Newsletter No.1


22nd April 2020

Dog walker needed, face mask magic, ID badge updates, central phone number and numerous thanks! 


We are looking for someone or more than one person to walk a dog, once or more a day for a vulnerable gentleman. One of our volunteers is able to do once a day this week but after that will be back at work. Due to the owner’s vulnerability, we really need people to volunteer who are not keyworkers themselves or living with a keyworker. Please send any expressions of interest to the Swanage Neighbours' email address.


Thanks to the effort of local crafters, who between them have created over a thousand facemasks, we are pleased to be able to offer all of our volunteers fabric facemasks which may be worn with a filter. We offer two to each volunteer, so they may be washed between uses (at 60 degrees). These are completely optional at the moment, though the evidence is mounting that they can reduce community transmission and we will update our policies, if the official advice changes. As always, it is important to note that facemasks are no substitute for good hygiene measures and appropriate social distancing measure - they are an "as well as" not an "instead of"! The project has now moved on to make bags for scrubs and uniforms for nursing and care workers - if you can help with this in anyway do email us!


We now have a central number set up via the Swanage Information Centre for those who are making new enquiries, that do not have access to the internet. This is a big step forward! The phone number is 01929 253108 and you may distribute it to those who need it. We know a lot of our Road Coordinators have done brilliant work identifying people who need support through leafletting but PLEASE consider asking those not formally registered on the network, to do so, as this will be important going forward as we consider funding applications and similar to support the community!


We have received the occasional query about ID badges, but due to the difficulties in creating them and the fact that 99% of our volunteers have not experienced any issues shopping for others, this remains on the back burner for now. Please do let us know if you have problems and we can think of other ways to help (we could for example, provide supermarkets with a list of our volunteers' names). 


We love the way that our town claps for key workers but here in the central admin team, we would like to say that we are clapping for you too!  Without you, our town would not be supported with the offers of friendship, practical and emotional support which you show each other - it's quite something! Please keep sending us all of your wonderful volunteer bios for the Facebook page and any stories, no matter how small, of bright moments in your week! Also, and this is important (!) don't hesitate to reach out to us if you have a problem or are simply finding the amount you have taken on too much - all of us will find our circumstances shift throughout this tricky time and we want to make sure everyone is supported - including those doing the support work! Finally, please do check our Facebook group to keep up with everything that is going on - we can only include so much in a newsletter! If you haven't used Facebook before, please do consider it, as it's a good way to stay connected with our group. 

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