District Councillors for the ward areas of Welton and Dunholme have come together to praise their local communities for showing incredibly high levels of selflessness and togetherness during the COVID-19 crisis.
Councillors Caralyne Grimble, Diana Rodgers, and Steve England, who each represent the Welton and Dunholme ward, have all seen and felt first-hand how the crisis has brought the village communities together.
The hardships of the global pandemic have been felt right across the villages, with local activities, community groups and events coming to a halt, businesses having to close or adapt, and many people needing to shield or isolate; with the potential of more difficult weeks ahead, Cllr Rodgers was keen to praise the way everyone is helping each other through it.
Cllr Rodgers said: “Most if not all of our usual activities in the villages have been absent from our lives now for nearly a year, and in truth, we don’t quite know exactly when they will return, despite the excellent news of the vaccine roll-out – and I know some of our residents will have already been vaccinated at the nearby Lincolnshire Showground – but I want to help shine a light on all the efforts we have made as a community to help each other, and how much we have been supported as a community.
“Our local food retail shops for instance, have been open all the time and our community support initiatives – including those organised by the Parish Councils to deliver shopping to those shielding – have been incredibly valuable to our more vulnerable community members. My complete thanks go to all of the volunteers for making this happen.”
Maintaining and strengthening physical and mental health during the global pandemic has been a constant priority for all communities over the past few months, and local teams in Welton and Dunholme have continued to work to provide support for their communities.
Cllr Grimble added: “We have a huge network of volunteers in Welton and Dunholme, who have all worked hard to keep people healthy and upbeat. Both Welton and Dunholme have their own two separate monthly magazines for example, put together completely by volunteers. This has allowed for residents to connect with each other over the past few months, keeping up-to-date with the latest community information, and positive entertainment. I am delighted that this has allowed for vital Covid-19 information, including contact information for vital services, to be sent to those who may not have access to digital news in the same way others do.
“We have read and heard amazing selfless and positive stories through these publications, and I want to thank all those responsible for making these magazines happen.” (Read our exclusive interview with editor of the Welton News magazine, Dorothy Russell).
This strong community spirit has always been a part of Welton and Dunholme, according to Cllr Rodgers, and it is hoped this will continue into a post-pandemic world.
“It is wonderful being a part of this community. Our Family Health Centre, local pharmacy and social care teams have been wonderful and have worked non-stop to reassure anyone who has felt unwell, anxious or even lonely, for instance.
“Our bin collectors have continued to provide an excellent service and our postal workers have arrived with their usual cheery banter – though not always on time, but I will let them off on this occasion!
“2020 brought out a strong community spirit, with neighbours offering help and support, which I feel sure will continue until and hopefully after, we are in a safer world.”
Cllr England, Ward Councillor for Welton and Dunholme and Chairman of the Council, is usually out-and-about the entire District as part of his role as Chairman, but due to the current lockdown he has been able to witness first-hand how the communities he represents have come together.
Cllr England said: “I have said it many times, but the word I always use to describe how I have seen communities come together during this pandemic is humbling. Right the way across the District, communities have come together; you don’t have to look far here for instance, whether in Welton or Dunholme, or Hackthorn or Spridlington, to find a resident who is volunteering with the vaccination campaign, or volunteering to check on their neighbours, or to deliver food or medicines to those who need to shield or isolate.
“We have a community here that is made up of many Parishes, all coming together to help each other out; I know that many residents use the facilities in Welton and Dunholme, as well as facilities within their own area. It is vitally important that we all continue to come together and play our part. My thanks go to the local Parish Councils, who have become a central point of contact for those in need of help, and I know I echo the thoughts of my fellow District ward members when I say thank you to all those who have volunteered in some capacity, to help others.
“It is these people and these groups, such as the Welton Paper Shop – who have spent the last few months delivering food basics to those who need them – who will get us all through to the light at the end of the tunnel.”