Coronavirus has us in lockdown, but what if West Windsor residents need help with food, prescriptions and friendship calls? How can we help each other? Find out how Windsor is coming together against Coronavirus.
Let’s come together and work together for good.
The West Windsor Hub has been a wonderful story of a community coming together with 60+ volunteers, led by Cllr Carole Da Costa, with support from local organisations (see below), helping hundreds of families locally, and local people allowing us to help them in their hour of need, and in their moments of crisis.
Some of our amazing volunteers include unemployed, furloughed, retired, Judiciary, Covid doctors, reporters, councilors – there’s space for everyone so call 01753 342110 if you want to help.
In the last 4 weeks the West Windsor Hub (Hub) has taken 1,600 calls from worried residents, picked up and delivered 80 prescription, shopped for 140 families, made regular friendship calls to 15 people.
an extra 20 families per week needing support
Sailing together through the troubled waters ahead
We expect lockdown to continue at least until the end of July 2020, but need to continue until at least September 2020, by which time the Hub is anticipated to receive 13,000 calls, and helped collect 800 prescriptions, deliver up to 2,000 food shops.
But a worrying trend is developing, as more people run out of money and can’t pay for the food they and their families need, perhaps because of redundancy, low rates of sick pay, zero hour contracts, problems with Universal Credit etc…
The Hub is seeing an increase in families unable to pay for food, who can’t be supported by the official foodbank called Foodshare, who are inundated.
Cllr Carole Da Costa anticipates an extra 20 families per week needing support by the West Windsor Hub in this way, and this for much of the rest of the year given the dramatic change to the expected employment scene post lock down.
So the hunt is on for more donations, funding, and helpers.
If you need help with food, prescritions, or friendship calls dial 01753 342110
To volunteer PLEASE call 01753 342110
Hope in the darkest of time
Cllr. Carole Da Costa, West Windsor Hub project lead says, “ I am amazed at how quickly the West Windsor Hub has grown. Five calls on the first day and in less than four weeks we were up to 100 calls a day. As the lockdown continued we found larger numbers of families unable to pay for food as they have come to the end of their wages/savings, the self-employed and zero-hour contracts have been hit hard with delays in benefit payments.”
“I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of residents, volunteering their time, food donations, support from local businesses including Tesco, Legoland, and now an offer from Medina Dairy. “
“We have 60 registered volunteers, 20 of whom are call handlers, we are able to take up to 16 calls at a time with the new phone system that has been set up, this enables volunteers to take the calls remotely. “
the West Windsor hub brings that vision into practice. Even in the darkest of time
Richard Endacott, WWRA Chair, said, “The mission statement for the West Windsor Residents Association is to “Promote the interests and wellbeing of West Windsor residents”, the West Windsor hub brings that vision into practice. Even in the darkest of times, the hub has demonstrated that we are a community, that puts people first, where people, businesses and local organisations come together and help each other; rich; poor; able bodied; less able bodied; young; old; we all have something to give.
People are finding satisfaction and fulfilment from living together. It is the spirit of all the volunteers which has remains astonishing and demonstrates that the community benefits when everybody works together to make our wonderful community work.
My heartfelt thanks to all our heroes on the frontline, at the hub, in the supermarkets, in schools all those who are making our world work and of course NHS workers. “
This is a real sign of hope and relationship, as illustrated by Damian Hirst in his Rainbow for the NHS.
I take my hat off to Carole, her worthy volunteers, one of whom is an A&E doctor, and indeed you, our fellow residents, for letting us help you.
Today we help you, tomorrow you may help us in our hour of need. We are a single community. Let’s come together and work together for good.
Helping wonderful people
Carole also said, “We have some regulars now, I recognise them their shopping lists, it’s strange that you can develop an affection for someone by their shopping list. All the volunteers take the welfare of our cleints seriously and want to know that a task has been completed and the person is safe and well.”
“One of the more unusal request we had was regarding an elderly lady’s TV arial she was unable to watch TV which had become her only form of activity in the first week of lock down. One of our volunteers went around removed the plastic bag that had blown it out of place and reinstated her viewing joy.”
Editor – My favourite story is that of shopping for Luigi who, through his love of Welsh Cakes, has introduced me to this celtic, culinary delight, with is wave upon wave of divine flavours and textures wafting me gently to food paradise. Yum, yum.
Building a Community because together we are better”
Local professionals and agencies working with the West Windsor Hub
Carole also commented on the extensive professional network that has come together to help the Hub meet residents at their point of need., “We have been working closely with the community wardens, GP’s have called us direct collect prescriptions for patients who have needed their medication urgently.”
“Social services have requested that we provide food for an elderly lady”
“We have a mental health first aider giving support to a few of our clients.”
“We also have a volunteer giving peer support having experienced mental issues in the past.”
“I have been so encourage by the way so many have come together to support one another, my hope is that this community spirit will last beyond the Covid crisis.”
As Carole puts it, we are, “Building a Community because together we are better”
Cllr Wisdom Da Costa, WWRA, Clewer & Dedworth West
- This post is part of the WWRA Councillors regular series of Blogs to inform and empower local residents; as promised in their election leaflet
- It is also to comply with clause v of the Members Code of Conduct which states, “You must be as open as possible about your decisions and actions and the decisions and actions of your authority and should be prepared to give reasons for those decisions and actions.”
- The views expressed in this article are not necessarily the views of the West Windsor Residents Association (WWRA).
- Any errors are unintentional so, I would value you bringing them to my intention so I can correct them. You can Email me firstname.lastname@example.org