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Coronavirus Kent: Postcards and Facebook groups to help those in need during pandemic

Postcards offering help such as shopping or dog walking for self-isolating neighbours have been adopted by a caring town.

The form was originally devised by Becky Wass, from Falmouth, Cornwall, who wanted to spread kindness, not fear, as the country battles the spread of the coronavirus.

The form has been adapted for Tenterden to include dog-walking
The form has been adapted for Tenterden to include dog-walking

Now it's been picked up in Tenterden and customised for the town to include an offer to walk dogs.

A Facebook page, Helping in Tenterden, was set up on Saturday, with a downloadable version of the postcard, which volunteers can pop through doors and tick the box where they are able to help.

People confined to the four walls of their home are also being offered a "friendly phone call" if they are experiencing loneliness or just feel in need of a chat to keep in touch with what's going on in town

The group already has a 160-plus members with offers to shop, deliver meals and pick up essential items flooding in.

Sue Ferguson who devised the Tenterden postcards said: "I saw the postcard and thought it was a brilliant idea but I adapted it for Tenterden as we have so many people who own dogs here and they have to get out of the house for a walk."

Sue Ferguson has set up a scheme for people to help neighbours in the coronavirus outbreak
Sue Ferguson has set up a scheme for people to help neighbours in the coronavirus outbreak

The town councillor added: "I want the postcard to be a conduit for people who are healthy to give their support to vulnerable or self-isolating residents. I'm amazed at how many offers of help there have been already and I think it will just grow and grow."

One resident is volunteering to train older people who are well to do online shopping and to use Skype so they can stay in touch with family, should they need to self-isolate.

In the meantime village stores in St Michaels and Rolvenden have started to offer home delivery services to support those self isolating and others in need, while The Potato Shop in Tenterden will home-deliver to the elderly and vulnerable.

Rachel Georgiades, the owner of Pure Connection Pets in the high street will be dropping off pet food orders to homes and has offered to pick up other shopping too. She said: "I am happy to drop off other shopping or supplies during these deliveries – people can call the shop with their shopping list, I will try my best to get what they need from the various shops in Tenterden and drop it over to them."

Sue said: "This is a great example of the town pulling together. We have all got to look after each other at a time like this and especially take care of our elderly."

In Medway two groups have been set up to help people in need.

One group is delivering essentials to people living in Cliffe Woods, Wainscott and Higham and a mum-of-three has gone above and beyond to help those in need.

A couple have been also leafleting homes in their neighbourhood offering to pick up shopping and prescriptions for the elderly or disabled.

For the latest coronavirus news and advice, click here

Read more: All the latest news from Tenterden

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