THE lockdown may be easing but one group of volunteers are determined to keep up the good work.
Astwood Bank Neighbours Group was created right at the start of the pandemic and its remit has spread well beyond the bounds of the Evesham Road village, taking in Hunt End, Cookhill, Bentley, Feckenham, Inkberrow and even in to Alcester, Studley as well as more rural and isolated communities.
“When the pandemic broke we found we had a lot of different people all wanting to do the same thing and these have been pulled together and in a matter of days we had 180 volunteers all registered,” said local borough councillor for the area Craig Warhurst.
“The response has been amazing.
“In fact at times we’ve more volunteers than work to do.
“You put a job out and within seconds it’s gone and people have been saying ‘oh no, I’ve missed out again!'”
Astwood Bank has always been a close knit community and has a high proportion of elderly residents and the Neighbours responded by dividing up the tasks to meet their needs as and when they arose.
“We had a prescriptions group, a food group, a calls group, we’ve had people contacting us from all over the country asking about their relatives,” said Coun Warhurst.
“The local shops have been magnificent and wherever possible we have spent our money locally to support them in return.”
He added that now the network was established the aim was to keep it going post Covid-19.
“It’s been genuinely lovely and there has been so much gratitude shown as well – it’s all shown that the vast majority of people are passionate and caring and want to help in their local community.”
Anyone needing help in the Astwood Bank area can contact them by searching for Astwood Bank Neighbours Group on the internet or by contacting Coun Warhurst directly.