Meet the strangers joining forces to conquer coronavirus fear
PUBLISHED: 17:20 18 March 2020 | UPDATED: 17:20 18 March 2020
Archant/Jo Howard/Victoria Pamment
Two strangers have joined forces in a bid to ease the fears of those in self-isolation due to coronavirus.
Jo Howard and Victoria Pamment, who met for the very first time on Tuesday, have formed Hingham Helpers to help the village’s most vulnerable residents and those forced to stay at home.
With ‘at-risk’ groups including the elderly and pregnant women set to be told they must stay at home for 12 weeks, Mrs Howard and Miss Pamment had independently voiced a desire on social media to do their bit.
And now the pair have opted to create a coordinated plan of action by combining their efforts and bringing on board a host of other willing helpers from across the area.
“It’s still in the early stages, but the aim is to make sure the elderly and vulnerable have everything they need,” said Mrs Howard, a stay-at-home mum. “That includes anything from doing their shopping to picking up prescriptions and dog walking.
“We are supporting the people that don’t have anyone within the community, those in extreme isolation.
“We were only looking for about 10 or 20 volunteers because Hingham isn’t that big, but we’re really surprised at the number of people who want to help in all different capacities.”
As Hingham Helpers grows in numbers, Royal Mail has agreed to distribute flyers advertising the group’s efforts during the postal round.
The next stage will see volunteers await calls from those in need and decide who is best fixed to provide the desired service.
Miss Pamment, who runs her own foot care business, says her experience of working with elderly clients stands her in good stead.
“95% of my clients are over 70, so even before this happened I would get daily reminders of the isolation that elderly people experience,” she added.
“In recent weeks I’ve had lots of conversations with people who are quite worried about the situation. It is a terrifying concept for those who don’t any family nearby.
“Once the elderly are in isolation I am not going to have any work, so I might as well do something useful with my time. The whole community has been brilliant and we’ve had such a variety of ages offering to help, even teenagers.”
If you need support, call Jo Howard on 07895711461 or Victoria Pamment on 07557235117. Visit the Hingham Helpers Facebook page for more information.
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