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‘Fakenham has come through’ - Volunteers band together aganist coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 10:55 25 March 2020 | UPDATED: 10:55 25 March 2020

One of the directors of the charity 'Waterwish', Patrick Payne is putting together the isolation support service. Picture: Patrick Payne

One of the directors of the charity 'Waterwish', Patrick Payne is putting together the isolation support service. Picture: Patrick Payne

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The coordinator of a volunteer group assisting vulnerable and isolated people during the coronavirus pandemic is hoping to add more services as isolation steps up across the town.

Views of Fakenham town centre taken from the top of the Parish Church. Picture: Ian BurtViews of Fakenham town centre taken from the top of the Parish Church. Picture: Ian Burt

Patrick Payne, 28, coordinator of the Fakenham community assistance group from the town’s Facebook notice board. He is working with a volunteer to support people in the market town with delivering supplies.

While health precautions are undertaken, with social distancing and sanitizer, they are now looking to add more to the service.

As people are told to stay inside the new worry is people’s mental health and keeping people connected when inside. He announced plans for the page to have live games and cooking shows on Facebook to keep the sense of community.

However, with a slightly older population in Fakenham, some people might not be able to access it.

Views of Fakenham town centre taken from the top of the Parish Church. Picture: Ian BurtViews of Fakenham town centre taken from the top of the Parish Church. Picture: Ian Burt

“We are trying to include people, not on the Facebook group, but we are at a bit of a loss”, the 28-year-old said.

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The group, which has been running for just a week, is getting huge thanks from the people in the town.

Mr Payne said: “People are so grateful and thankful. To give the people reassurance is so great.

The poster created by the group to advertise Fakenham's coronavirus support service. Picture Patrick Payne.The poster created by the group to advertise Fakenham's coronavirus support service. Picture Patrick Payne.

“The community is at the heart of this and Fakenham has come through. Once it is all said and done people will remember how the community stepped up in typical British spirit to help their neighbour.”

Last week there had not been many drop-offs, due to the fact that people could still go out. But with the new restrictions introduced by the prime minister, he expects them to be a lot busier.

“Yesterday we got a call from Huddersfield for someone in Fakenham. They are worried about their parents, which shows the scale of this”, Mr Payne said.

Volunteers are collecting shopping and other supplies. The service is contactless, with shopping lists, money, then supplies left in safe places for people to collect.

The view of Fakenham town centre from the tower of the parish church. Photo: IAN BURTThe view of Fakenham town centre from the tower of the parish church. Photo: IAN BURT

The coordinator said they were being extremely careful when picking volunteers.

“I have heard stories of people taking advantage of this and it is disgusting. We are getting a good idea of people from the notice board and that is helping us to select our team”, he said.

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