Buxton volunteer group grows from strength to strength in Covid-19 crisis

As the Coronavirus crisis unfolds, communities around the world are looking for ways to support one another and hundreds of local people in Buxton have united to help residents get through the emergency.

Do you know someone that needs assistance in Buxton? Could you help your neighbours?

Buxton’s Anna Watson is the driving force behind an astonishing self help initiative to help those in need during the crisis.  Anna has worked for the local community for 13 years as a nurse for children, young people and their families. 

Covid-19 Mutal Aid Buxton
Anna Watson, project co-ordinator

She explained: “With the prospect that government guidance would shift towards ensuring people are not able to move as freely around large areas as before, and with social distancing measures also increasing the barriers between people, I began to look at what support was available in Buxton. It was obvious that a street-by-street, neighbour-to-neighbour support system would be the best way forward and on the 16th of March, the Buxton street by street COVID-19 support Facebook group was born!” Everyone is welcome to join the group – whether you wish to offer help or you’re someone looking for help.

Covid-19 Mutal Aid Buxton
Project co-ordinators, Caitlin Bisknell (L), Anna Watson and Claire Mitchel (R)

A virtual human chain of helping hands 

“We started distributing the national #viralkindness flyers, posting them through doors across Buxton.” The initiative offering neighbourly help was originally set up by Becky Wass in Cornwall as the crisis unfolded earlier in March, in response to those self-isolating, in particular elderly or vulnerable people.

“More and more volunteers came forward to cover each road and we’ve gone from strength to strength and we’ve now covered 307 roads in Buxton”, said Anna.

More than 200 volunteers are are helping with the project, posting the flyers and offering to help their neighbours.

Covid-19 Mutal Aid Buxton

“The Facebook group now has almost 3,000 members as well as a team of incredible people working day and night to keep the ship sailing.  Most notably, Claire Mitchell with her extensive experience working with the voluntary sector, steward of the Buxton Working Men’s Club and being at the forefront of many a logistical challenge and Caitlin Bisknell, a high profile member of our community for 20 years, tirelessly working hard for the most vulnerable people within our communities.”

“Our recently launched website is a fantastic source of useful information: buxtonstreetbystreet.co.uk.”

More than 2500 Easter eggs delivered to families in need 

The Buxton Street by Street volunteers have also been busy delivering more than 2500 Easter eggs to in collaboration with Buxton Junior Schools and key-workers, to families identified as needing extra help over Easter.

Covid-19 Mutal Aid Buxton

Helping those most in need

The volunteer group have also started working closely with High Peak Food Bank, assisting those most in need in the area. This week they began working with Morrisons, Waitrose, the United Reformed Church and Residents of Fairfield Association to ensure through their team of incredible volunteers, emergency food parcels are delivered to those most in need.

Anna went on to say,  “After several years of often divisive social and political unease, we have witnessed people making links with the people living on their own street whom they may have never spoken to before and assisting in urgent tasks regardless of politics, beliefs or any other differences.

In the face of adversity, this community has found a way to shine brighter than many of us can remember happening before.  We are one.”

Find useful information on their website

The website provides a central hub of useful information and updates in relation to the Covid-19 outbreak. If you wish to submit some information about a service or business, or, you need help or know of someone needing help, get in touch via the contact form.

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