An update: the calm before the storm

Update 19 March 2020


The Meltham.org campaign is a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, which is impacting communities across the world. This is a very local campaign that is targeted at residents, businesses and community organisations within the Township of Meltham. One which contains more than 3,500 homes and is home, a place to play, work and rest for over 9,500 residents. So far, over 120 volunteers have stepped forward to help our community respond to whatever comes up in the coming weeks and months, as this situation develops. Thank you to each and everyone of you. This is a campaign which is the bringing together a number of community organisations and a lot of you as residents. These include, but isn’t limited to The Crossroads Centre, The Crossroads Shop, Meltham Town Council, The Carlile Institute, Meltham Sports & Community Centre, Meltham Parish Churches, Meltham Scouts and Guides, Meltham Convenience Store, Meltham Post Office and Meltham Co-op. Our plan Our first step is to start and complete a delivery of leaflets to every home in the Township, a task which is being led by Ann and Bev. The leaflets have been printed and delivered, they’ll start being delivered from Friday 20 March and over the weekend. We will also have them in shops and other outlets within the community, just in case you miss it being pushed through your door. Let’s hope the weather is kind! The next step is to then use the infrastructure we’ve been developing over the last week – phone lines, text messages services, email, the website (www.meltham.org) and the expertise of our whole community to stand up against the Covid-19 virus. Our aim is to help those in need. We all, at some stage may be in need of some assistance; whether you're taking the situation seriously or not. It is also important that you continue to follow the Government advice. We'll support residents through, again not limited to, a home shopping service; working with all outlets that are open in Meltham to deliver food, chemist trips, Post Office trips etc – whatever can be identified that would be of benefit. Our contact details will be published on this website on 20 March, we will be manned the majority of the time, with voicemails and social media backing up the times when we need to take a break. A page which is currently under development will contain a list of businesses who are offering a range of services; with a rough outline of how they’ll be fulfilling the service.

It is worth noting that The Crossroads shop will be running reduced opening times. It will be open Tuesday and Thursdays. This is due to a lack of customers, but also to cope with volunteer management.

We’ll be running a self-isolation notification service – if you’re in an at risk group, have relatives living in Meltham or just want to let us know you’re isolating, then the website will be the primary method of letting us know. You'll be able to notify us via email, SMS and telephone. The benefits of letting us know are that we are aiming to scale our efforts accordingly. We have volunteers who have offered to check on neighbours, relatives and give them a call to make sure they’re OK. It may be that you just want to have a chat with someone; and that is OK too, looking after our mental health and well-being is going to be critical over the coming weeks. Meltham Town Council are meeting on Monday 23 March to discuss the situation and an appeal will be put to them for financial support of this endeavor, whilst we wait for further details from Kirklees Council.

Communication We’ll be aiming to be able to communicate events which may happen – we already have suggestions as below; but we’re sure there’ll be all sorts that crop up over the next few weeks!

· online classes from teachers within Meltham for our young people

· socially distant choirs

· online quizzes, bingo nights and film nights

We encourage you to look after each other at a street level too; sharing contact details, creating Facebook messenger groups of people on your street, WhatsApp groups or walkie talkies – whatever works for you, but your local knowledge will be important to monitor neighbours and how we as a community are responding.

This post is a summary of where we are right now, we'll keep you updated. No-one knows how this will play out on a local, regional and national level, so we’re also looking at ‘what-if’ scenarios. We simply don’t have a crystal ball, many of us wish we did. One incredibly important aspect to all this is the resilience of our community infrastructure – this includes our local businesses – from cafes, restaurants, producers, manufacturers, pubs and garages. All of these employ many people in our area, many are owned and managed by our friends, associates and relatives. It is critical that we support these as much as we possibly can. So we encourage you to shop locally where you can and use the list to identify who can fulfill your needs, obviously online shopping will rise, but let's keep it local. We’ll also hold regular online broadcasts using Zoom and we’ll let you know how things are getting on. Our next planned 'zoom meeting' will hopefully be useful for businesses and have advice and Q & A for our local businesses. Over and above everything else, please take care of yourselves. We as a community will come back stronger and more determined once this has passed - and we need to be ready for that moment, hopefully we can celebrate our enhanced sense of community! Keep positive and share your stories of working from home, your isolation tales and pictures and videos of how you’re addressing the boredom, fun-times and frustrations of being in this position. Share these through text message, email, or on social media. Kind regards Richard On behalf of the Meltham.org team Some sites you may be interested in: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/melthamcovid19

Twitter: www.twitter.com/hashtagmeltham

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