Vicar Annie says...and Australia hears!

 Rev Annie Goldthorp

The Deddington COVID-19 Response Team was set up right at the beginning of the outbreak of the virus. Bea Maloney, David Rogers (Chair, Parish Council) and myself (Vicar) were all keen to do something in the village and the response team was the result of our discussions. We were quickly joined by Al Kitchen who has since chaired our weekly meetings. Bea Maloney quickly set about dividing the village into Zones, including Clifton and Hempton, (a similar idea was set up in the Barfords) and, within just a few days, we had over 100 volunteers. The idea was that each ‘Zone’ would have a Captain who would, in turn, have volunteers to help them. This help would be in the form of delivering the weekly newsletters, doing or collecting shopping for those who should not go out, delivering newspapers, dog walking, collecting pet supplies from Crofts in Banbury and indeed anything else useful to help our neighbours. That the scheme was up and running so quickly was amazing - and it worked very well.

It worked so well that neighbouring villages were talking about it and trying to find ways of setting up something similar themselves. We hadn’t realised how famous we had become until one Friday, on her way back from the Crofts pick up in Banbury, Bea Maloney was stopped by the Police for a routine check to see why she was travelling. The conversation went thus:

Police - ‘Hello. We’re just checking everyone has a valid reason to be out’.
Bea - ‘I’m a volunteer collecting for our village’.
Police - 'Oh, lovely. What village?’
Bea - ‘Deddington’
Police - ‘Oh, we’ve heard about their wonderful scheme - well done! Stay safe!’

Bea also had a letter from Victoria Prentice, local MP to congratulate her (the team) on the fantastic scheme we had set up.

It is a wonderful example of people being neighbourly and looking out for those who are struggling to look out for themselves.

...and in Australia

The story of the how Deddington claps every Thursday, along with the restt of the nation  featured as a TV News item