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Coronavirus: Council reaching out to Bridgnorth support groups and volunteers

By Rory Smith | Bridgnorth | Coronavirus | Published:

Volunteers helping the most vulnerable affected by coronavirus in Bridgnorth are being offered support from a town council.

Long-standing community organisations in the town have turned their focus to helping isolated residents through the pandemic, and newly-formed help groups are making food deliveries, offering social support and sourcing essential supplies.

Volunteers can receive help through town council funding or using council-owned resources.

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This comes after the authority came under fire for dismissing a motion at its last meeting put forward by councillor Julia Buckley to provide £500 to Bridgnorth's Covid Mutual Aid group.

Councillors instead agreed to continue with a £950 grant to community groups looking to celebrate VE Day on May 8, despite the issue of cancellation being raised.

But the authority said it is already working with volunteers to help residents around the town.

Lee Jakeman, town clerk, said: "We are currently working with a number of volunteer groups that are keen to provide support and assistance to vulnerable and concerned residents. We are looking to provide those groups with guidance and practical help where appropriate as well as ensure that they are legitimate."

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Other authorities throughout Shropshire have created emergency funds, including Shrewsbury Town Council which put aside £20,000 to help volunteer groups, offering them £500 each.

Mr Jakeman added: "Our initial thoughts are not to join forces with any one particular group as it is likely that a couple of groups providing similar services might be preferable and of course different groups might offer different things – some emotional support, some practical help with shopping and some with medical information.

"We are keen to speak with as many groups, leaders and co-ordinators as possible, be they long-standing community groups or newly-forming self-help groups in order that we can signpost people effectively."

Mayor of Bridgnorth, Councillor Ron Whittle, said he hoped as many people as possible would join volunteer groups to help the vulnerable and at-risk groups.

Updates with details of organisations and how they can help will be posted on the council's website at bridgnorthtowncouncil.gov.uk

Rory Smith

By Rory Smith
Reporter - @rorysmith_star

Senior reporter based at the Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley, Telford.

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