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Higham Help offers support to the elderly and vulnerable during Covid-19 lockdown

An army of volunteers are supporting the elderly and vulnerable in one village with care packages – and things to grow in the garden.

Based in the large village of Higham, in Gravesham, the volunteer group Higham Help has not only created and distributed essential kits for those self-isolating, but also spread happiness across the community.

Sunflower kits at Hayley's Bakery in Higham
Sunflower kits at Hayley's Bakery in Higham

Matt Joblin, of School Lane, began a crowd funding page after noticing that those staying at home to protect themselves from Covid-19 were facing a lot of challenges.

With a group of volunteers, he began raising funds to help the vulnerable stay home by shopping for their basic necessities such as food, medicine, anti-bacterial soaps, hand sanitiser, tissues, and toilet paper, all free of charge.

Matt, an offer development manager, said: "We've now managed to raise just over £2,000, we have 35 to 40 volunteers covering every street in the village.

"We have teams making kits with with soap, anti-bac and toilet paper, all the things that people have been struggling to get since lockdown began.

"We've also been trying to help with people's well being, so we've created sunflower boxes to help anyone who wants to get out and about in the garden to grow something and spread some colour for people to see when out on their daily walks."

Matt Joblin with the sunflower kits in Higham
Matt Joblin with the sunflower kits in Higham

Every home in Higham village is covered by Matt and his volunteers – the elderly and vulnerable can have their shopping or urgent medical supplies picked up and delivered or can even receive a friendly phone call to avoid loneliness.

Matt said: "More than 100 essential kits have been painted by children in the village to brighten up these dark times for the elderly, vulnerable and pregnant.

"We've partnered up with Hayley's of Higham, a bakery, and The Village Green Grocers of Higham to make deliveries easier.

"Alcohol hand sanitizer is now free to most vulnerable people in the village and has also been fitted in all the local shops and sheltered housing entry and exit points."

Matt and the team have also created a free library at Hayley's bakery to keep villagers entertained and keep minds active with books, crosswords, Sudoku, jigsaws, painting and DVDs.

"We've helped our residents stay in touch with family and friends and developed a wide range of activities to keep them busy both physically and mentally. We would love it if anyone could support us so we can continue doing this much needed work."

Oscar Underhay, five, and Lois, one, with their sunflowers
Oscar Underhay, five, and Lois, one, with their sunflowers

If you would like to donate or find out more about Matt and the Higham Helpers click, here.

For the latest coronavirus news and advice, click here.

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