Our History

We began in March 2020 as Seaton Coronavirus Community Group (SCCG) in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Seaton Town Council met with members of the local church, volunteers and individuals to formulate a response and support everyone in the Seaton area during the uncertain times. SCCG was established out of this collaboration and partnership to ensure the needs of the most vulnerable were met in this unprecedented time of isolation and distancing.

A support network of volunteers was established to help those in need, check in on neighbours or people living alone, and provide help wherever it was needed.

The response to the group was amazing and the fantastic volunteers helped others in many ways, delivering leaflets, shopping for individuals, collecting medication, posting mail, delivering food to care homes, or providing friendly phone calls. 

People supported one another and used new technology to keep the community safe, aware and informed. The number of volunteers who stepped up shows what an amazing community spirit there is in the Seaton area.

Our Strategy

Seaton was divided up into 9 areas with over 550 volunteers assisting the community. Each Area of Seaton had a fantastic Coordinator and an amazing pool of volunteers, who were focused on making a positive, practical difference in Seaton during the pandemic.

A dedicated helpline was set up to help direct enquiries and offer assistance during the hours of 8.30am – 8.30pm. Outside of these hours an answerphone service was set up and messages were listened to and responded to on a daily basis.

Useful helpline and ‘Hello’ leaflets were distributed to every household in Seaton, providing information about the helpline and designated email address, as well as personal information about the volunteer who had offered to assist the residents in their Area.

With the restrictions that were in place social media was an invaluable resource to engage with the community, providing help to those who needed it, sharing information and advice (both locally and nationally), and keeping everyone informed on the constantly changing situation and disruptions.

A structure was created to help support the community group, and a supervisory team established to constantly communicate via email and WhatsApp with the Area Coordinators. They offered support, carried out administrative duties and oversaw the coordination and volunteer effort.

Guidelines were put in place and shared with coordinators and volunteers. Official ID Cards were created and issued uniquely to official volunteers aiding anyone self-isolating and vulnerable.

These allowed volunteers to shop for multiple people/households at once at any Seaton supermarket, and agreements were put in place allowing the relaxation of certain regulations for official volunteers.

These forms of identification offered piece of mind to everyone during these difficult times.

Information Booklet

In a short space of time important information was collated into a booklet. Analysis and research of the numbers of streets and households was carried out, and an effective system was put in place for volunteer distribution.

Funded by Seaton Town Council, and printed locally, supporting a local business during this difficult time, 4400 copies were produced and distributed to every household in Seaton. A fantastic team effort that emphasised what a community can achieve when working together.

Keeping the community and volunteers safe during this period was paramount, so guidelines and advice were put in place and shared. It was essential that volunteers were protected and looked after their own health both physically and mentally.

Food in the Community

The community group worked closely with Seaton food bank and local food suppliers, as well as the Tesco Fare Share charity to access food that was about to pass its use by date. Twice weekly this food was collected and delivered to local care homes and animal sanctuaries for them to utilise.

Communicating with local businesses a detailed list was put together to help promote and increase awareness of what was available locally. This was updated regularly and published on social media and in the booklet, and helped the residents as well as the small local businesses during this difficult time.

We worked with SAVE Food Hub as they started up by helping them facilitate storage space, equipment and insurance to become established in Seaton.

Statistics

During an 11 month period the Seaton Community Group assisted the community in over 7500 acts of kindness ranging from shopping for individuals and dog walking services, to phone befriending and computer assistance. On average we were assisting over 680 individuals each month and 170 each week.

To continue this amazing response and support Re:store Axe Valley CIC was established to build on this fantastic help provided by volunteers and strengthen the sense of community that emerged.