Community comes together during coronavirus outbreak

LYME Regis community spirit has come to the fore once again as residents prepare for the coronavirus outbreak.

A new group called ‘Lyme Regis Community Support’ has been set up on social media site Facebook, to co-ordinate offers of help and support for the elderly and vulnerable during the coming weeks.

The group was launched as the coronavirus outbreak started to take an effect on local life.

While there have been no confirmed cases of the virus in Lyme Regis, several events have been cancelled and there are increasing concerns over the effect on tourism, local businesses and Lyme’s largely elderly population.

Local residents Victoria Cottle, Grace Herbert, Becky Lippett and Cheryl Reynolds have taken the lead on the community effort to help those in need.

They have asked residents to volunteer as a ‘person of contact’ for their street or area, to look out for elderly or vulnerable neighbours. Volunteers can then use the Facebook page if groceries, medication, phone calls, toilet roll etc. are needed.

Victoria commented: “Myself and Grace Herbert wanted to find away to support community members with the impending shut down, and thought the best way to bring people together and reach a wide range of people would be with Facebook.

“Lyme Regis has a brilliant community spirit and it has shown that in the outpouring of support in the last few days. We have overwhelmed with kind offers and support.

‘We are all connected’

“Our biggest aim is to make sure that the vulnerable, elderly or isolated members of the community weren’t left feeling alone or without provisions. It really is wonderful to see the community pulling together in such uncertainty and remembering that we are all connected.”

Local printing company Advantage Digital Print is supporting the scheme by printing 2,000 ‘offers of help’ leaflets which can be filled out with contact details of those willing to help and posted through doors in the Lyme Regis area.

The leaflet can also be seen below so you can print out your own copy.

Victoria added: “We will be distributing fliers through doors this week to local residents with contact details of someone in their street they can make contact with for support. Alternatively they can call Cheryl Reynolds on 01297 443814 or 01297 691492.”

Several local businesses have also offered their support, including the Royal Oak in Charmouth which can deliver hot meals to elderly residents who are unable to get out. Lyme Regis Butchers is also offering meat packs at a special price for pensioners, which they will also deliver.

Mayor calls for residents to support one another

The Mayor of Lyme Regis, Councillor Brian Larcombe MBE, has released the following statement calling for residents to look out for one another:

“This is one time when a town as small and much more group-focussed than others can keep an effective eye on neighbours within our community. It’s not a lot to simply check the person next door is OK, particularly if they are elderly, on their own, less mobile and vulnerable.

“Although a distance from the resources within large conurbations, we’re lucky that our local environment is so much different from the dense urban concentration of UK cities and the cosmopolitan nature of them.

“Government will set measures that reflect London and other large towns and cities needs, and places like Lyme will have to work out the application of them in our less dense and more remote locations – a benefit being that, as well as having the fresh sea air that surrounds us, we are a small town and know each other well enough to keep an eye out for neighbours, the elderly and the vulnerable.

“Beyond this we must look to our GP for individual advice, and the NHS and Government advice as the effects of the virus and the response to it develops.”

For the latest government advice on coronavirus, visit www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response

Follow LymeOnline’s live updates on coronavirus for the latest news and advice, including how the outbreak is affecting the local area.

Woodmead Halls
About Francesca Evans 2542 Articles
Francesca grew up in Lyme Regis and has worked in community journalism in the area since 2011, having gained a First Class Honours degree in journalism and her NCTJ qualifications at Southampton Solent University.

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