We have an email - firstname.lastname@example.org 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.