A Neighbourhood Comes Together

Councillor, Heather Hayward, who is a part of the Ashford Vineyard family, has been looking out for the residents of Roman Ward during this time of change. We chatted to Cllr. Hayward to find out about what she’s been doing in her neighbourhood!

“I felt that my role in the community gave me an ideal position to help those in my area. I posted an appeal for neighbourhood volunteers to help those in my ward who were self-isolating for any period of time. I split the area into nine zones and was looking for nine volunteers. Within 24 hours I’d got 28 volunteers signed up! With their consent, I created a newsletter with their contact details on it and got them printed. Within another 24 hours, all 1200 houses in the area had been delivered a leaflet by the volunteers.

This leaflet was delivered to all 1200 houses in Roman Ward.

The messages back from residents receiving the leaflets have been amazing. One resident said, “I just wanted to sincerely thank you for your thought and care for all of the people on their own at this very strange time for us all. It’s very comforting to know there are people close who can help.” Another resident said, “We want to thank you for organising help where needed for us ‘oldies’!” 

People who have lived just a few doors from each other are talking to each other for the first time. Just this morning I heard a story of a 19 year old who had decided to cut the grass of his for neighbouring houses. All four houses are self-isolating and he just turned up with his mower and did the lawn for them, and wanted nothing in return. 

Another one of our volunteers was sent home from work with 200 fresh eggs and immediately contacted the group. Between us we were able to distribute all of the eggs to the elderly and isolated families in the area.

I have now been asked to present to the local parish council what I’m doing in my ward so that they can try and replicate in other areas.”