350 VOLUNTEERS UNITE TO SUPPORT HASLEMERE’S MOST VULNERABLE DURING THE COVID CRISIS

  • Online community support group Haslemere Help was set up to support those who are self-isolating or vulnerable in the local area during the Covid-19 outbreak in Haslemere
  • With the Mayor of Haslemere manning the phone lines, and in collaboration with Haslemere Town Council and Surrey County Councillor Nikki Barton, the group are helping with essential tasks such as shopping for provisions
  • The group also offers a prescription pick-up and delivery service from all Haslemere pharmacies, including a special collaboration with the Haslemere Health Centre
  • Haslemere residents, friends or family are encouraged to phone 07873 383954 or email haslemerehelp@gmail.com if they are in need of any help in these tricky times

Community Covid-19 support group Haslemere Help has recruited over 350 volunteers and has supported over 200 members of the local community already.

In a bid to help residents who are vulnerable or self-isolating, the group recruited hundreds of people willing to provide volunteering support for their neighbours into one organised system, and since then these volunteers have been successfully performing tasks such as shopping for essentials and delivering prescriptions across Haslemere and Fernhurst.

The group collaborates closely with Surrey County Councillor, Nikki Barton, the Town Council and John Robini, mayor of Haslemere, who mans the helpline. In addition, the team regularly meet with Citizens Advice Bureau, Voluntary Action South West Surrey, churches and numerous local groups.

A founding volunteer, Narn, said: ‘When the call went out for volunteer help, we knew many in Haslemere would step forward. Haslemere is a community which has always had a volunteering ethos.

‘I am full of admiration for those who have volunteered and, whilst I would have expected nothing less, it is still overwhelming to see the kindness and consideration from those giving their time freely.

‘We have fielded hundreds of phone calls to our helpline which is being manned by John Robini, our town mayor, hundreds of Facebook messages and innumerable e-mails all needing help with prescriptions, shopping and an ear to listen and have a friendly chat. Our volunteers have also picked up wheelchairs, delivered flowers, collected plastic surgical boots and delivered hearing aid batteries.’

Those who have benefited from Haslemere Help’s services have been delighted to have support during this difficult time. On Twitter, Haslemere resident, Miles Weston who is currently self-isolating at home has received invaluable neighbour support. He wrote: ‘This is what community-minded, unnamed people in Haslemere are doing for their neighbours. We know them, we love them for what they are doing and we admire them for not being on the lookout for public recognition. They are not bragging – they are just doing it for Haslemere.’

Surrey County Councillor, Nikki Barton, has actively supported Haslemere Help and worked to streamline the Haslemere Health Centre’s prescription delivery service using the group’s volunteers. Councillor Barton said ‘The queues at the health centre are often long, putting great pressure on the pharmacy team. We have arranged that you can now call 07873 383954 or alternatively you can make contact by email haslemerehelp@gmail.com with your prescription pick up request. Patient contact and delivery details are all that is needed. Haslemere Help will not keep any of your personal details and any collections will be treated in confidence. ‘

Haslemere Mayor, John Robini said: ‘The volunteers’ efforts and commitment, together with all those employed in delivering crucial services at this time, should lift our spirits and give us all encouragement during what is, undoubtedly, a troubling and challenging time for our town. The town council staff have also provided invaluable telephone and administrative support.’

Residents who need help with shopping, prescription pickups or other services should call the Haslemere Help service on 07873 383954, for themselves or for friends. Enquiries can also be channelled to haslemerehelp@gmail.com and through their dedicated Facebook page www.facebook.com/haslemerehelp.

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