There are so many good deeds being done locally around Berkhamsted and Tring, we just wanted to share a few of them with you here…
Covid 19 Mutual Support Group
A Facebook group was set up for Berkhamsted called the Covid 19 Mutual Support Group. Set up by Jon Russell and Lisa Hartley on Friday 13 March, by the following Monday every single street in the town had a volunteer to deliver leaflets offering help to every resident, whether vulnerable, self-isolating or other. It continued its good work throughout the crisis – and Jon kept the spirits of the town up with a weekly online quiz every Saturday night!
Lisa Hartley said: ‘I knew we had to do something for the town, and the response was incredible! I wanted to make sure no one was left out, or unable to get the things or the contact they needed. It’s been very humbling to see the whole town get on board and I’m so glad that, at such an uncertain time, so much togetherness is emerging. We hope that this continues long into the future.’
Dave Rance (pictured) showed what a true local hero he was when he offered to go shopping, pick up prescriptions, and carry out any other job needed for the elderly, vulnerable and those self isolating. He was easily recognisable thanks to a rainbow of balloons on top of his car made and donated by Emma Moorcroft of Berkhamsted Balloons, and he also decorated the front of his car to give thanks to the NHS workers.
‘I was working at the Old Mill and when it closed I was furloughed,’ he said. ‘They started their grocery service so I offered to deliver for them for free, and then I offered my services on Facebook. I spent about four hours a day delivering Old Mill groceries and the rest of the day doing anything else. It kept me busy and I like to help people. It’s definitely better than sitting at home doing nothing!’
The Old Mill
The pub might have closed its doors to customers, but it set up an online delivery service of meals, drinks and a wide selection of groceries (including toilet roll and flour!) to thousands of people all over the town. Owner Andy Clarke, who took over the pub in October 2019, worked round the clock to provide groceries, and was a godsend to many of the people unable to get to the supermarket.
Open Door in Berkhamsted
The volunteers and class tutors at Open Door in Berkhamsted continued to do what they do best – provide nourishment, exercise and creative inspiration.
In conjunction with Berko Food for Friends they started a free meal delivery service, and people who were vulnerable or self-isolating could order evening meals for delivery. Much of the food was donated by Waitrose, and a donation was made by the Town Council.
Other classes running virtually included pilates, Art, relaxing yoga, and drawing classes.
As a thank you to the NHS, a team of small businesses from Tring came together to offer discounts and complimentary services for a future wedding for one NHS bride or groom-to-be.
The Herts Wedding Collective are offering the package worth £3000 which will include Bridal make-up by Lara @makeupinlondon, a £250 voucher towards bridal hairstyling from @hairbyaletharobertson, flowers worth £250 from @pollyandpetal, £250 towards wedding photography and another £250 for viedography from @gregmandyphotography, a made-to-measure suit by @jordenelizabethtailoring, a £250 voucher towards a dress, accessories or alterations from @ameliageorgebridal and a £500 voucher towards a wedding cake from @atyourwishcakes as well as DJ servives from Pete Ashmore.
Berko Black Cab
The lovely and always smiling Mark Twyman and his Berko Black Cab offered free taxi rides to NHS workers who needed to get to hospital, particularly during difficult times of the day.
‘I’m doing what I can to help the amazing local NHS staff and key workers by providing free transport to those who are still travelling to work,’ said Mark. ‘My taxi has a separate carriage so I knew that it would help those who need it most to minimise their contact with the public. I also wanted to show my gratitude to the community as they’ve been so supportive of Berko Black Cab since day one.
‘I’m financing this myself but I’ve also had really generous donations from friends, customers and even complete strangers. I will continue to do this as long as it’s needed.’
Our Bookshop in Tring is still open for business virtually, despite being forced to close their doors.
‘The national wholesaler has unfortunately stopped delivering in bulk so whilst we can still order books individually, we also need to focus on the stock we have in the shop,’ explains Ben Moorhouse. ‘When the order is received, the books are collated, then the payment is taken over the phone and finally the books are delivered to the customers doorstep (usually by me on my bike!). Social distancing is adhered to at all times.
‘It’s a highly manual process but the community has been very supportive through this difficult time. Many customers have put in a number of orders, far more than they probably need, just so they are supporting Our Bookshop.’
Steve Butcher, organiser of Tring’s annual Chilfest, invested in eight laser printers and made hundreds of PPE masks which were sent to hospitals and pharmacies around the area.
Further afield in Leighton Buzzard, Design Technology teachers, Jacqueline Hargreaves and her husband also made thousands of protective face masks using their own laser cutter and materials and a 3D printer borrowed from school.
Going the Extra Mile
Wendy Lawrey’s sister Angela who lives in Tring has been going the extra mile on a day-to-day basis and even more so during Coronavirus lockdown. She shops for and supports her neighbours who cannot go out because of health reasons, making sure she speaks every day by phone so they do not feel totally isolated and have everything they need including keeping spirits up.
As well as close neighbours, Angela also shops and supports a lady and gentleman in Berkhamsted with their food shopping and prescriptions.
Wendy said ‘I cannot possibly name all that she does, Angela does all this and is always smiling, her sense of humour and ‘get on with it approach’ makes her a very special woman as I’m sure everyone who knows her would say and I am very proud to have her as my sister.’