Community group needs funding to carry on helping people

Volunteers from a coronavirus support group have said they are struggling to get funding due to their location on the Welsh border, but want to help as many people as possible.

Susan Walker and Duncan Borthwick
Susan Walker and Duncan Borthwick

The Llanymynech Covid-19 Support Group, set up by Duncan Borthwick and Susan Walker, aims to support people in Llanymynech and the surrounding areas – whether its picking up prescriptions or shopping for food.

The group managed to raise nearly £800 overnight when first set up, but Duncan said funds are running low and because the village has an English and Welsh side, it involves two different councils.

"It is quite frustrating. There are people that need urgent help, we might have to split the group in an English and Welsh one to get funding," he said.

"The group is registered with Powys Association of Voluntary Organisations (PAVO) and local doctors which gives us authenticity but we want more people to know about us so they can get in touch.

"What we're finding is there is a shortfall between people on benefits and businesses getting money - the newly unemployed people are really struggling.

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"We have been paying for people's shopping because they have not got enough money to pay us back.

"One lady contacted me recently and said she had only got £4 in her bank account. It was devastating.

"I have delivered 148 bags of prescriptions and done 37 food shops in only the last couple of weeks, and that is without Susan's numbers."

Susan Walker and Duncan Borthwick

Duncan said some people are really struggling and they also have links with charities so can offer money advice or refer them on.

He said: "We have access to Citizen's Advice, PAVO, Red Cross, and Benefits Help so can refer people to them if they need help or advice.

"We will collect medicine, food shops or provide a phone call to check on people.

"Tesco in Welshpool have been amazing. I was doing 10 food shops for people and the customer service team came round and took a trolley for me and box it all up, then I just pay at the end. Sainsbury's in Oswestry is the same."

To contact the group, call 07957 785706 or 07396 056685. Or visit the Llanymynech Covid-19 Support Group Facebook page.

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