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Ash Aspect: Volunteers Work Hard To Alleviate Pandemic Suffering

Published on: 23 Jan, 2021
Updated on: 1 Feb, 2021

By David Reading

Around 100 active volunteers are working flat out in the Ash area to help families hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The local Coronavirus Support Group works with St Mary’s Church, Ash Vale, to help the many people suffering financially and emotionally.

The emergence of a new variant of Covid-19, which is more transmissible than other variants, has given the campaign added urgency. Delivery of food parcels forms a major part of the work.

Food donations ready to be sorted…

Group founder Carla Morson said people hardest hit financially include those dependent on benefits, staff who are furloughed and facing a drop in income, and people who have been made redundant.

She said there was also a noticeable effect on people with mental health problems, who need additional help as their support workers are unable to visit them at home.

…and prepared as food parcels food parcels

Funding of the food parcels comes from a mixture of grants, supermarket contributions and donations from residents.

Parish Precept Frozen

In a separate development, Ash Parish Council has announced a freeze on the Council Tax that people will pay for its services in 2021-22.

The Chairman, Cllr Nigel Manning, said: “The pandemic has created a difficult time for our residents, with lockdown causing financial and other hardships. There will be a nil increase for the forthcoming year of 2021-2022.”  

The decision was made unanimously at a full meeting of the council, where it was recorded that the parish council precept will remain £489, 814. For people living in band D, for example, this amounts to £72.44 for a year.

Vaccination Programme

The Covid-19 vaccination programme is advancing well in the Ash area, according to the NHS.

A statement from Surrey Heath Primary Care Network said: “This is the biggest vaccination programme in the history of the NHS. Staff are working extremely hard to vaccinate people in the top priority groups as quickly as supplies allow.”

Both the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine are being used locally. People cannot choose which vaccine they receive as this depends on the vaccine delivery schedule, which local health personnel have no control over.

The statement said both vaccines have passed rigid tests on safety and efficacy so people can be assured that whichever vaccine they get, they will be protected from Covid-19.

Vaccinations are taking place at the Surrey Heath Primary Care Network Vaccination Centre at Lakeside Country Club, Wharf Road, Frimley Green.

A statement from the Bartlett Group Practice in Ash Vale and Frimley Green said: “We are now giving Covid-19 vaccinations to 75 years and over, following NHS guidelines. The vaccine is coming in batches and we will be inviting patients by telephone, letter or SMS to fill the available slots. We will only be booking those who have been invited.

Noted February 1: Over 70s are now being vaccinated. 

If you haven’t yet received an invite, you will be called when the next vaccine batch arrives. Please do not ring reception to ask for vaccinations, you will be notified in due course.  

Some people could be invited to a larger vaccination centre located up to 45 minutes from their home. But vaccines will be offered locally to people who cannot attend a vaccination centre.

Guildford Borough Council has provided three telephone numbers for people who have any issues in relation to Covid-19. These are 01483 444400, 01483 444150 and 01483 444285.

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