Covid-19 Archive

Podcast script - Wednesday, April 08, 2020

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Good Morning Chelveston, Caldecott and Chelston Rise. Itís Wednesday 8th April and this is Adrian Dale with the daily briefing for the Village.

Now Iíve had the great fortune of living in this Village for 33 years since 1987. But in the grand scheme of things that makes me a relative newcomer. There are many people who have lived here much longer than that, some of whom were born here, some of whom even remember when my house was just a field.

Nevertheless, I feel as if I am part of the furniture now, and they can carry me out of here in a box. I know a good 70% of village residents and many know me. The benefit of this is that when something goes wrong, I get to hear about it no matter where I am. Iíve had some classic incidents to deal with over the years. Weíve obviously had trees blocking the roads, weíve had houses flooding, four big fires, and even a herd of cows in Duchy Close munching their way through the bushes in someoneís front garden.

A few years ago, when a motorist lost control of their car and crashed into the war memorial, they were amazed to have three Villagers turning up immediately taking photographs, followed by me a couple of minutes later. There was no way that they could do a hit and run without paying.

I was reminded of all this by an incident today. Steve Clarke saw a herd of sheep loose on the B645 near Lancaster Farm. He called Jennie, Jennie called me, I called Jo Mould and Jo called Ollie, her son, to go and retrieve them. All sorted in a matter of minutes. Thatís the Village telegraph, at work, at its best.

And we are certainly benefiting now from even better connections. The WhatsApp group was buzzing yesterday with intelligence about shopping queues and supplies. There were requests for information and offers of help. Now I mainly watch these conversations from the sidelines, just delighted that our Village is looking out for each other.

But behind the scenes, I also get lots of calls and private messages each day. And yesterday was no exception. Some are asking questions, others offering help and information, or telling me that they havenít seen a neighbour for a day or so. I am grateful to you all. I really feel as if collectively we have the finger on the pulse of the Village.

Residents of Chelston Rise have sometimes said that they donít feel part of the Village. But actually I was there as Chair of the Council when the settlement was first formed and I have tracked it ever since. When the emergency started, I was worried that I hadnít seen the names and faces I know joining the group or checking in. So for the last week I have been in overdrive, making sure that I connect with everyone I can reach. As of last night only 6 households in Chelston Rise are now off my radar. So thank you to everyone that has helped with this. Our goal is to make sure that everyone is safe. No one needs to face this crisis alone.

Yesterday another piece of the national support infrastructure went live. The NHS Volunteers are now up and running. Janellan Reedman is one of them and tells me that there are 7 others registered in the Village. Hats off to you all, and thank you for answering the call. Iíd really appreciate you letting me know who you are Ė just in case!

Each of the volunteers has been vetted and is part of a responder network that can be despatched to assist anyone who has been referred by a healthcare professional. Itís great to know that our efforts as a Village are now underpinned by this professionalised infrastructure.

Nationally, we heard that the Prime Minister is still in intensive care but not on a ventilator. Dominic Raab, the First and Foreign Secretary, is now officially in charge where required. I certainly wouldnít fancy his job, and we can only hope that Boris has a speedy recovery. When you see this, you realise how lucky our recovered families have been. For those still suffering symptoms in the Village, our thoughts go out to you. Let us know if you need help.

The figures released yesterday were disappointing. They were released 2 hours late, which is never a good sign. It looks as if there were some reporting problems over the weekend and the figure released on Monday figure may have been artificially low. Our mortality and case curves are now back to tracking Italy. However, encouragingly, we are no longer in an exponential growth phase. But only time will tell. Day to day fluctuations are to be expected.

Iíd like to finish where I started by welcoming our latest resident to the Village, beginning the journey I started 33 years ago. Richard Browne is moving into one of the new houses on Bidwell Lane this week. It has been a huge challenge for him as no removal companies are available to help him retrieve his household goods from storage. Richard and I have been communicating for the last few weeks and he has been a quiet member of the WhatsApp group to help him acclimatise. I saw him on Monday when I was cutting the new verge outside his house. Itís fair to say that he is really looking forward to joining us. Heís been amazed by the community spirit heís been seeing.

So yes we might be facing the biggest challenge of our lives but at least we are working together. So please join me in welcoming Richard. When we have that party after this is all over, I look forward to introducing you to all the great characters that make up this wonderful place we live in.

Thank you