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Being part of a community support scheme in Steeple Bumpstead has been a 'privilege, say volunteers




Volunteers to a community support scheme set up in Steeple Bumpstead early in the coronavirus pandemic have reflected on how ‘rewarding’ it has been after it marked one full year of operation.

The Steeple Bumpstead Neighbourhood Network was launched on March 12, 2020, before the first national lockdown even began.

It has since seen 39 street volunteer co-ordinators (31 current) take part and many other volunteers help with shopping, errands, relaying requests for prescriptions, and make friendly calls.

Community volunteers Gilly Buckley, left, and Mary Ann Tuli in Steeple Bumpstead. Picture by Mark Westley
Community volunteers Gilly Buckley, left, and Mary Ann Tuli in Steeple Bumpstead. Picture by Mark Westley

Around 10 per cent of residents in the village near Haverhill have been helped at least once by the Network over the past year, during which more than 750 prescriptions have been collected and delivered.

Gilly Buckley, one of the volunteers, said: “What an honour and a privilege it has been to help the residents of our lovely village during this difficult year.

“As a relative newcomer, doing the prescription run helped me not only navigate my way around the village but also meet its residents.

Gilly Buckley and Mary Ann Tuli. Picture by Mark Westley.
Gilly Buckley and Mary Ann Tuli. Picture by Mark Westley.

“As a street volunteer, it has been great to witness our communities coming closer together to support each other.

“Long may it continue.

“Thanks are due to our co-ordinators and administrators for all they do to make sure we know what we are doing.”

Steeple Bumpstead Neighbourhood Network volunteer Claire Lambert pictured last May. Picture by Julia Condie
Steeple Bumpstead Neighbourhood Network volunteer Claire Lambert pictured last May. Picture by Julia Condie

Her fellow volunteer, Mary Ann Tuli, said: “I’ve been part of the street volunteer and the prescription collection volunteer groups since August last year, I find my small contribution very rewarding.

“The whole team works well together – I’ve made some new friends (albeit some I’ve never met in person!) and I’ve also had the pleasure to meet (briefly due to social distancing) many of our village’s lovely residents.

“I feel very proud to be part of this caring community and hope that this spirit of helping each other continues once restrictions ease.”

Anyone who needs help from one of the team with prescription collection, shopping or an errand, please either contact your street volunteer co-ordinator, email bumpsteadnetwork@gmail.com or telephone its central number: 07704 447246.

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