Lucy Frost says she was inspired to create the Tunbridge Wells Self Isolation Support Group, as she is currently staying at home keeping her son away from possible infection.
She said: “My son George has Spinal Muscular Atrophy, so I am currently self-isolating at home with him and my daughter Evie.
“I got to thinking what would happen if I could not get out, who would help us with shopping and other things, so I thought what about starting a support group?
“If people are happy to collect people’s shopping and support the community, then we can look after the people that are self-isolating.”
She said that the group, which has been set up to ensure that nobody in the area goes without during self-isolation periods due to the current Covid-a9 outbreak, was not formed just to support the elderly and vulnerable.
“There’s going to be a lot of people who are self-isolating and are in need of support, and that number is only going to rise. Even young and healthy people may need help if they do not have a network of people around them who can help,” she added.
Since setting up the group, Lucy has received hundreds of comments, messages of support and people offering their help, ranging from collecting people’s shopping, picking up parcels and medication, to dog walking and preparing hot meals for people who cannot get out.
She added that those able and willing to help those self-isolating, or those in need of support during the coronavirus outbreak, can contact the group at TWselfisolationgroup@gmail.com or call 01892 280 214.
In Tonbridge, a group has also been set up on Facebook to help ‘the most vulnerable in our community’.
Jessica Gibson started up the Tonbridge Covid-19 Support Group on Monday as a ‘central point to co-ordinate help for anyone in the town that needs support’.
Mrs Gibson, who masterminded the Thetncard – a customer loyalty scheme that covers businesses in the two towns, said that within 24 hours the group had gained more than 1,000 members.
She told the Times: “I created the group yesterday as a way of connecting those in our community who are more vulnerable and/or self-isolating, and the many kind people who wish to help.
“Like the countless groups that are springing up around the UK, ours is a place to bring everyone together so we can co-ordinate efforts to help those that need it – the elderly in particular. Plans for how we do this will take shape over the days ahead.”
She said one of the first activities undertaken by the group was to collate information about shops, food suppliers and restaurants that are providing free delivery.
The mother of four from Leigh added: “It helps that I know many of the business owners through Thetncard.
“I am speaking to all the local businesses that are delivering, and putting it on one tracker so we have everything in one place.”
She added that within hours of setting up the Facebook page a stream of offers came in from businesses and individuals willing to help.