By Oliver Hodgeson
A support group that was established just under a month ago continues to help hundreds of people in West Cumbria through the COVID-19 crisis.
The Area 6 Support Group lead team comprises seven volunteers all from varying backgrounds and organisations who have all collaboratively worked together for the good of the community.
The team is then further supported by over 90 volunteers all in support of Area 6’s initiatives and services with their primary goal to support the vulnerable and people in need during these uncertain times.
Many of the people who are supported through this group are self-isolating due to medical conditions and often have no family or friends nearby to support them.
Initially, the group was founded through a community tree which gave information on which streets they were covering, and it has grown rapidly ever since.
Area 6 is happy to provide any of the following services; general food shopping, pharmacy collections, dog walking, utilities support, telephone befriending, pension collections, and the posting of mail.
As well as being occupied providing the day-to-day services, the team has also been busy successfully delivering several initiatives with the help of their volunteers.
These include: food bank events, providing support to Overend children’s home, a raffle raising money for Healthy Hopes (a local mental health support group) and installing artwork in the community such as the VE Day memorial poster and among other things.
Ryan Taylor, one of the group organisers, commented: “I feel proud to be part of this team and through the collaboration with the council groups, employees from Jacobs and Sellafield Ltd we have achieved some fantastic results in such a short period of time”.
Team member Vicki Carter added: “It’s amazing that during such an unpredictable and difficult time how the local community has come together to support each other, it is something I feel honoured to be part of.”
Another member of the team Jessica Ward has also been running children’s competitions in order to motivate and inspire local children to get creative.
The latest competition is asking all school children living in the Whitehaven area to design their own posters to be placed next to the VE memorial and Colonel Tom Moore displays at the bottom of Bransty Hill so that entrance to the town will be brighter and more inviting.
The group can be reached by calling their support line on 0800 783 1966 or via their Facebook page.