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Communities Offer Help To Others As Coronavirus Crisis Deepens

Published on: 18 Mar, 2020
Updated on: 18 Mar, 2020

People in communities across Guildford are coming forward to offer assistance to others who need help as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

And Voluntary Action South West Surrey (VASWS), the Council for Voluntary Service for the boroughs of Guildford and Waverley, has seen a huge rise in people contacting it offering to help people in need or are self-isolating.

Covid-19 details on Voluntary Action South West Surrey’s website.

Groups have also been set up, using social media such as Facebook, to which people are joining offering to help neighbours in their communities who may need help with such things as collecting shopping, dropping off supplies or simply making phone calls to those who are lonely and isolated.

But, at present, there appears to be more volunteers than people requesting help and assistance.

Staff at VASWS at its service called Community Point, based at its office in Castle Street, Guildford, have welcomed the surge in offers of assistance but have asked for patience until calls from those who may require help are forthcoming and add that the situation surrounding coronavirus can change quickly.

In preparation, VASWS is compiling a database of groups and organisations, existing and new, who are co-ordinating help for others. People contacting VASWS offering to volunteer will be given these details for them to make contact with.

VASWS has also now closed its office to visitors, to combat Covid-19 infection, but people are welcome to phone on 01483 565456, but please should be aware its phone lines are busy. Email communication is also possible at:

Stoughton Neighbourhood Support Facebook group.

One of those with ‘good neighbourly’ intentions is Robert Good, who lives in Stoughton. He has set up a Facebook group for people offering to volunteer called Stoughton Neighbourhood Support.

Robert used the social media platform Nextdoor for his local area to invite people to a public meeting he held at the Park Barn Community Centre on Friday evening last week (March 13).

About 12 people attended, keen to offer their services. Among them was David Rose, writer for The Guildford Dragon NEWS and who also works for VASWS.

David said: “It was most encouraging to meet others very keen to offer help. I explained to them the work VASWS does and gave a few points of advice for Robert’s proposed group, along the lines of ensuring safeguarding for volunteers and the people they may help, and benefits for it of people who already have a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check certificate.

As of Tuesday (March 17), 82 people had joined the Stoughton Neighbourhood Support Group.

Robert is pleased that his group has taken off quickly, saying the group “is ahead of the curve” as the coronavirus situation develops.

Community Over Corona – Guildford Facebook group.

Other Facebook groups that have been set up, which The Guildford Dragon NEWS is aware of, are: Community Over Corona – Guildford.

Park Barn and Westborough Coronavirus Community Group Facebook group.

And: Park Barn and Westborough Coronavirus Community Group.

The administrators of this group include Guildford Borough Councillors for the Westborough ward, Julia McShane, Fiona White and James Steel. It currently has 242 members.

Guildford Community Coronavirus Assistance Facebook group.

And also: Guildford Community Corona Virus Assistance.

The Guildford Dragon NEWS is pleased to publish a list of other Guildford-based Facebook groups set up to help others during the coronavirus crisis and other groups and organisation who are offering help and advice, and so on.

Email your details to:

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Responses to Communities Offer Help To Others As Coronavirus Crisis Deepens

  1. Jim Allen Reply

    March 18, 2020 at 5:06 pm

    Here in Burpham the church and community association are making similar arrangements.

    These are soon to be announced.

    For those needing help, please do not give money to strangers who knock on the door and offer assistance.

    In other places around the UK unscrupulous people have been knocking on the doors of elderly people offering ‘immediate virus testing’ and ‘going for shopping as long as you pay up front’.

    Neither are genuine, so please ensure you go through these organisations unless you know the person making the offer.

    Stay safe and observe the precautions.

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