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Stockbury Volunteers Covid-19 Support



December 2020

We had hoped there wouldn't be a second wave, no more lockdowns and a vaccine would be created sooner rather than later so that life could return to 'normal'. Well we now have the vaccine which is the good news, but it will take many months to roll it out to the community so in the meantime, the virus has not disappeared, has become more infectious and Tier 4 restriction are set to be tightened after Christmas, especially for clinically extremely vulnerable people who will be shielding. We will keep the website and Covid-19 Facebook page updated for any relevant information and to assure you that the volunteers are still here and able to help with delivering your essentials if you are shielding, providing info from other agencies such as the KCC/MBC hub (with a wide range of support) or just for contact with us if you are feeling worried or lonely.

Stockbury Covid-19 Support group sends you and your families all best wishes for a Happy Christmas and with the hope that 2021 will bring better times. xx

Email to 

phone/txt to 07551 454702 ( it's the Stockbury Community Bus Number).

Latest Update from KCC 23rd December 2020

For the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable the government and KCC has sent out the following info on 23rd December...

"CEVs have been asked to take extra caution and advised not to go into work, or go out shopping and minimise going outside of their homes as much as possible until the 18th of January. The online National Shielded Support System is open and CEV can register via this service if they need a priority supermarket slot or other help.  Available here:


We have put in place arrangements to support residents over Christmas and they can get in touch for support via the Kent Together number 03000 41 92 92    or the Council’s helpline 01622 602307."

Latest government advice can be found via this link


Our Kent County Councillor Shellina Prendergast is always ready and willing to help, her email is


And the KCC helpline set up to assist people during the pandemic Tel  03000 41 92 92) is active, so any help or advice can be obtained by contacting the organisation via the link above.

Our MBC Councillor Patrik Garten is always ready to help too, his email is



At the request of Stockbury Parish Council, together with Stockbury Church and The Harrow pub, a small team came together to co-ordinate help within the parish throughout the weeks and months of the pandemic.


We needed volunteers to help our isolated neighbours with deliveries and collection of food, prescriptions and other essentials and the villagers did us proud when 42 volunteers rallied to the call.

During the months of lockdown and afterwards, 26 of the volunteers made 180+ deliveries to those isolating and shielding, including individual deliveries and deliveries on behalf of MBFarms.


We also wanted to keep in touch with vulnerable or isolating people living alone, through supportive phone calls and emails during this very difficult and unprecedented period. We had volunteers for that too and were heartened to see neighbours shopping for and generally looking out for each other.

If you are a volunteer, we thank you for the enormous contribution you have made to keeping the village going, and the strong community spirit you have engendered. We would like to keep in touch with the you and retain your details on file in case of future outbreaks.


And similarly if you are a parishioner we are still here for you in this  second wave of the virus during the Winter months. The contact details will be the same.

Email to 

phone/txt to 07551 454702 ( it's the Stockbury Community Bus Number).


Update 24th September 

Further restrictions and advice on gatherings both indoors and outside, for working from home, the wearing of masks, wedding numbers, pub opening times etc have been published by the government as well as information on local lockdowns because of the continuing spread of Covid-19. The latest information can be found on the govt website via the link below.

Please stay safe...

Our Kent County Councillor Shellina Prendergast is always ready and willing to help, her email is

And the KCC helpline set up to assist people during the pandemic Tel  03000 41 92 92) is still active, so any help or advice can be obtained by contacting the organisation via the link above.


Update 21st August

Maidstone Borough Council has created a survey to gain residents views on how MBC can focus resources to help support people to move forward, after the very difficult time faced by all during the Covd-19 pandemic. The more people that complete the survey the more say we will have on the way MBC spends our money. So please complete the survey and share with as many friends, family or other Maidstone residents as possible. The survey closes on the 2nd October 2020.  Find the survey from the link below...


Update 18th August

For those who are self employed or running a small business which has been adversely affected by the pandemic please see the link below to the government grant which is available to apply for from the 17th August. This grant is available from the Self employment Income Support Scheme, even if you did not apply for the earlier grant in April/May. You may be eligible, it's certainly worth applying...

If you have any queries our MBC Councillor Patrik Garten is always ready to help, his email is  His regular newsletters can be found online in the back copies of



Update 19th July

Latest govt advice re Covid -19, returning to work, wearing face coverings, (mandatory in shops from the 24th July) and already if travelling on public transport etc can be found here:

During the lockdown our 40+ volunteers have been busy collecting, delivering, phoning, fixing... so we hope we've been of some use and are very glad if it's made a difference at an awful and wholly unexpected and unimaginable time.

