In March, Josh Constable and Adam Ford set up a Facebook page that evolved into a local Community Group matching hundreds of volunteers with residents in Eastleigh, Bishopstoke and Fair Oak who needed help with shopping, prescriptions or simply a friendly chat. Eastleigh Community Aid has emerged. Shielding, queues for shops and lockdown restrictions made simply getting by a challenge for many people last spring and summer. The challenges continue for many residents.
ECA works closely with Eastleigh Borough Council’s Local Response Centre and has been able to flag up some of the issues experienced with last year’s food box scheme.
Cllrs Ray Dean and Anne Dean sourced and delivered party food to a number of local care homes for VE Day celebrations in May. It was challenging trying to track down bunting and flags as well as sausage rolls during lockdown! Local businesses were incredibly supportive.
Cllrs Gin Tidridge and Lou Parker-Jones coordinated volunteers and managed rotas for ECA’s helpline and continue to do so. On many days last spring, we were finding 10 or 20 volunteers a day. The numbers are lower now, but there is still a need for help. We have flexed the support to try and best meet needs. For example, ECA did have a daily volunteer to cover all local prescription pick-ups, but as the pharmacies built and improved their delivery services, that has now been wound back.
We remain very involved with ECA – as are so many of you.
Thanks so much to all of you who gave up your time for those who have needed help during this difficult time.