Last year, at the start of the pandemic, Dover District Council leader, Cllr Trevor Bartlett, and I worked closely together to set up the SuperNeighbours scheme to provide support to residents unable to leave their homes with their shopping needs, prescription collections and also friendly chats.
A call for volunteers saw almost 50 volunteers sign up in the first few days.
With the successful rollout of the vaccination programme and the country unlocking again, Beverley-Jane Last, who has worked tirelessly to lead the project since the beginning, supported by her husband Paul, has written to volunteers to tell them that the SuperNeighbours programme has, for now, done its job.
While Beverley-Jayne and Paul will remain on standby to take calls, for most, the end of shielding should mark a return to self-sufficiency once again.
When I look back to last year, I was so touched that so many people came forward to help look after each other in our community when we set up the SuperNeighbours scheme. Time and again everyone stepped forward and stepped up. There are so many favourite stories over the last year – from pharmacy trips to photography hobbies, from listening on the phone to bringing food and friendship on the doorstep.
The time has come for the country to take a step forward, and for SuperNeighbours to take a step back.
Beverley-Jayne, ably supported by Paul, has done an amazing job and we’ve had so much positive feedback from all the people who have been helped by the SuperNeighbours.
To Beverley-Jayne, Paul and all our SuperNeighbours, a huge and heartfelt thanks.