Community support for people who have to stay at home
During the Coronavirus outbreak, many people have been told to self-isolate at home as they have medical conditions that could put them at risk or are over 70. Some of these people have relatives or friends who are able to help out by dropping off shopping or prescriptions safely without coming into contact with them.
But for those who don’t have anyone to support them, Basingstoke Voluntary Action (BVA) are working with Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and a number of community organisations to set up the Basingstoke and Deane Community Hub to co-ordinate the volunteers wanting to help. Since the community hub was launched, 53 local neighbourhood groups have registered and volunteers are being put in touch with groups, with more volunteers on standby to help if needed.
Hampshire County Council is acting as the main co-ordination point for all district community hubs in the county with a hotline. The Coronavirus Hampshire Helpline – Hantshelp4vulnerable – can be contacted on 0333 370 4000. The helpline is available seven days a week, from 9am to 5pm.
Vulnerable residents who need help, and do not have support from family or friends, should call the helpline to register for support. The county council will resolve complex cases and will pass on most other enquiries to the Basingstoke and Deane Community Hub to arrange support, such as deliveries of food.
Any residents who still want to volunteer or local groups who haven’t already registered should visit http://www.bvaction.org.uk/coronavirus-volunteering or call 01256 423852. BVA has published an interactive map on its webpage www.bvaction.org.uk/basingstoke-deane-community-hubs/ showing the location and contact details for all the local groups.
Those people identified at risk of severe illness as a result of underlying medical conditions, that have been written to directly by the NHS, should register for help via https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable as per the instructions in their letter. They have been told that they should not leave home for at least 12 weeks.
Kingsclere Community Association recognises its responsibility to help protect the community during the current situation. In agreement with our users, the decision has been taken to suspend classes and events run at the Fieldgate Centre and to close the centre temporarily. This position will be reviewed when Government advice indicates that it is safe to re-establish social gathering.
We will soon be in contact with all those who have hired the venue over the next few months to discuss alternative plans. The office in the community centre is closed, but we will be monitoring messages.
All rugby and football activities have been cancelled nationwide, so there will be no training or matches on the Fieldgate sports pitches.
As a charity whose main income is generated from the use of the facilities, we must now reduce costs and manage our funds so that we can get back in full operation when it is safe to do so. We currently have no income, so we will need to seek support over the coming months.
The Kingsclere Community Association has been delighted with the increasing use of the Fieldgate Centre over the past couple of years – over the last year there have been more than 43,000 visits. We have put on an increasing variety of activities, classes and events, and have been making improvements which we hope you consider make the centre an attractive venue to visit. During this down-time we will continue to work on future plans and we look forward to welcoming as many of you as possible to your community centre when we are all safe to get back together.
Our key objective is to bring people together, to form a stronger community, and to support the individuals within it. Although we are now unable to do that in a physical sense at The Fieldgate Centre, we are looking at what we can do for the community during this crisis to support you all in Kingsclere. Your suggestions are welcome.
KCA is delighted to announce the first major sponsor of this year’s run. Our thanks go to Kingsclere’s very own ‘The Attentive Barber’.
More details at http://www.thefieldgatecentre.co.uk/events/watership-down-run/
Kingsclere Community Association, who run the Fieldgate Centre, joined forces with the Village Club this week to celebrate the wide range of activities that take place in their facilities. In a joint statement the chairmen, Andy Bates and Sharon Morris, agreed “We are especially thankful to the large number of volunteers behind the scenes who run the clubs, groups, events and activities under our roof who are the lifeblood of Kingsclere’s vibrant community spirit. Local people from all walks of life are invited to come along to volunteer or simply join in with activities, learn new skills and get together.”
Local businesses, private donations and grant funding have also played a significant part in helping to upgrade and maintain these community facilities, without which we would certainly loose these valuable community hubs. Village Halls week which started on 20th January has been an opportunity for this wider help and support to be recognised.
Village Halls Week is run by national rural charity Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) and their 38 member organisations. It takes place from Monday 20 January – Sunday 26 January.