The entire UK have been feeling the negative effects of the Coronavirus, with pubs and restaurants closing their doors for the foreseeable future, our ability to leave the house has been severely limited to lessen the spread of the deadly disease.
The nation has been battling through the strict lockdown restrictions that were implemented by the government in March. Yet despite their troubles, Canterbury residents have been finding new ways to give back to those still working on the frontline and providing continuous support to those that are unable to leave their homes.
The solidarity amongst the community has played such a large role in keeping the district flowing smoothly in this time of mayhem.
With many people stuck inside such as the elderly, the vulnerable and those complying to self-isolation guidelines, the founder of Canterbury Residents Group Edd Withers has set up a community support group. This allows those in need of assistance the chance to connect with residents in their area that are willing to help.
“As soon as the outbreak happened, people wanted to help. People are naturally good, I believe, and it made sense to try and channel that and help to organise the goodwill.
“I knew the authorities would take a little longer to get ready to provide assistance, so a small and nimble Facebook group seemed a good way to help bring people together in the meantime.
“People have certainly become more united, people are paying more attention to those who live around them, and this is really good and will be a long term positive outcome.
“Community during times of crisis is so important, and it can really help to take the strain off organisations like the local council and charity groups.
” It’s a wonderful message and every act of kindness should be appreciated. If it cheers just one person up, its a good thing, and it can help people to see that being kind actually brings many benefits!”
Businesses that have managed to remain open and offer their services such as local convenience stores have joined the effort to help those that aren’t able to shop by themselves.
Blean Village Store is just one of the many business that have used their resources to assist those at risk by offering a free delivery service with many residents volunteering to deliver essential food items. The business have been helping approximately 70 families receive the food they need on a weekly basis with staff working tirelessly to provide the best service they can for the community.
Shop owner Kunaal Patel has said:
“The great thing about this is that the community is coming together to help each other out. The volunteers that are helping deliver these essentials food item are locals helping another local family out.
“Our staff have been amazing working long hours (7 days a week) to make sure the locals have access to essential food items. We are also grateful for the support and kind words we have received from the local residents.
“We have just done a free competition for someone to win a free box of food essentials – she will be collecting it on Thursday.”
Residents of Blean and surrounding areas have been taking to Facebook to show their support towards the initiative. One shopper Kevin Sims, took to Facebook to say:
“It has been my local shop for 41 years, they are always flat out working hard well done you guys even through the hard times you keep the community going.”
Others have started to donate to a foodbank, volunteered for a charity or local group in need or shopped from a small or local business instead of going to a large chain. While others have used their creative skills to show their support for patients in hospital by making crochet hearts to give to them and their families.
If you are considering volunteering to help during the outbreak be sure to check out the Blean Village Store and Canterbury Coronavirus assistance on Facebook and see how you can do you bit for the community in these trying times.