Volunteer group offers Phone Buddy support

VOLUNTEER group Horsell Prepared, hard at work providing a community response to the coronavirus outbreak, has introduced a Phone Buddy service.

It matches local volunteers with Horsell villagers who would welcome hearing a friendly voice either on the telephone or on a video call.

Phone Buddy co-ordinator for Horsell Prepared, Julie Gillis

“This is a great opportunity for villagers to support each other during this difficult time,” said Phone Buddy co-ordinator Julie Gillis.

If you live in Horsell and would like to know more, you can sign up for the scheme, including volunteering as a Phone Buddy, at Horsell Prepared’s website – https://bit.ly/horsell  – or call 01483 380025 if you do not have internet access.

Horsell Prepared began at least two years before the current pandemic crisis, and was set up by local Horsell residents Helen Cammack, Alan Taylor and a small group of others, under the umbrella of Horsell Residents’ Association, to plan ahead for community emergencies.

“When the current COVID-19 crisis began, we had about 100 volunteers and systems already in place, so we were in a good place to help Horsell residents almost immediately,” said Helen.

She said anyone self-isolating, those with health conditions, key workers and any households where someone is symptomatic, in the Horsell area, should call Horsell Prepared if they were in any way hesitant about going out. “We would encourage anyone who would prefer to stay indoors to give us a call. You may not think that Horsell Prepared is for you, but we do have capacity, and are very happy to help. We have over 400 volunteers and still counting.”

The helpline number is 01483 380025, and the helpline is manned 7 days a week, 8am-6pm. All callers are asked to leave a message and called back by a duty manager within an hour or two. The duty manager coordinates the volunteers who carry out the requests. These can be anything from picking up prescriptions to collecting shopping, even walking dogs.

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