We have been planning for a while to open a Community Larder and have been working steadily to a late November opening date. In the meantime the government intervened and the free school dinner row has made us realise that we need to be making food available now. While we still set up the shop we will be opening to distribute any food we can get. We hope in the next few weeks to use The Institute in Ottery St Mary as a proper community resource to make sure that no one in Ottery goes hungry.
It seems a lifetime ago that we first heard of Covid-19 but it is sometimes hard to believe it has only been a few short months. Back at the start of March a local Ottery St Mary resident floated an idea on social media. Her idea was to create a volunteer team to help the “at risk”, elderly, self-isolating and key workers in our community.
From that seed of an idea, in one week over 400 local residents signed up to join and selflessly come to the aid of those around them. Ottery Community Volunteers (OCV) became a reality. Now a unregistered Not for Profit organisation the group has already mobilised to provide vital support to the local community.
What is the purpose of the group?
OCV have three key objectives:
• To establish and sustain for an extended time, a volunteer force capable of supporting our community.
• To minimise the transmission and infection rates of Covid-19 by reducing the footfall within our community and supporting people in isolation.
• To maintain a robust and enduring volunteer operation for as long as is needed, resilient enough to support our community.
What are we actually doing for our community?
The volunteer network is already operational and working in our community. We have divided the volunteer network into priority areas:
Pharmacy Group – collecting and delivering prescriptions for the target people.
Deliveries Team – focused on doing shopping for food & essential supplies, delivered to homes for those self-isolating & vulnerable, reducing the footfall of people in town.
Befriending Group – working alongside the Ottery Help Scheme we offer befriending telephone support for those in need of someone to talk to during their isolation
Foodbank Team – Our volunteers also work with Ottery Foodbank, supporting their essential efforts.
Mental health wellbeing service to our volunteers, run by volunteer healthcare professionals.
Finance team - Using prepaid cards to minimise the use of cash and the risks for transmission of Covid-19, as well as ensuring robust financial accountability.
Why are we fund raising?
Whilst OCV has already started work, up until this point we have relied upon a great deal of good will from volunteers and businesses. In order for us to offer a safe, sustainable, efficient and professional service for our local community we need funding. We recognise that there will be a requirement for active community support for many months to come. We will be using the funds raised to cover a wide range of budgeted costs including:
• Safeguarding training including Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks for volunteers
• Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
• Volunteer out of pockets expenses including mileage claims
• Stationery & consumables
• Software licences
• Printing and postage
• Staffing & resources
- Tracy Kensdale
- Kirsty Cann
- Tracey Sparks
- Liz Williams
Fundraising team: OSMCV (2)
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