Stockbury Volunteers Covid-19 Support
At the request of Stockbury Parish Council, together with Stockbury Church and The Harrow pub, a small team has come together to co-ordinate help within the parish throughout the coming weeks and months.
We need volunteers to help our isolated neighbours with deliveries and collection food, prescriptions and other essentials.
We also want to keep in touch through phone calls and emails, so that people don't feel alone at this time.
If you are able to volunteer to collect, drop off or just keep in touch with parishioners via phone, text, or email please email us at email@example.com or call 07551 454702 ( it's the Stockbury Community Bus Number) and we'll get back to you.
Update 12th May
Well the lockdown continues, we still don't know for how long.One important service you may find very useful if you are stuck at home is the Kent Library service. You can register online to immediately start reading books and magazines (including current ones) online for free. There is online and telephone support for setting up if you need it, it's a first class service and highly recommended just click on the link below to get started.
Update 29TH MARCH
An email has been sent out today to all those who have volunteered to help Stockbury Covid-19 Support. If you haven't received it, please check your spam folder and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if it's not there. We have 32 volunteers listed already, so thank you so much!
Update 1st April
We now have over 40 volunteers ready and willing to help - not an April Fool! Thank you!
Update 2nd May
We now have over 50 volunteers who for the past month have been busily collecting and delivering food, prescriptions and other essentials as well as keeping in touch with those isolating alone. So if you need help, or you know anyone who does, please don't hesitate to contact us...!
Tel 07551 454702 or email
Remember that whilst we must all minimise close contact there is still a lot we can do to help each other, even if you have all you need but just want a chat if you're feeling down or lonely, there is always someone happy to listen.
Please check back on this website for regular updates, or see our facebook page:
or Nextdoor Stockbury:
Update 2nd May
Our local MP Helen Whately has a lot of very useful Covid-19 information, both national and local on her website, so if you need more information or where to find it please see the links below:
Other Government websites for further information...
Please take care and stay well!
Update 2nd May
NHS Dental Care Update
We hope you are all remaining well and not too fed up with being confined to home during the lockdown. Just thought it might be useful (and reassuring!) to know that the NHS is continuing emergency dental care during the pandemic, it's available to both NHS and private patients. See the link below for full details, but it might be an idea to avoid the toffees and the (overcooked) garlic bread in the meantime...
Maidstone Borough Council Community Hub Covid19
Maidstone has set up a community hub for volunteers and for those needing help in the current crisis. There is a lot of information on the website, so for contact details please see below...
MBC Covid19 Freephone: Tel no 0300 303 1650
Kent County Council 24hr Covid 19 helpline launched
Update 1st April
A 24 hour helpline has been set up to support vulnerable people in Kent who need urgent help, supplies or medication.
The helpline, called Kent Together, provides a single point of contact for anyone in Kent who is in urgent need of help during the Covid-19 outbreak. It is a collaboration between KCC, the Government, District, Borough and local councils, the voluntary and community sector, the NHS, the emergency services and others to ensure help is at hand for all vulnerable people.
It is also the place to report any concerns you may have about the welfare of someone else.
For the 24 hr a day helpline:
Phone 03000 41 92 92
Scams relating to the Covid-19 crisis
Beware fraud and scams during Covid-19 pandemic
Update Friday 3rd April
ABC of Scam awareness:
A – Never assume a caller, email or text is genuine
B – Never believe a caller, email or text is genuine
C- Always confirm by contacting a trusted number, family member, friend, your banks fraud department or the police to check if its genuine
Below is an example from Golding Homes of a recent COVID19 scam that we were made aware of, please ask residents to be extra vigilant when being approached by unknown sources or if there has been a change to how they would normally do something, this also applies to other housing associations or landlords...
Message from Golding Homes
Important information for our customers
SCAM - We have had reports of residents receiving letters from Golding Homes saying that we will be collecting rent payment in cash. This is a scam. We will never ask you to hand over money on your doorstep. If you are unsure please check with us first.
Please do not let anyone into your home unless they have shown you photo identification.
General Covid-10 Scams - Be alert!
Criminals are using the Covid-19 pandemic to scam the public – don’t become a victim.
Law enforcement, government and private sectors partners are working together to encourage members of the public to be more vigilant against fraud, particularly about sharing their financial and personal information, as criminals seek to capitalise on the Covid-19 pandemic.
Criminals are experts at impersonating people, organisations and the police.
They spend hours researching you for their scams, hoping you’ll let your guard down for just a moment.
Stop: Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.
Challenge: Could it be fake? It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
Protect: Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud*.
Your bank or the police will NEVER ask you to transfer money or move it to a safe account.
The Harrow community pub has had to close on government orders but has a takeaway service for food, wines and beers, including draught beer (please take you own container) that can be collected, or delivered free to the village. The Harrow is also making freshly baked bread and biscuits from Tuesday to Saturday which can be ordered the day before. The takeaway menu is on the website https://theharrowstockbury.co.uk/and the fb page https://www.facebook.com/Stockburycommunitypub/ and will change monthly, the pub can be contacted on 07909 631057.
