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Mayfair centre shows its class during pandemic

By Toby Neal | Church Stretton | News | Published:

Volunteers and staff from a Shropshire town's community centre have been rallying round to provide services for the public during the coronavirus pandemic – even though the centre itself has been closed.

But now the Mayfair Community Centre in Church Stretton is beginning to open its doors once more, as the lockdown eases.

Trustee Sue Wood said: "It will be a slow but steady process following government guidelines. To begin with activities will be by appointment only and will be monitored closely to ensure the safety of staff, volunteers and users alike."

Sue said that Mayfair's work in the community had not stopped during the pandemic and while some volunteers had been unable to help because of the government guidelines, more than 100 new ones had come forward.

"We have been providing Ring and Ride transport to deliver prescriptions, shopping – working with local shops and pharmacies – and taking people to essential medical appointments or services following the necessary government guidelines, in total some 490 journeys to date," she said.

"We have also been providing 65 volunteers who are helping with a range of tasks, including supporting local shops to deliver to people who are isolating or unable to shop themselves, delivering between 50 and 70 parcels a day at its peak.

"Then there has been providing meals for people at home, with 170 per week delivered by volunteers, and starting new initiatives like ‘fish and chip Friday’ and afternoon tea.

"A total of 66 volunteers have been supporting 85 people by telephone, people who may normally use the centre or just need a friendly chat during these difficult times."

Among other activities has been outreach support, while MAYSI, the information and advice service, had been in touch with 305 of the most vulnerable people providing reassurance and assistance where needed.

Sue added that while times had been difficult, being able still to provide services had been immensely rewarding.

"The appreciation of those receiving support has been tremendous. The whole local community spirit has been great," she said.

Toby Neal

By Toby Neal
Feature Writer

A journalist in Shropshire for 40 years, mainly writes features and columns, especially about aspects of Shropshire history. Lives in Telford and is based at the Ketley headquarters.

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