Volunteers operating Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge’s new Coronavirus community helpline have seen a busy day of helping people across our area.

As Burnham-On-Sea.com reported here last week, the new helpline aims to offer local people assistance with a wide range of key tasks during the disruption.

Community group BiARS, which runs Burnham’s Information Centre, is the hub for the project in conjunction with volunteers from the Burnham and Highbridge Coronavirus Support group.

The new helpline launched on Monday (March 23rd) and Ian Jefferies, Manager of BiARS,  told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “We had a busy first day of requests for help, all of which we were able to deal with.”

“They ranged from deliveries of high-priority prescriptions to local people, several urgent shopping deliveries, a request for help due to a lack of cash which was passed on to the Vllage Agent, and a request for help from a lady in Devon to check on a vulnerable relative in West Huntspill.”

Burnham-On-Sea tourist information centre

“A big thank you goes to the volunteers for all their help, plus the Town Council for their support.”

Burnham Information is overseeing the phone line, 01278 787852, helping those in need and putting them in touch with those that have offered to assist. Alternatively, the group can still be contacted via Facebook or the email burnhamandhighbridge@gmail.com

The initial opening of this number will be between the hours of 10am to 2pm seven days a week.

BiARS is working co-operatively with organisations such as Burnham and Highbridge Town Council, Live West, SPARK, YMCA and many others to assist in helping as many people as possible requiring assistance throughout these troubled times.

Helen Groves, organiser of the community social media group, added: “Our community is frankly incredible, this group was established amazingly quickly. It is born of a shared sense of despair, a frustration at seeing quite negative things happening around us and fear for the wellbeing of people we knew would struggle with isolation, whether for practical reasons or loneliness.”

“Within hours it had gathered hundreds of pledges of support. The level of response, both in terms of offers of help, and requests for help, has been extremely high and it has reached a point that in purely logistical terms, we need to evolve to be able to continue to support each other effectively.”

“I am extremely grateful to BiARS and Ian Jefferies for their kind offer of premises and practical help that allows this community endeavour to develop and strengthen. I am also very grateful to the human dynamo that is the Town Council’s Jacqui Strong who has worked so hard all week to enable this progression.”

“This group is representative of all that is good in our towns in the face of an illness that utterly divides by its nature, our towns, communities and organisations. Both towns have pulled together and I have no doubt this fundamental unwillingness to stand aside and just allow bad things to happen in our community will get us through this period and shape a better way forward.”

 

 
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