MBFarms is open as usual, is well stocked and can provide a wide variety of stationery, newspapers and magazines (to keep you entertained and informed during the days at home!) as well as foods, wines, beer and other essentials and food and essentials can be delivered from MB with the help of the Stockbury Covid-19 Support volunteers.Contact:
http://www.mbfarms.co.uk/ tel 01795 842401.
The Post Office will also remain open as usual with no interruption to postal collections or deliveries.
Tomsetts as an essential service in keeping our vehicles on the road, is also currently remaining open during normal opening hours of 8am- 5pm. There has been some confusion, owing to the extending of some MOTs by 6 months, that garages will be closed. That is not the case, Tomsetts remains open for all car repairs, MOTs etc in order to keep other essential services on the road. To contact:
Tel 01795 841007 or https://www.tomsettkent.com/.
Stockbury Church Easter Service
As there will be no actual church services this Easter there will be a 'virtual' church service on Easter Day via Youtube at 10.30am instead. The link to the service is below, together with a link to the website of 'The Six', the group of six local parish churches which includes Stockbury and Hartlip.
Or link to 'The Six' thesix.org.uk
Then to the service: https://www.thesix.org.uk/thesixonyoutube.htm
An Easter message from the Rev Julian Staniforth
An Easter like no other
This Easter will be like no other for as good weather comes, as the lengthening days and the sumptuous blossom on the trees across the land burst forth with life, so too will all parks, open spaces, roads and beaches be unusually quiet as we all heed the call to ‘stay at home’. We may be to ‘see’ loved ones this weekend thanks to the wonders of modern technology but we won’t be able to truly ‘be’ with them. There may not be social distancing but there is certainly physical distancing, and many of us will feel that keenly at this time. Elsewhere there are many now fighting for their lives with this virus, with many fighting hard on their behalf too.
But isn’t Easter all about the joy of life and new life? As I sit writing these words, I do so with the sound of birds around happily going about their business, but I’m aware of doing so on Holy Saturday, this rather unsettling day in the Christian calendar so easily overlooked. It’s an in-between time. It’s between the anguished painful of Good Friday and the resurrection life of Easter Sunday. It’s an unsettling time because it is also a time of dashed hopes, of crumbling dreams when the world of the disciples comes tumbling down. They find themselves in that place of wondering what they had been spending their lives upon, and what they were going to do next. It’s like being in a dark tunnel with no sense of light showing a way out. No doubt they prayed.
Some are speaking of this time we’re experiencing right now together as being like Holy Saturday. For everything that we have assumed as being important in life has been put on hold; and we don’t really know how long it will last or what’s coming next. Holy Saturday may be an unsettling place, but sometimes we need to allow ourselves to be honest to be there for a while to acknowledge and express the fears and anxieties that we may feel. This sense of emptiness is part of the Easter experience.
But Holy Saturday did not last, for the Lord God had the last word the next day. A group of women were to discover this early the next day, when the one they had seen killed stood before one of them very much alive and kicking! The emptiness and pain of the previous day was turned into tumultuous joy. For Jesus revealed himself to his friends as fully alive and present in their midst. “Peace be with you!” he cried. The world was turned upside down, much carried on as before yet God’s grace is continually at work to bring life out of darkness.
So the Easter journey embraces pain, separation and joy; in fact Easter Sunday makes no sense without Good Friday and Holy Saturday. In terms of this crisis, we are not yet on the other side. Yet just like Easter Sunday follows on from the previous two days, we know that the end of this crisis will come & we will be able to celebrate! It may be that we and our society will never be quite the same, for it seems as though the lights of human kindness and generosity are breaking up any darkness in this particular coronavirus tunnel as people reach out to one another. There is much to be thankful for and encouraged by in the midst of these times, and to hold onto as we emerge from this tunnel as we surely will.
In the meantime, will you join with me and others in lighting a candle on Easter morning? For us as Christians this expresses the light and life of the living Christ shattering the shackles of death, so we can all receive his gift of new life if we can trust in him. Yet for all of us, may such a lit candle be a sign of prayer and of living hope for us all in the midst of these times.
Peace be with you and all those you love. Every blessing!
Rev Julian Staniforth
And an Easter message from Rev Amanda Lane
This is the strangest of times.
Gloriously sunny days, when thousands would normally flock to beaches and other beauty spots, find us confined to our homes. A time when families and friends gather over the long weekend finds us separated. Then there are those working so hard in key areas to keep society moving. The health service, essential shops, deliveries, refuse collectors, carers, emergency services, so many others labouring to bring us through.
And all-pervasive, an undercurrent of fear; fear of isolation, sickness, and death.
So should we be celebrating anything, let alone Easter, at such a time? I would answer with a resounding yes, and not just because of my job!
Rarely has there been such clear evidence of communities coming together, of people loving their neighbour as themselves, as so many seek to support one another. I have seen much of that in the mutual care in Stockbury at this time.
It was to a wounded and hurting world that Jesus came. He came, and lived a human life among us, knowing the real depths of human emotions as well as the heights. He knew how it felt to be alone, suffering, abandoned.
On Good Friday we marked his death, but on Easter Day we celebrate his victory over death and suffering. We celebrate, believing that in any situation, God is there with us, that there is light in darkness, hope in despair.
So I wish you a peaceful and blessed Easter, in the name of the Christ who suffered, died, and rose again.
Rev Amanda Lane