Tim Roberts is Acting Chair of IP17GNS and Emergency Officer at Kelsale-cum-Carlton Parish Council
I remember watching the live recording of “All You Need Is Love” vividly, aged 10 – special paternal permission had been granted as it was our very own group from Liverpool and history was being made.
The Beatles were filmed performing the song with a large gathering of the then “in crowd” at Abbey Road on 25 June 1967. It was also Britain’s contribution to Our World, the first ever, live global television link up by satellite technology.
It seemed to herald a very different and hopeful world at a time of continued global aggression and conflict, one which perhaps came to sum up the whole of the 60s.
Nothing you can make that can’t be madeJohn Lennon
No one you can save that can’t be saved
Nothing you can do, but you can learn how to be you in time
But, back in February 2020, it did look like we might start to return to “love and understanding”, and perhaps that new ingredient, kindness, which everyone cites. How dumb of me to forget that world leaders had been predicting that a global pandemic would smite humankind if not during the last decade, then this.
In our small community, we were half-prepared. Back in Autumn 2019, I started to progress the idea of a Good Neighbour Scheme for Kelsale-cum-Carlton. We had a plan for emergencies, only problem was that it was the wrong plan as it involved sheltering people under one roof, and not isolating them! Data protection rules also meant that I had no idea whom I was meant to be protecting either.
At the beginning of this year, when Coronavirus was fast becoming a reality, after long nights, sweat and tears, we had IP17GNS set up and running.
I really do hope that IP17GNS has benefited all our community. Personally, I’m delighted that it would appear to have brought us all closer together with over 120 volunteers at the height of coronavirus over the Easter weekend.
We still deliver 200 prescriptions a day in addition to food and emergency supplies. Of course, there is no time to relax and we must now focus on how we can best help our community (which also appears to have brought in many neighbouring communities under our postcode closer to us).
We’ll shortly be asking residents to complete a short questionnaire about future needs and promises to help others who are less able. Please take the opportunity to tell us what you want as it will help us better define needs and secure the funding required.
(The current scheme costs thousands of pounds each month to sustain.)
Of course, my hope is that IP17GNS will continue to serve our community for many years to come and long after this pesky virus diminishes. But, we can only do it with your love and understanding of our special community and continued kindness towards it.
If you’d like to make a financial donation to IP17GNS (every penny helps), please go to our crowdfunding page