People in Lichfield and Burntwood are being asked to offer their help for community members who may need support during the coronavirus outbreak.

Additional restrictions are expected to be introduced next week as the country continues to battle COVID-19.

Cllr Dave Robertson and Cllr Sue Woodward say they have received a number of calls from residents concerned about the impact of an outbreak.

Cllr Robertson, Chair of Lichfield Labour Party, said:

“People are understandably concerned about the immediate and longer-term future.

“As councillors, we want to offer practical help but our numbers are limited and we don’t yet know how things are going to progress.

“We don’t want local people to feel that they don’t have the support they need at what may become for them a time of crisis but we do want to be prepared for all eventualities.

“We are therefore asking community and voluntary organisations across the constituency to commit to sharing a telephone number and email contact address for people to get help, even if it’s only a bit of moral support.”

Cllr Dave Robertson, Lichfield District Council

“We can show what a strong community we live in”

Discussions have now taken place with Kate Gomez, who has been involved with projects such as the Lichfield Repair Cafe, to develop a database of people others can call on in times of need over the coming weeks.

“I want to pull a simple database together – just the name of an organisation plus a secure telephone number and email – which can then be used to signpost people, even those most isolated, towards help.

“Whether it’s a bit of shopping by a trusted person or a willingness to drop vulnerable people a letter, this is a time that we can really show what a strong community we live in.

“When coronavirus is all over, I hope we can continue with this database for people who are anxious, lonely or just need someone to care.”

Kate Gomez

To add your organisation’s details to Kate’s Be A Friend database for Lichfield constituency, email lichfieldbeafriend@gmail.com.

“People are feeling very unnerved”

Cllr Sue Woodward, Labour county councillor for Burntwood North and leader of Burntwood Town Council, said it was important that the community pulled together.

“People are feeling very unnerved at the moment and we want to do whatever we can to offer help.

“We have a thriving community and voluntary sector locally and feel sure they will also want to help in their locality.

“They have people in their groups who have the appropriate security clearance and training in the safeguarding of adults and children who will ensure safe support in which people can have confidence.”

Cllr Sue Woodward, Burntwood Town Council

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

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15 Comments

  1. That’s such a relief to know we are going to be looked after, it’s frightening for us older people who have to hide away for months on end especially if we fall ill. I have experienced the doctors in Burntwood who just told me to phone 111 which was no use at all. So how do we get antibiotics for infections its not always Covid 19, its throat infections, urinary tract infections, which can also be fatal if not treated, I’m very concerned about how the doctors in this area are going to deal with this, other than sending us off to 111 when they are busy with the corona virus patients, even then you have no way of telling if it is the Covid virus, because they are not doing any tests until you are near to death, NHS is in a complete meltdown and it certainly needs some leadership before they go any further. Praise though for this data base we will not be forgotten about and just left to get on with it alone.

  2. We should remember that pets are also affected by this mad panic and although they don’t need hundreds of toilet rolls to help their plight ( ha ha) they still need exercise, feeding etc. Which I could help with if I wasn’t ,as I now hear going to be pressured into isolation as 70+ resident. How ridiculous!! Anyone want to look after my horse?

  3. Joan and Mrs Randall, it must be a very worrying time for you but one of the reasons we are doing this is that hopefully people don’t feel alone and are reassured that there is help out there and how to access it. Whilst we work on this, I just wanted to let you know that there is a great organisation locally who might be able to offer you help and support. It’s Live at Home and they have a Lichfield and a Burntwood branch. Here is a link to the Lichfield one https://www.mha.org.uk/live-home/live-home-near-me/lichfield-district/ Warmest wishes, Kate

  4. Completely endorse Kate’s comments. A small group of people, including the wonderful Kate and including some councillors, set up our database project during hours of discussion over the weekend. We wanted to ensure that people had somewhere to go to to get help and so we thought that doing this via tried, tested and trusted local community organisations was the best way forward. Councillors can help – all of them, across the whole constituency – can help by promoting and sharing the database and encouraging groups to sign up if they can. Also, individuals who are emailing lichfieldbeafriend@gmail.com offering help are being directed towards community groups rather than “go it alone” – and that includes councillors, Lichfield Live readers, anyone who cares. Even those in vulnerable groups themselves might like to offer to have a telephone chat with someone who’s isolated and alone. We have a great community spirit locally and no W’s the time to show it more than ever.

  5. It’s very scary for all, Myself I suffer from type 1 diabetes and other medical issues so I’m really scared I won’t be able to get my medication and food, is there any advice out there. It would be greatly appreciated.

  6. I came to live in Lichfield 6 years ago in Shepherd close and no one knocked my door to say welcome which I expected!!!Since then nothing has changed !!
    Now with all this publicity about helping your neighbours I thought maybeI would get that important knock but NO calls so far!
    I am nearly 80 years old ,have my car so quite independent in normal times!
    BUT my so lives in Devon and my daughter lives in Tamworth and works…….I need my prescription for blood pressure and some items I forgot when my daughter was here on mothers day so now I must defy the governments advice and go out in my car for these items! Is there anyone out there prepared to help and be a friend? I will at the end of this reciprocate as I have lots to offer as a friend

  7. Kay
    Lichfield is not that sort of community you are not in Cumbria or Lancashire or Yorkshire etc. Lichfield is a computer town for Birmingham or in some cases london

  8. Please can we be good neighbours even if it only to help people local to us. We are in the older age group and it would be lovely to know there was help out there. Wonder how Boris thinks we are going to have food delivered. They delivery services have been overwhelmed.

  9. I have to chuckle to myself when I read one of the comments about being ‘good neighbours’. This is from a resident who has been pure evil to people for years. #payback

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