Using the existing Neighbourhood Watch platform which set up in our village I used the existing "whatsapp" to encourage villagers to volunteer to collect shopping, prescriptions etc for those who are elderly, vulnerable or self isolating.
I was also already using the village Facebook page so reaching out was easy. I then prepared a letter outlining my plan and delivered to every home in the village (over 750 letters were delivered). We now have over 80 volunteers supporting those in need, in addition helping the village shop to stay open. I also set up a dedicated email address.
We have also shared our good practice having reached out to other groups which have formed since the outbreak to share best practice and ideas, learning from each other. This has extended our network and knowledge. Finally, we have provided a Single point of contact (spoc) via a mobile number for calls, texts, whatsapp and email - it works.
Communication, allowing people to have choices due to age, every age group is covered in terms of how it can communicates and share information. Having a direct phone number, text, whatsapp, facebook, email and support is essential.
Time is the biggest enemy, but this is something which is fluid and subject to change so I am adapting and improvising as it happens, sharing ideas with other group is essential. Support of family and the community and delegating actions also helps.
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