Keep Busy Topsham – Managing The Crisis By Pulling Together
Two organisations in the East Devon estuary town of Topsham are working together during the Corona crisis to provide essential information and inspiration for local people, and especially those in need of support during self-isolation.
The two are Estuary League of Friends – a hugely-respected charity based in the town, and Love Topsham, a group of volunteers who run a Community Interest Company focused on encouraging local business and community-based initiatives.
Estuary League of Friends who normally work with local social care services to provide help and support to the elderly, are co-ordinating the volunteer effort across the town to help all people in self-isolation or who are vulnerable. Love Topsham are working alongside on communications and other initiatives through their website www.lovetopsham.co.uk, which will serve as a one-stop-shop where the town can find up to date help, guidance and positivity amidst the current crisis.
So if Topsham people want to know how to volunteer to help, what shops are doing local deliveries or take-aways or where you can go to get the latest advice for your business, www.lovetopsham.co.uk is the place to find out, and the site will be updated daily.
Many of the town’s independent shops are pulling together in unique and supportive ways too, so if people need help with pet care or online yoga to help stay fit at home, they can look on the website to find local businesses supplying just that!
But there’s more…
- The two groups together are aiming to provide those in self-isolation with a Keep Busy Topsham pack consisting of items and treats to keep people occupied and feeling cared for, which may include magazines, puzzles, books or jigsaws.
- There’s also a special project aimed at uniting the whole town, which is hoped to become a symbol of how the community fought and overcame the virus. It’s an uplifting project for those in self-isolation to Keep Busy and create a piece of Topsham-related work; whether a piece of art, a sculpture, a poem, a photograph or a model, whatever appeals, and these will be displayed in the town in the early Autumn when, hopefully, the difficult times have gone. More details about this are on www.lovetopsham.co.uk too.
Rachel Gilpin, chief executive of Estuary League of Friends explains:
“Self-isolation doesn’t mean you’re forgotten or on your own – it means you’re protecting yourself and loved ones. It’s not to be feared. Everyone in our community has a different level of fitness but all of us – everyone – can play a key part when we need help and a boost to morale”
And Jo Berman from Love Topsham adds:
“The overwhelming priority is to keep everyone safe and reassured during a worrying time. We’re channeling volunteers to Estuary League of Friends whilst encouraging residents to still shop locally without leaving their homes. Community spirit is absolutely bursting at the moment. Innovative ideas and offers of help are pouring in! The website provides a central reference point for everything going on in town at this really challenging time.”
Those needing support or keen to volunteer should contact Estuary League of Friends at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01392 879009. For anyone who has a Topsham-based service and who would like to be listed online during the crisis, please contact Love Topsham at email@example.com