Tell us about your rural community working together during lockdown

With communities in lockdown at home, online delivery slots booked up several weeks in advance, and in England’s rural areas, 11% of premises – households and businesses – are unable to access a broadband connection with 10 Mbps there is a danger that our rural communities will suffer significant disadvantage in the coming weeks

Simple activities such as accessing food may become more difficult, and for our rural students with poor connectivity and broadband, they will miss out with online opportunities for study and continuing their education. 

However, we should not underestimate the resilience of our rural communities.  We know that there are lots of you working hard to support your rural communities and we are interested to hear from Local Authorities, Parish Councils, community groups and other organisations that are banding together to support each other. 

We would love it if you could fill in the below survey with details of initiatives you are aware of in your local area, that we can share each week with our wider network.

→ Access the survey by clicking here

I am proud to live in an active rural community where in the last week, over 100 residents from my parish have joined the local emergency plan group.  In our community we have over 30% of our parish aged 70 or over, so have large numbers of vulnerable people, potentially home and unable to collect groceries.

We borrowed the idea from a lady in Cornwall and, allocating someone a street each, delivered notes to all of our residents across the entire parish which included a contact name, telephone number if they were isolating and needed help, along with a leaflet from the Parish Council where residents could contact them if they needed help. 

Vulnerable residents can now be supported by their volunteer, whether this is delivering groceries to their doorstep, picking up prescriptions, or even just a friendly regular telephone call to make sure that they are doing ok.  The local pub last week organised food deliveries and put together boxes of essential items that those on the vulnerable register could access and someone would deliver to their doorstep. 

On Wednesday, the usual village pub quiz night took place, although in a slightly different format, with 30 teams registering online and a question-master reading the questions out through facebook live from the safety of his home, showing that community spirit was alive and kicking!

Councillor Dan Brown, a district councillor at South Hams District Council and Chairman of the Parish Council has been coordinating the efforts and said “We’ve been overwhelmed by the support from the community in building the Parish of Wembury Emergency Plan, which is a great community initiative.  Almost 130 locals from across the Parish have come forward to volunteer their assistance whether that be by delivering groceries to those who are unable to leave their home, or indeed making regular phone calls to those on their own.

It’s been brilliant seeing the community rally together at such a difficult time. Never underestimate the power of your local community…. EVER!”

Stood in my garden looking out to sea and listening to the sound of clapping ring out over the valley on Thursday evening as the community showed it’s support for those working in the NHS, made me very proud to call this community home.


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