Hello from the Peebles COVID-19 Mutual Support Group
Firstly, can we say that we all hope you are keeping safe, healthy and are keeping well. This is a challenging time for us all. We would like to thank the Peeblesshire News for allowing us to have a weekly column in the newspaper. This will help us reach many of you that don’t necessarily have an online presence.
This week we want to let you know what we are up to and what we can do for you. You may have seen some of the posters around town offering our services in shopping, dog walking, collecting and delivering prescription, posting mail, a friendly chat and even arranging meal services. This assistance is for everyone. We are ‘all’ in this situation together and as a town we have come together brilliantly to deal with it.
The group itself started in mid-March with the simple aim of helping those most affected by the pandemic. However, it has developed into much more than that. It has developed into a community of resilience, a community of like-minded people wanting to provide help in times of need. It has helped create friendships, between young and old and created a greater respect of how we live in our town.
For that human interaction we have the freephone number 0800 009 6709 which we could not run without the fantastic volunteers that take time out their day to be on the other end of these lines. If you don’t have internet, then this is the number to call if you need additional help if self-isolating or just in general feel anxious about the situation. No task is to small. Please just ask our volunteers and we will do what we can.
We have a Facebook page which was the foundation of our existence and we have set up a website www.peeblessupport.org. With some great assistance from Ken Barrett at Untangled Web.
The Food Foundation is providing a lunchtime meal service. The meals are free. If you know anyone that would like this service, then please contact them via their Facebook page or call free on 0800 009 6363. The volunteers from this group provide the much-needed delivery assistance to help get over 400 meals out each week.
In conjunction with the Peebles Community Trust and the Tontine Hotel we are helping deliver evening meals to those that request them. These meals are free and are delivered every second evening by volunteers of this group. The service is only a week old but we are delivering around 80 meals per week. If you or know someone who would benefit from this free service, then call 0800 009 6709 to register.
We have a JustGiving page and have so far raised nearly £2700 to help with funding the local fight against COVID-19. If you wish to donate more details are on our website.
We are excited this week to release the Peebles COVID-19 Mutual Support Group logo. This will allow you to recognise us wherever we are. Look out for it on posters and stickers around town. We are also excited about other things going on behind the scenes that we will share next week.
Now this is where we need your help. We have two things to ask, firstly, we want to hear about your stories of your hero volunteer. We would like to feature these in future weekly columns. Who has helped you during this crisis? Who has gone that extra mile? It may be your daughter, grandchild or a neighbour or someone you have just come to know as part of this crises. We want you to help us find the volunteer of the week. Ideally with their permission, a little headshot or picture of them in action would be useful. Secondly, do your children or grandchildren like drawing. How about asking them to draw picture of anything related to this situation, volunteers helping, rainbows rising or even how they are coping during the lockdown. Please email these to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will try to feature as many as we can on our webpage.
We are of course working very closely with the Scottish Borders Council. If you have received a shielding letter, then you should follow the details on the letter to apply for the services you can receive. If you have any concerns, then you should call the Community Assistance Hub number 0300 100 1800 in the first instance.
If you are not shielding but perhaps self-isolating due to illness or other reasons, then use the Peebles COVID-19 Mutual Support Group number 0800 009 6709 to request support. This support is available to everyone no matter what the problem is. No challenge is too big.
Finally stay safe and remember that help is just a phone call away.
Sophie and Paul
Peebles COVID-19 Mutual Support Group