Firstly, we hope that you, your family and loved ones are safe and well. In these extraordinary circumstances we are facing today, health and safety are our number one concern.
Like everyone in the community, over the last few weeks we have had to make huge adjustments to the way we work as Borough Councillors – we are trying to organise and respond in an agile manner to a rapidly changing situation.
We’ve all been busy working with the community aid groups that have sprung up in our local areas. Being able to participate in organising these groups has allowed us to help provide a clear line of communication between the volunteers and the Borough. These Mutual-Aid groups are going to be essential in the weeks and months ahead and are a wonderful endorsement to the community spirit that exists in Rushcliffe.
In Ruddington Cllrs. Jen Walker & Mike Gaunt have been leading the Ruddington Mutual-Aid group along with key people and key institutions. The Parish Council, our local churches, Bloomin’ Dementia, our village schools, NG11 Foodbank and local businesses have all come together in Ruddington to keep people safe. Cllr Penny Gowland has been actively supporting the West Bridgford Community Helpers group that was set up on Facebook and has over 1,700 followers, and a number of West Bridgford Councillors have been supporting other local groups.
These groups have organised an army of enthusiastic volunteers into zones each with a key person to ensure that no one is left alone or isolated. Every household received a leaflet with safe contact information before the lockdown had occurred. Knowing there are neighbours looking out for each other, buying each other’s shopping, picking up medication, walking each other’s dogs… has made this terrible virus a little more tolerable. Plans are already underway for parties after the lockdown is over, where we can all meet again face-to-face as friends.
Cllr. Bal Bansal liaised with the West Bridgford Community Volunteers and local food banks and charities that cook food for the vulnerable, rough sleepers and those who need it the most – and one of these charities prepared and cooked over 240 meals last Monday which were then delivered to the YMCA, and other hostels and buildings where the meals were required.
Cllr. Ben Gray has been active on other social media platforms such as Twitter and also been talking to residents over the phone to ensure they are well. As well as working with local businesses to produce personal protective equipment for front line healthcare workers. Via Twitter, we have a large number of local West Bridgford residents and many of them are connecting to talk and share updates, for example – Liberty Singers (who use Lutterell Hall) are now online!
The Friary is also supporting vulnerable people as it distributing items such as bread, pasta, baked beans, tomato tins, etc… Local West Bridgford Councillors will continue to support and stay active within our local community connecting those who need support with existing community groups that have been set up.
Please make sure any people you are aware of who may need help know how to get in touch:
- Ruddington Covid-19 Mutual Aid: firstname.lastname@example.org, 07954 073 115 or the phone the Parish Council 0115 914 6660
- West Bridgford Community Helpers, 07742 107942 or WBcommunity@yahoo.com.
- Nottinghamshire County Council also have published a Golden Number to call if you are vulnerable or would like to volunteer: 0300 500 80 80.
We are also trying to make sure everyone has been kept up-to-speed with the latest developments from the Borough Council (and County Council and central government as it relates to the Borough). For instance Rushcliffe Borough Council has been in touch with over 600 Small Businesses in the Borough to provide business support grants, but if you believe you are eligible and have not been contacted, please email email@example.com with your billing number and a contact phone number.
There is also funding that has been made available for the Borough’s sports clubs, community organisations and charities who facilitate physical activity, affected by COVID-19. Sports clubs and community organisations can apply to Sport England here: https://www.sportengland.org/how-we-can-help/our-funds/community-emergency-fund
We have been responding to residents’ concerns and have been trying to spot problems before they arise: Rushcliffe have set up a response mechanism to allow us to communicate issues to them rapidly.
We would like to thank the staff of Rushcliffe Borough Council for their hard work and flexibility at this time. For instance did you know that Rushcliffe election staff have helping to collect bins? One of the only good things about this awful situation is that we now recognise the essential contribution of all those key workers, from cleaners to care assistants, who keep our society civilized.
Finally thank you all for doing the right thing, staying safe, staying home, or working in your critical roles. We are here should you need support in any way.