Caldecote support network running at full speed thanks to local Freemason
Caldecote in recent weeks has seen some amazing local support from villagers in supporting those vulnerable and isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic. In their community there are 4 serious cases, elderly people with poor health who were helpless, without families or friends to help. A further 143 families are isolating and not able to leave their homes for essentials.
Freemason Adrian Peters and his wife Lynn offered to find a solution for a number of their close neighbours needing food and medication, unable to leave their homes. Adrian and Lynn set about helping them, word spread to the remainder of their street. After more requests for help Adrian and his wife quickly organised a community web of helpers, people able to provide essential support with collecting and delivering to the vulnerable and in some cases just a voice to speak with for company and reassurance.
The demand for help grew as did the number of people volunteering to help. Very quickly the community was organised and efficient. There were 10 sub-coordinators each with another 10 helpers giving the ability to cover the entire village. In the weeks that followed two of the network volunteers dealt specifically with collecting and then delivering prescriptions from both the village practices. Adrian himself organises the supply of vegetables from Les Ward of Cottenham (@leswardltd) and meat from the Childerley Service Station. Soon the weekly supply of vegetable and meat boxes numbered in the hundreds.
Mr Peters said “I’m pleased to be able to help the village. It is a great place to live and the community spirit has always been very good. Being the kind of person who wants to help I felt it was my responsibility and duty to do something”.
The results of Adrian’s efforts are now obvious. Not only by the number of deliveries but also by the cards and notes of thanks and support. Mr Peters also organised a Gofundme page for the community which now has many donations from the people in the village, the biggest of which was £250. This fund called the Caldecote Community Fundraiser (https://www.gofundme.com/f/caldecote-community-fundraiser) is now helping subsidise some of the vegetable deliveries.
This week both the South Cambridgeshire and City Councils are referring the villagers to Adrian for help. Very quickly the fund and the network have made a fantastic impact, helping through the tough times. Peter and Lynn have now applied to South Cambridgeshire Council for a £5,000 fund to further subsidise the cost of the fantastic boxes.
Adrian said “After a week of the COVID-19 outbreak and the start of lockdowns, Lynn and I thought we’d advertise what we were doing. We hand-delivered 780 letters over a week, as we wanted to tell people they had help if they needed it. Since then we’ve been trying to keep up with requests and just speaking to people who want to hear a friendly voice”.