‘Helping in Tenterden’ (HiT), the volunteer organisation set up to help people through the Covid pandemic, and one of the most successful community initiatives in the town’s history, is being wound down.
Established in March last year, with a commitment to ensure that no resident was forgotten, particularly those living on their own, and that everyone was protected and helped, HiT recruited more than 200 volunteers who carried out in excess of 1,000 ‘missions’ in the first six months of operation.
These included collecting prescriptions, shopping, telephoning those particularly suffering from loneliness, providing advice on where to access support finance and even walking pet dogs.
But now, as the pandemic eases, the demand for HiT’s services has dwindled to almost zero., As a result, the management team has announced that it will no longer be active from Saturday, 1 May.
People who still need assistance in collecting prescriptions are being asked to liaise with Ivy Court Surgery, Paydens or Boots to investigate options for home delivery.
In a statement, the HiT management team said: “We would like to take this opportunity to thank all volunteers who have gone above and beyond to help those in need within our community, and also those who have been working hard in the background administering the service. Thank you so much!”
The statement also made it clear that in the event of the pandemic resurging, or other national emergency, the organisation stands ready to be reinstated.
HiT combined the knowledge and commitment of Tenterden Town Council, Tenterden Social Hub, Tenterden Community Hub, the Food Bank, Ivy Court Surgery, St Mildred’s Church and website MyTenterden.
Said Town Clerk Phil Burgess: “In one way, we are delighted to see that Helping in Tenterden is being wound down, because it shows that we are in a much better place than a year ago, and that the pandemic is easing.
“But I think the town can be very proud that it produced an organisation like Helping in Tenterden – quite simply it was a magnificent example of a community coming together to help those who needed it most.”