Ashcott Here to Help Scheme
Some six years ago, in 2004, All Saints launched its ‘Here to Help Scheme’ in an attempt to reach out to our lovely community in a practical way.This was our attempt to reach out to people where they are, particularly in times of need and difficulty. We very much want the church to be alive in the community and not just a few like minded people meeting for mysterious reasons on a Sunday.Of course we were not able to do this with just our own membership and are grateful for the very willing support of many other people who do not belong to the church, making it very much a village scheme. We have been able to help people with gardening, transport, collecting shopping and prescriptions etc. It is important to note that the scheme can only operate as a temporary solution otherwise all our volunteers would very quickly get tied up and the scheme would grind to a halt. We can however, offer help and advice if the problem is a longer term one.
We currently have some 40+ volunteers who help with various tasks when the need arises. So how does it all work?
First of all the whole village is divided into twelve areas and each of these areas are overseen by two named contacts. These are our co-ordinators and are the first port of call for anyone who has a problem that they are not able to deal with. The co-ordinators then make contact with the person making the request and will check out exactly what is required. Having done that they will contact a volunteer from their directory and see who could respond.
All of our volunteers carry an ID which includes a photograph and those using the scheme are encouraged to ask them to produce this if they do not know who they are. In addition each volunteer has signed an agreement to respect confidentiality at all times and although not everyone is formally police checked, each have signed to say that they do not have any convictions that would prevent them from working with vulnerable adults. The Diocese is currently drawing up a policy for the protection of vulnerable adults to run alongside that which covers the protection of children.
Each household in the village received a card, giving details of the contacts for their area when the scheme was launched and again in 2008. We hope that everyone will keep this information to hand, just in case!
We are very proud of our scheme and hope that you will all feel that it is a valuable asset to our community.
In my role as central co-ordinator I will be happy to answer any queries or concerns that you might have and, of course, if you read this and think that you might like to become a volunteer then I would be very happy to hear from you.
Central Co-ordinator (01458 210485)