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Village Hub shuts down

During the four months since the government announced the Covid-19 lockdown the village hub has had more than 50 additional volunteers undertaking a variety of roles, including serving in the shop, collecting prescriptions, making and answering phone calls, monitoring the email, arranging and undertaking deliveries of goods from the shop and delivering newspapers, all on behalf of those who have quarantined, shielded or locked down in some way. Over 200 orders for food and goods have been delivered by volunteers to 37 households; 27 households received daily newspaper from free deliveries. Many of the volunteers have now returned to more normal work patterns and are no longer able to help us.

During this time we have not been aware of any Covid-19 infections occurring or transmitting locally, and of only one or two that have been brought into the area from people’s work. This has been a considerable achievement, even though it has been to prevent transmission rather than to fight it in any way. The Parish Council has minuted from its meeting on 14 July “Plymtree Parish Council would like to acknowledge the role that everyone living in the parish has played in keeping our community safe during the Coronavirus pandemic. We do not underestimate the difficulties people have faced during this time and would like to thank everyone for the part they have played. Whether you have isolated or shielded to keep yourself and others safe, continued to work from home or as a key worker or volunteered within the community to support others, your efforts have meant that our community has stayed safe and well.  Thank you to you all for everything you have done.” From the perspective of the Plymtree Community Shop we should like to echo our thanks to all involved in helping us maintain and extend our service to the community.

Now we must move on… The Village Hub email and phone will be shut down on 1 August when the government recommendations for shielding are ended. However, we are not yet able to extend the shop opening times to anything like we had before due to the continuing shortage of volunteers. Please may we encourage anyone who has previously, or who would like in future to help in the shop, to contact the shop as soon as convenient so we can get you started. An hour or two of your time each week, or even just occasionally, is extremely valuable to us. If you have any new or remaining concerns about being in the shop then please let us know – we think we are doing all that we reasonably can to maintain it as a Covid-free environment, and will be continuing with the policy of allowing only one customer in the shop at a time, but want all of our customers and volunteers to feel safe.