'We cannot thank the people of Kenilworth enough' Covid-19 Support Kenilworth highlights community spirit on first anniversary

By James Smith

20th Mar 2021 | Local News

This week marks a whole year since the Covid-19 Support Kenilworth Group first met to discuss how the town and the community was to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

12 months on, the group is now looking outwards to thanks all of those who have supported them along the way.

In those twelve months an army of volunteers has consistently looked out for the most vulnerable members of the community; collecting prescriptions, delivering daily freshly prepared meals, providing pastoral support and information to residents, and delivering activity packs and hampers to isolated people over the Christmas period.

Whilst the numbers involved do tell part of the story, the Covid-19 Support Kenilworth Group want to thank the community for everything they have done.

Pauline Hayward said to Nub News: "we cannot thank the people of Kenilworth enough. To all the people who have donated, answered our phone lines, delivered prescriptions or meals, made welfare calls, or supported us in some way, we are completely indebted to you.

"We could not have done this without the support of the town, the community or local businesses.

"Some have helped once, some have worked consistently, but all the help has been absolutely vital."

Pauline was quick to thank the large number of local pubs which have donated both their time and their resources to providing regular meals through Molly's Meals. The Virgins and Castle, The Engine, The Gauntlet, as well as the King's Table Café have all helped with this.

"We also want to say thank you to St John's and St Francis of Assisi churches for letting us use their kitchens to help prepare meals."

She also pointed to the £18,000 raised by individuals and businesses over the past 12 months which has been invaluable for the newly-registered charity. Of the many contributors Pauline highlighted the work of The Almanack which raised nearly £2000 in one weekend during the third national lockdown.

"The generosity shown by The Almanack and its customers showed how much the town has got behind us" she said.

The gastropub is also set for another fundraiser for the group as well as the Kenilworth Centre this weekend.

Above all, however Pauline said how the last year has raised awareness of an issue that often goes unnoticed across the whole of the UK.

"The one thing we saw immediately was the issue of loneliness, that was something I had not considered before, but lockdown showed how big of an issue it was in Kenilworth.

"In the first few weeks of lockdown we took around 7,000 calls from people asking for information, we were absolutely swamped."

Since then the group has taken and made 35,000 information calls in and out of their contact centre and around 4,500 welfare calls have been made by volunteers.

The group has also appreciated the evident togetherness that has been fostered, and will hopefully continue as the town emerges from the pandemic.

"The community spirit of Kenilworth really has come through. Not just through helping the Covid-19 Support Kenilworth Group, but just helping neighbours, looking out for one another, and spreading kindness. The response of the town has been fantastic, and we cannot thank everybody enough."

Going forward the group intends to continue to look out for marginalised or isolated members of the community as it rebrands under the name 'Compassionate Kenilworth'.

"Some of these people will not have left their homes for 12 to 14 months come this summer, so there is still work to be done.

"Originally it was about keeping people safe at home, and now it is about safely coming out of their homes."

The group intends to expand its horizons and run regular activities with the help of local businesses and volunteers based on a model from Somerset town Frome.

More news on this will follow, but for now the group is looking back over what it has achieved and once again saying thank you to the people of Kenilworth for all that they have done.

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