Coronavirus Response

Community Response

This is where you can find resources for supporting the community during the Coronavirus outbreak.

As the parish church for Prestwood we are a resource for the whole village. Our goal is to help people, and to use our resources and experience to help others help people. These resources are guiding our practical support for the people we are helping to look after. Please use them yourself if they help you in your response. In any case of need or concern or in urgency, or if you or a family member require a priest, in the first instance please contact the Rector, Deiniol Heywood (01494 866530) or the Reverend Kevin Lovell (01494 868845). 

Here are some ideas as to how you can support the at risk people around you.

  1. Be part of a group. There are lots of offers of help, but they need to be co-ordinated to be effective. Is there already a group operating in your street or area? The best register is at https://covidmutualaid.org. It is really simple to register a group, and the more local it is the better. If everyone in Prestwood and Great Missenden used this resource to start or join a group we would be really efficient. 
  2. In Prestwood the response is being co-ordinated through the Your Prestwood & Great Missenden Coronavirus Community Group Facebook Group. You can use this group to:
    • Volunteer to help
    • Ask for help
    • Let us know of a friend or relative you can't help yourself but needs help.
    If you are not on Facebook please email Lesley—we will pass the information on.
  3. Be clear about how you are helping and who you are helping. More than anything else people who are at risk need consistency. Are you able to drop shopping off twice a week? Are you happy to pick up medicines? Have you thought about doing other people's shopping for them—and how will it paid for? Are you concentrating on your street, or some particular people you know? Who else is offering help around you? This is why working in a group is so important. Some people might be offered too much help, some not enough. Come up with a plan or a rota.
  4. Be Safe. If you are going to help people you must do it safely. Please read this safeguarding advice.
  5. Be aware of who needs help. How will you find out? Who might be slipping through the net? 
  6. Be social (at a distance). Keep communicating with your group. Set up a Facebook/WhatsApp Group to make it easy to keep in touch.#
  7. Be educated about the help that is around you. You can find local resources at www.htprestwood.org.uk/coronavirus and www.missendenchurch.org.uk/covid19help
  8. And lastly... remember that not everyone is online. Many of the most at risk are even more isolated because they are not online.
Some more resources from our friends in Great Missenden church.
Last modified on Wednesday, 25 March 2020 07:50

There has been such a massive show of support from people in Prestwood and Great Missenden. It might be helpful to think what support will really help people over the long term.

Who needs support?

There are two types of people who need our support. Many people are fit and healthy, but are self-isolating because they have, or suspect they have, the virus. These we can describe as ‘confined to barracks’. Then there are those who are already vulnerable in everyday life, who have been advised to isolate because of their vulnerability. This could be because of age, medical condition or disability, or because they are carers.

What is their situation?

The ‘Confined to Barracks’

This group are likely to need practical support such as assistance with food deliveries and picking up prescriptions. They are more likely to be on-line with established networks of people around them and resources to help them cope until they can come out of isolation.

The Vulnerable

This group is in a more difficult position. They will have to remain isolated until the risk of them catching the virus has diminished. They are less likely to be online, and if they are they may use the internet in a more basic, less social way. They are less likely to have an established support network around them. The services that they rely on have all ceased—lunch clubs, day centres, social groups and classes. They will no longer be interacting with their friends. If they have family they may not be close by, and if they don’t they might be feeling very alone. They are much less likely to have the resources to stock up on food even if they have the opportunity.

Some people will have elements of both these broad groups—everyone is different, and we will have to listen to people if we are to provide effective support.

How can we help?

The ‘Confined to barracks’

  • Offer practical support—shopping for perishable goods; picking up prescriptions.
  • Plug into their networks—use technology to keep in touch with your friends and the people you’re supporting. Use video technology if you can. It is nice to see a friendly face!

The Vulnerable

  • As the above, plus.
  • Are they online? If so, can you help them use their devices effectively? What are their interests? Is there an App for that? (There are a lot of Bridge and Mah-jong players in Prestwood.)
  • If they aren’t online can they be helped to get online? Do you have an old iPad you could resurrect? Does your wifi extend to your neighbour’s house? Imagine standing outside the door whilst someone uses your old phone piggybacking off your personal hotspot to FaceTime their family. That might be the biggest boost to their mental health you could imagine! (Following good safeguarding guidelines, of course.)
  • How can you help social interaction remotely? Social Distancing makes this hard but be creative. Help with gardening—making sure they are pointing out to you (literally!) the jobs they want doing. Play games—online chess or draughts?
  • Talk to them—through the letter box, on the phone. Do everything you can to promote healthy and safe human interaction. Loneliness too can kill.
Last modified on Wednesday, 18 March 2020 16:28

Good safeguarding is really important. It protects you and the people you want to help. It gives you confidence that you are doing the right thing, and others confidence that you know what you are doing. Good safeguarding, like good health and safety, makes stuff possible. Bad safeguarding, like bad health and safety, gets in the way and makes things worse. Here are some good safeguarding principles to follow when helping the elderly and vulnerable.


1. COMMUNICATE WELL WITH THE PERSON YOU ARE HELPING. Make sure you are meeting a real need that you have been asked to meet. Make sure you understand what is being asked of you, and make sure the person you are helping knows what you are going to do for them. Don’t make assumptions. Listen, and make sure the person has listened to you. Avoid misunderstandings.


2. DON’T GO IT ALONE. Make sure you are working with other people. Try to work in teams. Tell others what you are doing, and ask them for advice. Share good practice and ideas. Ask people, “Is there a better/safer way I could do this?” Be confident in sharing your experience with other people. It could be something as simple as being reminded to tell Mrs X that there’s frozen food in the top of the bag that you’ve left on the doorstep, because last time she forgot and it was wasted!


3. KEEP A LEDGER OF ANYTHING FINANCIAL Always have a second person involved when money is involved – e.g. getting shopping for someone. They shouel record and confirm what you are doing. Write down any way in which you are involved with someone else’s money; give receipts; make sure everything is transparent. This isn’t about a lack of trust—it is about increasing trust because you are doing it right.


4. KEEP A RECORD. This is really important. Keep a written record of what you’ve done. Record the date and time, the person you are helping, what you did, and anything out of the ordinary that you noticed. It doesn’t need to be long but it needs to be complete. There are all sorts of ways this could be useful—It could be vital for medical professionals, for instance. But it also protects you and the person you are helping. It demonstrates that you are safeguarding yourself as well as others. Encourage anyone you are helping to keep their own record of the help they have received.


5. TALK TO FAMILY/FRIENDS. One of the hardest things right now is that people are isolated from their family. Give your contact details and ask them to be passed on to a responsible family member/friend. Someone whom the person trusts. Family may be worried and concerned and maybe feel unable to help; talking to you will give them confidence, and ease their worries that the person might be at risk. You can also get helpful information. People living with dementia or other heath conditions may not be able to tell you exactly what they need.


6. SOCIAL DISTANCING IS YOUR FRIEND. However unnatural, social distancing can help you be good at safeguarding. You will have to find ways of communicating with people that don’t impose upon them. You will have to think creatively about how to support people without being in their personal space. All of this will help you protect others and yourselves.


7. BE AWARE Put safeguarding at the heart of your support. Get aware, get educated, talk about it, test yourselves and others. It isn’t a tick box exercise. Make safeguarding a part of your culture and it will help you offer good support for as long as it takes. You will feel more confident, you will build a better team around you, you will avoid pitfalls that demoralise you and others. And most of all you will keep everyone safe.

The Parochial Church Council of the Ecclesiastical Parish of Holy Trinity, Prestwood is a registered charity, no. 1129233.

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