank transfer prior to you going - please stick to this rule as we think it is better to start like this if we need to relax the situation then we will do so but from the start we want to keep money out of the equation as much as possible

Don't have everyone on What's app yet - will be doing that this pm - that is my prefered way of getting the message out to people when help is needed. Will keep the chat on what's app short to what the issue is and only reply if you can help - thanks



Cath Convery, 22/03/2020

We have an email - harwellcovid19@gmail.com and a telephone number for incoming calls 07375829602.  If you are putting out any comms then use this info as it is felt that it is better that individuals don’t use their own number. 
Comms to the volunteers will be by email, "whats app" and frankly pm me (Cath Convery) any time. 
We are intending to work via a cascade system so if we need things to go out then it will go out via people who will look after certain areas of the village. 
When a request comes in then the message will go out to volunteers asking if anyone can help. 
Please encourage your neighbours, from a distance, to use the green, orange, red symbols we have discussed. 
•             Green is all is good;
•             Orange we are self isolating;
•             Red I need help. 
Please do it yourself as well – that way it starts to appear and will grow organically. 
I have been advised that it is sensible if people put deliveries into a box and bring that box in - if the goods are not perishable then leave the box alone for up to 72 hours, then put the goods away. 
We are very aware of the potential for fraud and theft, though really hope not in our village.
The area we need help with the most is someone to act as a treasurer - we can't yet find a way around the need to have a bank account to pay for goods and therefore feel we might need to have some finance in case there is a need to offer a short term loan.  This has to be a fund of last resort and we would expect all efforts to repay the debt at some stage. 
Remember you are not offering to do everything and our aim is to ensure that no one feels that they are alone.  Please don't go into people’s homes.  We have been asked to keep a distance and we really should. 
If you are happy to coordinate an area then please let me know, though this will predominantly be for messaging your local area.  When calls come in we will put it to everyone so we get the support required out to the people who are asking for help as quickly as possible. 
We think the red/orange/green symbols will work so please encourage neighbours to use them and when walking around the village if you see a red knock, step back and ask what you can do to help - if you can't do it then message me and I will put it out to everyone or do it myself. 
One final point on your thoughts.  I am keen that people aren't worried about how we are.  I have thought about getting reflector jackets so that it is obvious you are a Harwell Helper.  It was felt this wasn't needed but cases of fraud have risen even in the last few days so what do you think?
The situation is changing rapidly so we will be emailing regularly and messaging and what we can do will change regularly. 
People asking for help
Leaflets to go to all homes in the village and Rowstock should be ready over the next couple of days. We will be asking volunteer to pick them up from a central location and then deliver as quickly as possible. 
If people have "plastic" then we would encourage them to order the goods they are after over the phone and a volunteer will pick them up - the local shops, Bobs, Que, The Garden shop at the end of Grove Road and The Hive in East Hendred will all take orders but they are struggling with delivery and at the moment are swamped. Que has said that they will do orders and then pick up by car without getting out of the car.  Do let me know if other things come in - by email and I will put out another "round robin" email to ensure everyone is aware.  Having spoken to many of the local shops they are struggling to keep up with demand.  They need us to keep using them but they will run out with goods and will need us to understand. 
 There will be some people in the village who don't have plastic and it is possible will run out of cash as they can't access the bank or similar.  We are still working this through. 
We are considering setting up a short term food bank in the village - though don't want to substitute for the Food bank in Didcot.  If you feel y
Some people will simply want a chat - again please look out for your neighbours in this regard, checking in occasionally, from a distance, is always good. 
I am not sure we know where the nurses, doctors and critical workers are in the village.  If you know of any please let me know - these people we also need to ensure they are ok. 
I am sure we will make mistakes in this but please remember we are not here to take over from business or indeed the normal support systems. 
If you are a member of a group in the village please pass any part of this message or any others that come through to you from us, to them - please feel free to reword if you feel you feel that you can make it sound better:)
Looking after each other is what this village is good at. 
Keep washing your hands. 
Cath Convery, 21/03/2020