Chipperfield Care – 2020

Barely had we finished celebrating Chipperfield Care’s 30th birthday than we were put into our first lockdown. This resulted in the large majority of our 60 volunteers finding themselves unable to continue, either as Duty Officers manning the phones 5 mornings a week, or driving clients to medical and other appointments. Miraculously, just as our traditional organisation was having to start a sort of hibernation, a couple of young ladies in the village decided to look, via Facebook, for volunteers to help our elderly and vulnerable residents. They raised some funding through GoFundMe and quickly raised nearly £400, 30 young(er) volunteers and, by dropping leaflets through countless doors, about 40 clients who needed help. One of these 2 founder- ladies was also running her professional kitchen business and quickly offered to make soup every week as a gift for anyone who would appreciate it. She was joined by another volunteer offering to bake bread every week to go with the soup. Thus started our Covid-19 Support Group in late March. As they were able to effectively take over what Chipperfield Care might normally have been doing in terms of grocery shopping, collecting prescriptions, trips to the post office and so on, it was natural for Care to provide the umbrella of a registered charity for their activities.

So, since April, Chipperfield Care has been running on two legs. Firstly, our very skinnied-down original organisation with our Organiser manning the phone single-handedly and also bearing the brunt of any driving still required by our original clients for the first 3 months, and secondly our Covid-19 group who have been cooking and delivering about 25 soups and 15 loaves of bread every week for the last 9 months, financed by Chip Care with wonderful help from our Parish Council, SCCF and the Trustees of Blackwell’s.

We plan to continue the soup and bread initiative until Easter and then perhaps fold the 2 legs of Chipperfield Care into the one organisation so that we may continue the traditional services offered to our Community once we’ve all been vaccinated and life seems almost normal again.

Mark Jarrad