Covid-19 Archive

Podcast script - Sunday, March 22, 2020

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Good Morning Chelveston, Caldecott and Chelston Rise. It’s 7am on Mothering Sunday the 22nd March. This is Adrian Dale speaking to you from the Church with the daily briefing.

Thank you for all your efforts yesterday in spreading the word about the work we are all collectively doing for the Village. We now have 83 members of the WhatsApp group and another 17 subscribers by email. That is truly heart warming – 100 villagers have now joined our network since Ray Daniells set it up less than one week ago.

Yesterday I mentioned that Carol Parsons had agreed to coordinate leaflet and newsletter delivery. That is now up and running, so a big thank you to the people who have volunteered. Carol will let me know if she has any blind spots and then we’ll make a second call.

I also asked people to come back to me with any concerns about vulnerable households in their immediate area. This information has been really useful. Candy Thorton-Scott from Hillside has been really helpful in this and Andy Cuthbert has put the word out in Chelston Rise. No one in this Village will be without support if they need it. No one will slip through the net for lacking of trying.

In fact two households called in yesterday asking for help, encouraged by the goodwill they were seeing. We were able to deal with their needs within minutes.

I knew I’d be very busy all day and I wouldn’t have time for my usual early morning litter pick. But I wasn’t too worried as things looked OK when I went up to Church for the morning broadcast. So you can imagine my horror at lunch time seeing litter scattered all the way down Higham Road! What sort of scumbag (sorry Michelle, my apologies for that language in Church) does this in broad daylight in the middle of a national emergency?

So you can imagine my delight a few minutes later after getting a message from Mark Hunter the Clerk of the Council. One of our new residents, Vicky Hardy from Peters Close had asked Mark for litter picking equipment so that she could do the job! Thanks Vicky, especially for the tackling the tricky bits that don’t fit into my bags each day.

There were some great information posts on the group yesterday. Clinton Hill posted a clear picture of how the self isolation time line needs to operate in a family and Brenda Elldred provided the child friendly explanation of the corona virus. I confess that I found it quite helpful, never mind children.

The supermarkets are finally getting their collective acts together. As Joann Card warned yesterday, most are changing their opening hours with immediate effect and restricting certain hours for the vulnerable and NHS workers. The details are too complex to post on the group for each retailer. Please consult their websites. Again if you need help, do ask! Someone on the group will know.

I mentioned that Ray Daniells, Mark Hunter and I would meet virtually yesterday to consider the next steps. The overriding concern was shopping, and how volunteers could shop for those who couldn’t get out. Would volunteers be able to access the “vulnerable slots” if they were shopping for a number of vulnerable people. Mark has come up with a prototype “letter of authorisation and identity” which he is going to test with the manager of Waitrose tomorrow. This would bear the picture of the volunteer together with their name. It would be embossed with the Parish Council Seal, something which can’t be forged as it cuts into the paper. If the Waitrose manager agrees, I will approach the manager of LIDL and we’ll see what we can do with ASDA. We are not trying to beat the system, we just want to help the vulnerable avoid the scrum.

That being said, the message from the Government was very clear today. There is enough food in the system for everyone in the country. Selfish behaviour is causing the problem.

Friday’s shock was the closure of all leisure, restaurant and pub facilities, which hit hard in the whole Village, but especially for Naomi and the girls at the Star and Garter. They have worked so hard in the last few months to take and already successful pub to new levels. It must be heart breaking to face this set back. The messages of support yesterday were great, but even better has been Villagers voting with their wallets, by ordering take away food and drink today.

We simply must keep our pub alive. With the Church and Village Hall it is one of the cornerstones of Village life. The Star and Garter has stood as a public house at the heart of this Village for 300 years. Naomi is the only the 27th publican since 1800. If you think how many Prime Ministers we’ve had in that time, you’ll realise the important role she plays in the social fabric of the Village. I say again, let’s keep our pub alive, we need it.

Sad and shocking as Friday’s announcements were, the Government was right to take these steps. Deaths from corona virus are indeed on track to double every 2.5 days. Social distancing is vital, hand washing is vital, self-isolation is vital. If we follow these rules, we can beat this virus as a community.

A small team spent yesterday afternoon in the Church preparing for this morning’s Church service. We did several test broadcasts with Helen in Lincolnshire listening in to give us feedback. We certainly had glitches and challenges and we can’t promise things will be problem free today. Never in my wildest nightmares did I imagine learning to be a sound engineer and broadcaster in the midst of a national emergency. Please bear with us folks as we try.

I’ll be publishing the access details and the order of service shortly. We’ll be recording the service and hope to post the recording within an hour of the service finishing.

Please stay safe and stay hopeful this Mothering Sunday, together we can beat this.