Network to go on beyond epidemic

May 6, 2020

Organisers behind a community network that has seen positivity soar have revealed plans to continue past the Covid-19 crisis.
The Carlton and Villages Network has been operating since March, with 40 volunteering buddies currently helping 70 vulnerable or self-isolating residents.

Sheena Grice and Suzanne Wilson with the donations of books. (30-04-68 SU)

With 250 members on its Facebook group, the network is now thinking beyond the pandemic and hopes to keep the community spirit alive by using its website, that is currently in the making, to spread good news.
Assistant Curate of Drax and Carlton Churches Becky Allright said the “outbreak of positive messages” that have flooded Facebook have been heartening.
The reverend said: “it’s been really heart-warming to hear how generous our neighbours have been to each other, sometimes on social media we only ever seem to talk about gripes and complain, but it’s been like an outbreak of positive messages and actions happening all around us. Last Sunday morning instead of going to church I was putting someone in touch with a family, so they could donate a box of food from Morrisons.”
She also said the group had become a “real community partnership” with members from Carlton and surrounding villagers utilising their skills to get the network off the ground.
Rev Allright added: “The group behind the scenes is a real community partnership, and includes residents of Carlton; Georgina Thomas linking in with the Roman Catholic community, Sheena Grice is answering the phone and Suzanne Wilson is collecting books.
“Helen Snowden is coordinating medication collection from the surgery, Sarah Woodward a local designer has designed a logo and set up email support, Kate James an IT consultant is helping us launch a new website and local lawyer, Clare King, is giving safeguarding advice.
“Both the methodist minister Peter Barnett, and reverend Anna Burr, vicar of the parish, are supporting the development of the network and linking in church volunteers with the project. Local NHS staff and retired social workers are keeping an eye out for the buddies too. Councillor Mike Jordan is one of the buddies and is supporting families he met during the recent flooding in West Bank.”
The network says its work to help its at risk residents has been aided by local businesses, the Odddfellows and Carlton Supermarket who have been delivering meals and shopping.
One resident who lives alone and had been helped by the group said: “I think this is amazing, I never thought I’d be able to ask someone local to nip to the shops for me. I’d got used to managing on my own with the support of social care, but it’s really cheered me up to know that the network exists.”
To contact the network which serves Carlton, Camblesforth, Westbank, Drax, Newland and Long Drax, email:, telephone: 07562267815 or visit their Facebook page: @carltonvillagesnetwork.
If you would like information on similar groups in the local area, Selby AVS are coordinating support for all the local groups, and can be contacted at Community House on: 01757 291111.

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