Coronavirus: Istead Rise volunteers create community support group to help vulnerable

PUBLISHED: 11:16 06 April 2020 | UPDATED: 12:18 06 April 2020

Volunteer Lisa Bouchard delivers shopping to David and Eva Ford. Picture: Dakota Dibben

Volunteer Lisa Bouchard delivers shopping to David and Eva Ford. Picture: Dakota Dibben


Istead Rise residents have banded together to set up community help scheme to help those most in need.

The village community support scheme will assist those who need help during this government-enforced lockdown.

More than 70 volunteers have signed up to the project since it was set up just a matter of a few weeks ago.

That averages out at four volunteers per road.

It is being co-ordinated by ward councillor Dakota Dibben and the Istead Community Association.

He said: “We have already helped more than 30 residents so far.

“Some of the volunteers have been providing meals to the vulnerable in our doorstep community.

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“We are producing a purpose built web page at the moment which will allow residents to sign up to volunteer their time or to reach out for volunteer their time or reach out for help for themselves or a loved one who lives in the village.”

Present services available include the picking up of shopping, getting urgent supplies, collecting post and prescriptions and even offering someone a friendly chat.”

Cllr Dibben said people from as far away as Leeds, Lampeter and the Norfolk/Suffolk borders have been getting in touch with him to ensure their family members are catered for and supported.

He said: “Something I have noticed is people have come forward very quickly and it’s also something we can implement very quickly. It’s amazing how we have come together as a community.”

He said one resident was so happy to receive his shopping from a volunteer, they said: “Three hours after sending the list, the shopping is all put away in the fridge and cupboards. The volunteer couldn’t have been more helpful, it feels like a miracle.”

A vulnerable neighbour’s relative contacted Cllr Dibben for help. The councillor said: “The relative was relieved we had made contact.

“She thanked us and can now sleep better knowing there’s a strong community group looking out for our vulnerable friends and relatives.”

To sign up to help or to request help, fill out the form on the dedicated Istead Rise page at

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