There are already many volunteer groups in and around West Berkshire but many more have emerged since the Coronavirus outbreak.
• If you need help, please see below what is available in our area.
• If your town or village isn’t listed, please contact your town or parish council (contact details can be found online) or local Facebook group.
• If you are thinking of setting up a new group you might want to contact your town or parish council (see above) or the Volunteer Centre West Berkshire (see below) to see what existing services might be available. Several communities are setting up groups using a combination of the #viralkindness cards and social media groups. See example of how it works here. There is also a national Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK facebook support group for anyone running local facebook support groups.
• If you want to be added to this list please email firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below and we will add it.
If you know anyone who is vulnerable or self-isolating in your area and suspect that they may not be aware of any such help that’s available, please let them know the details of the relevant local group.
If you are looking for help for yourself or someone else, these two organisations will be able to provide information on the volunteer groups throughout the district.
If you set up a volunteer group of your own, you should ensure that these two organisations are aware of this so they can direct enquiries accordingly.
• Volunteer Centre West Berkshire
Volunteer Centre West Berkshire has for many years been co-ordinating volunteer activities in the area.
• If you are thinking of setting up your own volunteering group we recommend that you contact them. Once your group is known to them, the VCWB would also be able to direct volunteers to you and offer help and advice, should you need it.
• If you want to volunteer with a group you can use VCWB’s Community Response Volunteer Form to register.
• See here for some specific advice, issued by VCWB on 24 March, for all volunteers and volunteer groups.
• West Berkshire Community Support Hub
West Berkshire Council has set up a Community Support Hub to assist those people who don’t have anywhere else to turn to for help. If you need help please email the team at email@example.com or call them on 01635 503579
Mon to Thu 8.30am to 5pm; Fri to Sun 8.30am to 4.30pm.
• Individual groups (arranged alphabetically)
The Rev Jane Manley, also a parish councillor, is co-ordinating efforts to help those who are vulnerable or self-isolating. Contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0118 971 2891.
Chaddleworth support group using what’s app and #viralkindness Help cards.
• Clay Hill
The Clay Hill Community Association has delivered leaflets to all households inviting vulnerable and self-isolating people to contact them if they need any help. If you need any assistance, or if you want to offer yourself as a volunteer, please call 01635 33270 or email chcaRiverside@gmail.com.
• Cold Ash
Paul Hardy is able to organise collecting shopping or prescriptions for elderly or self-isolating people in the parish. Contact him on email@example.com or on 07957 576 388. See also the 26 March 2020 Community Bulletin for further information.
• East Garston
Please see this page on the East Garston Parish Council website. You can also call Chris Tonge on 01488 648370.
• East Woodhay
EWH Neighbourcare operates in the East Woodhay, Highclere and Woolton Hill area but is supporting the Woolton Hill and Kintbury GP practice across its whole area.
The Frilsham Support Group is co-ordinating volunteering work in and around the village. Click on the link or call Tessa on 01635 204044.
• Great Shefford
Great Shefford Isolation Support Helpline is 01488 860148. Please call if you need help with shopping, prescription collecting, advice or just a friendly chat. Leave your name and number and one of the team will call you back. Your number will not be given to anyone else. If you are concerned about scams and would like to validate the helpline number please call Rev Miriam Keen on 01488 649927.
• Hamstead Marshall
Click here for information about the volunteer groups here and in Marsh Benham. You can also contact Anne Budd on 01488 657022 or 07479 986897.
To assist those that are ill or self-isolating, a volunteer group has been formed and you will probably have received a contact card from your local volunteer. The Hermitage Support Group can be contacted at HermitageSpGp@gmail.com.
See East Woodhay.
• The Hungerford Self-isolation Network has recently been set up to provide volunteer assistance to those who are enduring voluntary or enforced self-isolation. You can also contact Geordie Taylor on 07836 330815.
The Kintbury Volunteer Centre continues to provide assistance for vulnerable and isolated people during Coronavirus. Call 01488 657 119 and leave a message if you need help or want to volunteer
• Marsh Benham
See Hamstead Marshall.
• West Woodhay
• Woolton Hill
See East Woodhay.
The Ray Collins Charitable Trust has been involved in fundraising and volunteer work in and around Wantage for many years.
The Wantage and Surrounding Area Coronavirus Support Group provides volunteers to shop and drop, provide meals on wheels, deliver prescriptions and help the vulnerable and needy in this time of emergency. You can contact the Support Group by telephone on 01235 260033 between 9am and 7pm if you need anything.
Due to the extraordinary circumstances in which these organisations have been set up it has not been possible to institute the compliance and safeguarding procedures that would normally apply. Given the hyper-local nature of most of these groups it’s likely that any volunteer will be known to the householder, at least by sight which should provide a high level of reassurance. If, however, you have any worries or concerns about any aspect of the volunteering support you’re receiving, please in the first instance contact the local organisation. If you want to take the matter further, please contact your respective parish, town or district council.