Community Briefing

20th March 2020

Dear Neighbours,

You may have seen a fair bit about CERT in the recent Parish Newsletters and on Welcombe Chatter and gleaned a little of what we are up to. We thought it was about time to bring you up to speed on what we are doing.

Why do we need CERT?

CERT has been conceived as a mechanism to develop and deliver an Emergency Plan for Welcombe. The Emergency Plan is there to help prepare us and coordinate our response to any kind of emergency that affects our community. It is not designed to take the place of the emergency services, or the district or county council, but to act as a stopgap between the beginning of an emergency and the arrival of emergency services, which depending on the type of event could be short, medium or long term. CERT will have no powers and is there as a community service, not to act as a Police force, or any other law enforcement entity. We are here to help! More details will follow as the plan develops, which has been put on hold due to the event of coronavirus. Suffice to say we have volunteers, assets and a plan.

Community Spirit

We recognise this community already has a fabulous can do attitude and will always rally to help those in need. This plan is designed not to replace what has traditionally been there, but to make the most of that attitude and put it to use in an organised coordinated way so everyone’s effort has the maximum impact.

Coronavirus / COVID-19

We began work on the plan in January, but events have quickly overtaken its development. CERT and the Parish Council are fully focused on what we can do to assist the community at this difficult time. Everybody should now be aware of what we are facing either via the government announcements and / or the information Ricahrd Bence has put out via the newsletters. We are in a situation where the whole country needs to unite to help us through this time.

What is CERT doing?

We currently have 29 volunteers ready to help in various capacities. We have identified the key tasks so far that are in planning below. We are in the process of allocating tasks to volunteers based on their skill sets.

So far we have identified twenty households who either have or will self isolate. This is either because they fall into the at risk age category or may have medical issues that make them more vulnerable. These are the first people we aim to help through the various tasks detailed below.

Going forward where it's likely people will isolate due to catching the virus or having symptoms we aim to serve those people too.

Key Tasks in Planning

  1. Grocery delivery for isolated households
  2. Delivery of prescription medicines
  3. Delivering cooked meals ordered via the Smithy
  4. Planning alternative supply networks for groceries
  5. First aid response and protection of first aiders
  6. Possibility of carrying out some tasks in the home of vulnerable people, where their normal support cannot continue for a period of time
  7. Consideration of mental health needs, contacting the isolated regularly to chat and determine their needs
  8. Developing online clubs to keep social life going in the virtual world, such as gardening, book clubs, quiz nights.
  9. Supporting more residents to grow their own food

Please advise us if there's something additional we should consider

This is a rapidly changing situation and we are aiming to stay one step ahead of the curve. We meet daily (online of course) to analyse where we are, what needs doing next. We will aim to keep you informed as much as possible, primarily via the Welcombe Email Newsletter which will be published more regularly during this time. Latest information is always available on the dedicated village website page. A quick link has been created:


In the meantime if there are any further volunteers we would like to hear from you. Please call or email either of us using the details below.

Don't hesitate to contact us if you have any ideas or queries,

Hoping you all stay safe and healthy

Mick Gates - 07501 494541 / mickgates@icloud.com

Richard Bence - 01288 331 427 / richard@beingorganic.com