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Phone bank volunteers sought for Covid-19 Network group in Trumpington

More volunteers are wanted to run a community phone bank that will help the most vulnerable residents in Cambridge’s biggest ward during the coronavirus crisis.

The service will aid elderly and unwell residents in Trumpington, ensuring they have access to food, medicines and vital support.

Cllr Katie Thornburrow. Picture: James Kirwan
Cllr Katie Thornburrow. Picture: James Kirwan

It is one of the initiatives of the Trumpington Covid-19 Network, set up to aid those in the south of Cambridge. The network has also established a website at trumpington.info.

Resident Philippa Slatter, an honorary city councillor, said the new phone bank would provide a single phone number to call - to be announced soon - and the team will co-ordinate the efforts of those keen to assist their neighbours.

“People can phone in if they want to offer help, and they can phone in if they need help, and volunteers will man that phone bank, which means we don’t have to give out personal phone numbers,” she said.

Volunteers will help deliver supplies and offer social assistance, phoning people in isolation to have a friendly chat.

The phone bank could also reduce the chances of people falling for scam letters put through doors during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Katie Thornburrow, the Labour city councillor for Trumpington, said trumpington.info. would offer “shared information” and will act “trusted source about how Trumpington is helping itself”.

“There are a lot of good existing community groups, but a lot more networks are now being put together to try to help individual houses or streets or larger areas during this crisis,” she said.

Trumpington county councillor Barbara Ashwood
Trumpington county councillor Barbara Ashwood

Barbara Ashwood, the Liberal Democrat county councillor for Trumpington, has been in self-isolation for two weeks.

She said she was confident local residents would band together in the coming months.

But she acknowledged that the number of new housing developments in Trumpington means there may not be the same kind of established community networks seen in other parts of Cambridge.

Nonetheless, she praised the “community spirit” in the area, with new residents getting to know their neighbours and stepping up to help others.

Also part of the group is Andy Blackhurst, of Trumpington Residents Association.

The group can be contacted by visiting trumpington.info/how-can-i-help or emailing hello@trumpington.info.

And the co-odinators can also be contacted directly:

  • Cllr Katie Thornburrow - katie.thornburrow@cambridge.gov.uk / 07480 246939
  • Cllr Barbara Ashwood - barbaraashwood@greenbee.net /01223 842629
  • Andy Blackhust - chair@trumpingtonresidentsassociation.org
  • Philippa Slatter - pmslatter1@gmail.com

Other Covid-19 groups can be seen at https://covidmutualaid.org/local-groups/.

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