During the first lockdown, shielding Abergavenny residents could count on their very own ‘Street Monitor’ – an immediate neighbor – to help with getting essential supplies. Last spring, more than 200 wonderful volunteers covered around 70% of the town, each looking after their own street and responding to requests directly. We know that made a big difference to many people: relatives would call from far-flung places to see if their elderly parents in Abergavenny could be helped; those who couldn’t get grocery delivery slots had their shopping brought to their door; and before local pharmacies and surgeries had their systems in place, we were able to safely collect medication for those termed ‘vulnerable’.
So, initially, the network of volunteers was entirely street-based, with each Street Monitor passing their contact details only to their immediate neighbours. Fast forward a year and we no longer cover as many streets in this way, for three main reasons: firstly, MCC now has a referral service to signpost those in need appropriately; secondly, many of our volunteers have now returned to work; and finally, most supermarkets and local, independent traders have delivery systems up-and-running. All this has reduced both the need and our ability to provide a street-based service across the whole town.
But, rest assured, if you are struggling with the current lockdown, help is still available. We still have a team of wonderful ‘floating’ volunteers who are happy to help in any street by collecting prescriptions and doing your shopping – especially if you are considered to be in a vulnerable group, or have to self-isolate and cannot call on other friends or neighbours.
PLEASE NOTE: Street Monitors should never ask you for cash in advance and will never knock on your door unsolicited. They are not able to enter your home to help unload and they cannot offer transportation.
For help, please contact MCC Partnerships via 01633 644696 or email firstname.lastname@example.org . Alternatively, contact Jo Webb at email@example.com or via the Facebook page ‘Abergavenny Street Monitor Connect’
If you can volunteer, please go to: www.facebook.com/groups/AbergavennyStreetMonitors/