Barely more than two weeks old, Pulling Together Ludlow has put together a fantastic operation to support the residents of our town during the Covid-19 pandemic. It has been receiving 150 calls a week to its helpline (01584 817 250). There have been 2,000 views a week of its Facebook page, which now has over 1,100 members.
Pulling Together Ludlow is a dedicated team of volunteers working flat out to cook meals, collect prescriptions, shop and befriend people. The team wants to give its thanks to all the businesses around town that have donated food and all the volunteers who are working to help Ludlow in these extraordinary times.
I’ll Clap for Carers next Thursday night and I’ll be clapping for all the people working in Pulling Together Ludlow as well as our NHS staff, carers and essential workers.
There is very strong support for Pulling Together Ludlow across the Ludlow area. I spoke to a care manager on Wednesday, which proved to be my last day before self-isolation. She said she reckoned Ludlow was one of the most organised towns in the county. I get that impression too. Tina Harvey of Alzheimer’s Society Ludlow said this week:
“I would like to thank your team of staff and volunteers very much. It is very reassuring to know there is support on the ground that I can get people to contact if they are need essential help. At the moment, they seem to be appreciating the reassurance of having a contact number and knowing that there are people on the ground that can contact for help with essentials if necessary. A big, big thank you.”
Pulling Together Ludlow has been liaising and cooperating with organisations and businesses across Ludlow and the county. That has helped put together a portfolio of services in just a couple of weeks.
Among the services currently offered by Pulling Together Ludlow are:
Prescriptions. One of the busiest services, there has been a high take up of the prescription collection and delivery service.
Shopping. This is relatively straightforward for many stores, though Tesco and Aldi will not accept telephone orders. It would help if they would. Callers are being asked to shop where orders and payment can be taken over the phone, though these can be more expensive.
Free school meals have been delivered, augmented with a freshly cooked frozen meal. A new voucher system will be put in place for families by the end of Easter. To date, only Tesco will be participating in Ludlow.
Meal delivery service. Over the past two weeks, a team of volunteer cooks have been cooking and freezing meals using food donated by several businesses in the town. Main meals are available, along with some frozen vegetables and rice. The supply of meals is targeted the most needy, older people, those with high risk medical conditions – not just the ‘shielded’ group but also those with heart conditions, diabetes, etc. Pulling Together Ludlow says: “If someone is in real need, we will not turn them away.”
Telephone befriending. Volunteers are placing regular calls to befriend people in self-isolation for a ‘fire-side chat’. If people need extra support, they will be referred to counsellors if needed.
Dog walking. Pulling Together Ludlow can help with dog walking for those unwell and self-isolating.
Pulling Together Ludlow statistics
Helpline. Nearly 300 calls were received in the two weeks after the seven-day helpline opened (01584 817 250; 9 am to 5 pm, 7 days a week).
Website. The Pulling Together Ludlow website has already had over 1,700 visitors and 4,000 page views.
Facebook. The Pulling Together Ludlow Facebook page has more than 1,100 members, many of whom are making offers of help or responding to requests for help.
The history of Pulling Together Ludlow
Discussions in Ludlow began in earnest in mid-March shortly after the World Health Organisation declared Covid-19 an epidemic on 11 March 2020. On 17 March, a socially distanced meeting of more than 50 people, including GPs, councillors, care staff and volunteers, was held in Ludlow Methodist Church. That meeting ended with the Ludlow Declaration on Covid-19:
“We, as a community in the Ludlow area, agree to work together to support each other, essential services, businesses and vulnerable groups during the Covid 19 emergency.”
A second meeting two days later pulled together activities that aimed to support communities during the approaching emergency. The meeting launched Pulling Together Ludlow, which is a still growing network. It will support our town during the Covid-19 epidemic alongside and in partnership with the professional services.