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Farnham’s coronavirus response

Close up showing push buttons on a white telephone

In the week following the government’s decision to fight the spread of coronavirus by putting the country into lockdown, an immense amount of work has been undertaken to ensure Farnham’s most vulnerable are cared for.

The Farnham COVID-19 Coordinating Group has been formed by the Farnham Maltings and Farnham Town Council with the support of the Farnham Herald, the Farnham and Villages Coronavirus Support Group, Farnham Nextdoor and the Farnham Response Group, together with Churches Together, Farnham Foodbank, Farnham Money Advice, Meals on Wheels, Residents’ Associations and the Farnham Society as well as many other individual community groups.

Councillor John Neale, Leader of Farnham Town Council says: “Once the first cases of coronavirus were reported in the UK and guidance was issued to advise more vulnerable members of the community to stay at home, a number of very local community initiatives quickly formed to help people in need.

“The idea behind setting up the coordinating group is twofold. Firstly, we want to bring together all the requests for help so that nobody slips through the net and secondly, we want to ensure the many offers of help are directed to where they are most needed. To do this, we have set up a helpline and dedicated email. We are grateful to Keith Roberts for helping us to create a secure database for recording calls, to Gavin Stride and his team at the Farnham Maltings for their hard work and to everybody who has offered to help out in their community.”

Residents who need help but who do not have friends, family or neighbours to help them should call 01252 745446 or email help@farnhammaltings.com. The lines are open Monday to Friday, from 9am to 6pm and there is a recorded message for assistance outside of these hours.

Anybody who would like to volunteer is asked to email volunteers@farnhammaltings.com and local neighbourhood organisers or community networks are invited to add their details to a database by emailing organisers@farnhammaltings.com. Both email addresses generate an auto-response with a link to an online form for completion.

Councillor Pat Evans, Mayor of Farnham says: “We are blessed to live in a town that has such a special community that can be relied upon to pull together during times of need. We have seen an amazing show of solidarity over the past few days and I feel extremely proud that as a Town Council, we have been able to play such a constructive role in working with the community for the community.”

She adds: “Having set up the coronavirus helpline, it is important that people know it exists, so we have arranged for the Royal Mail to deliver an information leaflet to every household in Farnham and surrounding villages. We’ve also gathered and published a wealth of information on our website at www.farnham.gov.uk to signpost people to other useful sources of advice.”

The coronavirus response initiatives set up by Farnham Town Council and community groups, aim to complement what is happening at County and street level so that everybody in Farnham and the surrounding villages has the support they need.

A Surrey-wide community helpline has also been set up by Surrey County Council to direct people to services that can help during the coronavirus pandemic. The helpline is for people who need help and to give advice to those who would like to help their community. The number is 0300 200 1008 and is open Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm.

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