As the lockdown is easing and people are gradually returning to some sort of new normality we have been reminded by our Kent County Councillor, Shellina Prendergast that the Kent Together 24 hour helpline for the Covid-19 crisis, (please see our 1st April update) Tel  03000 41 92 92) is still active, so any help or advice can be obtained by contacting the organisation via the links above.

There is still a need for volunteers as we are not out of the woods with Covid-19 just yet, so to that end Shellina has asked if our many volunteers could subscribe to the email updates from KCC on the link below.

We also attach a link to Shellina's newsletter and have been asked by her to thank all those who have been volunteering in the parish throughout the last few very difficult months for their "brilliant work in trying times". Shellina's newsletter:


Further updates will be posted here and on the Fb page by the Volunteer group in the coming weeks but rest assured that even though the current peak of the virus may have passed, our core volunteer group will still be active and ready to help if (God forbid!) there is a further significant outbreak in the coming months.

Please take care of yourselves, we've come this far don't take chances...!


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 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  

Our Kent County Councillor Shellina Prendergast is always ready and willing to help her email is



                             Neighbourhood Watch

                 Scams relating to the Covid-19 crisis

Beware fraud and scams during Covid-19 pandemic 

Update Friday 3rd April

Scam Alerts

 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.



                                                      Village Update


Update September 24th

Life in the village is slowly getting back to the new normal, Pilates and Zumba, with restrictions and social distancing, have restarted in Stockbury Village Hall but not yet Gardeners Club or any of the many other clubs that use the hall. The Junction 5 Inquiry has been rescheduled for November, further details will be posted as they become available. The Harrow has re opened and welcomes customers back into this warm and friendly pub, with strict adherence to government regulations and advice regarding hygiene, PPE and social distancing. The Harrow no longer provides takeaway food but is open from Tuesdays -Saturdays for meals and drinks and is serving Sunday lunch between 12-3pm, pre booking is essential. Richard the new chef has joined the pub since mid September. to rave reviews so well worth visiting. The government has just updated new permitted pub opening hours, so the pub now has to close at 10pm every day. Please see the pub Fb page, website, or contact the pub on the links below for further details.

The Harrow community pub had to close on government orders during the lockdown but created a well used and popular takeaway service for food, wines and beers, including draught beer that could be collected, or delivered free to the village. The Harrow also made freshly baked bread and biscuits, jams etc. As above, the pub is now fully open with restrictions and although the takeaway is currently not operating, the new Dine in menu is on the website the fb page and will change regularly, the pub can be contacted on 07909 631057.




Update 24th September

During the past very difficult months of lockdown, our local shop and post office MBFarms has risen to the challenge magnificently, remaining open throughout and  working around the clock to keep the village and the wider community stocked up with food and other essentials. We thank them all for their hard work and efforts on our behalf, it really is appreciated.


MBFarms is open as usual, is very 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. The range of foodstuffs that can be obtained would make Waitrose directors weep (Pomegranate Molasses anyone?) so no need to go further afield for you shopping. In the case of a future lockdown it is anticipated that food and essentials can be delivered from MB to those in need, with the help of the Stockbury Covid-19 Support volunteers.Contact: tel 01795 842401.

The Post Office has remained open throughout the past six months of the lockdown and aftermath and will also remain open as usual, with no interruption to postal collections or deliveries. A big thank you to the post office staff for keeping us in touch with the outside world and also the postmen and women who deliver every day, through all weathers and conditions, we now know who our everyday heroes are!

Update 24th September

Like the shop and the pub Tomsetts has remained open during lockdown so anyone who really needed urgent help with transport or vehicle problems (including keeping the volunteers on the road!) was not left to their own devices. Thanks to Dave and the team for keeping us motoring on, at the moment it is still open for business and coping with all the backlog of MOTs and repairs that have been put on hold for so long, so if your vehicle needs attention please see the contact details below...

Tomsetts as an essential service in keeping our vehicles on the road, remained open during lockdown and is still open during normal opening hours of 8am- 5pm. There was some confusion, owing to the extending of some MOTs by 6 months, that garages would be closed, but that was not the case and Tomsetts remains open for all car repairs, MOTs etc in order to keep other essential services on the road and will continue to do so should there be another full lockdown.

To contact Tomsetts:

Tel 01795 841007 or



Update 24th September

Churches are now open for services, please use the contact details below for full details and for booking for weddings, christenings and funerals as the restrictions are regularly changing.



11th April

                     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.

 Youtube service: 


Or link to 'The Six'

Then to the service:


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

Dear friends,


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