Kerry and Sal team up to help villagers in Buckton and Bempton through the outbreak
Friends Kerry Fieldhouse and Sal Cooke have teamed up to ensure the residents of Buckton and Bempton have help and reassurance during the Covid-19 outbreak,
Mum-of-two Kerry, who lives in Buckton, saw a red and green card scheme on the Yorkshire Post facebook page and has adopted it for the hamlet.
Sal saw Kerry's appeal for help and stepped in to distribute the cards throughout nearby Bempton also in the East Riding.
The system is easy: those who are fine put a green card in their window; residents needing help put up a red card with their details on.
"During this time of social distancing, when it is hard to know who needs help and who doesn’t, we can communicate to one another from a distance.," said Kerry.
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"Please display a green card in your front window when you are okay.
"Please display a red card in your front window if you need help e.g. you need some shopping, prescriptions etc. It would be useful if you can write your name and telephone number on the card, facing outwards, if you display the red card.
"As we all go to the post office or on a walk please take a second to check the windows around you. It is assumed that if you display a red card you are happy for someone to call you or knock on your door to see if you need assistance," she said.
The advice is not give money to strangers offering to run errands until they had delivered your goods. This is to stop possible fraud.
"We have had a lot of lovely comments, some saying how reassuring it is for families to see green everywhere," said Kerry.
Each pack was meticulously prepared to minimise risk. "We did everything we could not to add to the anxiety," said Kerry, who is a conservation officer for North Yorkshire Moors Railway in Pickering. She lives with husband Paul and their two children eight-year-old Jay and his five-year-old brother Evin.
The positive response was overwhelming. It was gratefully received by many and the vast majority of householders displayed their cards. It makes sure that as we go for walks in our village we all look out for the cards. It created new friendships and links; gave a positive sense of being able to 'do something' and many people offered help as we went along.
So far, the scheme has helped deliver prescriptions and essential foodstuffs to households in the villages.
The cards were bought and paid for by the two of us each for our own village. Maureen Burnell who represents the pop-in sessions at Bempton and Buckton Community Hall also offered out of funds in the kitty.
"Neither Kerry or I did this to claim anything back - but we know that many in the two villages, wanted to help financially. So this seemed a good thing to accept the offer from one community project to another, said Sal.
Kerry has now registered the red and green Card project on the East Riding County Council's coronavirus community support hub at: https://beecan.org/
"We recognise that we are only a part of the jigsaw. Important letters will be coming from the Council outlining the way the very vulnerable will be able to get support. Then there are the amazing NHS volunteers. It is truly staggering the amount of help being offered by so many people and the variety of schemes which are emerging to help everyone.
"Our little local effort is to help fill the gap at a local level between two communities who are very interlinked," said Sal.
The two women also praised Martin Payne, of Bempton Post Office and Village Stores .
"His shop has become a lifeline for many," said Sal. "From the outset he increased his capacity for selling milk, bread eggs and then offered with deliveries to those needing it.
"He offered to deliver green and red cards to those outlining properties that might have been missed. What a star," she said.
"He has fielded so many calls from worried friends and families who live away and cannot get to visit their relatives and friends to help them out.
"Like the lady from Cleethorpes who had no way of ensuring help was getting to her friend living alone in the village. So she called Martin, he called me and then together we marshalled some support and within an hour the lady had a delivery of eggs, toilet rolls, and phone numbers to call for further help.
"This is only one example of the many that Martin has dealt with. He has gone over and above for us all and he truly is the lynch pin of our community especially as our pub the White Horse has had to close," said Sal.