Hello! Welcome to the 4th edition of Beer Talks!

 We hope that you are all well out there and are getting to know your neighbours a bit better. Whilst this is an awful time for all of us, we just wanted to take this opportunity to share some of the fantastic work that has been happening all around Beer to try and make this situation at least bearable. So, a few stats to begin with:

  • Total number of street coordinators: 32
  • Total number of additional volunteers: 37
  • Approximate number of support activities carried out so far: 157

I am sure you will agree that these numbers are really impressive so a big thank you to all of you out there supporting our neighbourhoods – amazing work!

Other things worth noting:

  • Several of the coordinators and volunteers have set up local social apps to improve communication with people in their street – an absolutely great idea and if anyone needs help doing this for their street just let us know;
  • Volunteers across the whole village have been carrying out all sorts of activities during the week such as picking up prescriptions, food deliveries and just chatting to those who live on their own;
  • The back-up support team have been helping with printing and laminating ID cards and newsletters – a huge thank you to Jim, Richard and Billie!
  • The clap was a big success and you could hear it all across the village, which was spine tingling to say the least! And yes, we will be going back to 8pm on Thursdays in order to synchronise with the rest of the nation!
  • It was also really lovely to hear some fantastic music playing across the village thanks to karaoke on Saturday evening as the sun went down – what a brilliant idea! This became a tribute to our friends, Carole and Steve (Stoke!), two stalwarts of our village. Our thanks go to Sean, Bev, Debs, Nigel and friends for making this happen! The next Village Karaoke will be Saturday 2nd May at 6pm, weather permitting, so start practising!

Updates this week:

  • BAG online hangout – by next week we hope to launch a BAG video hangout – a virtual meeting place for local people in Beer to meet up and chat. Initially a manned hangout will be open for half an hour at lunchtime and half an hour early evening but there is every intention to extend the hours if the project proves popular. Ultimately the aim is to connect people across the village and a provide a safe platform for people to chat and catch up with each other. So whether you are looking for local help to solve a problem (e.g. help picking up shopping or help getting a computer working) or if you have an idea or initiative that you want to share, or maybe you just want to have a chat with another human being after being stuck indoors all day, we hope the BAG Hangout will be a useful forum for everyone. More details in the next newsletter about how to access the BAG Hangout but in the meantime, if you are interested in helping out on the rota for manning the Hangout across the week, please email phone details to beeractiongroup@gmail.com. Ryan (BAG Tech Lead) or Matt will then contact you to discuss further. Their contact details are Ryan 07931 719854 or Matt 07939 011230;
  • We are currently setting up an advice service for those who are trying to access various government initiatives such as claiming support as a self-employed person. If you need help with this, please get in touch with Lee Reeve on 07890 948262 in the first instance and she will direct your enquiry to the right person;
  • Don’t forget, we have a list of trained counsellors should anyone wish, or need, to talk to someone confidentially, please speak to Wendy Dodd on 01297 21853, who is qualified in Counseling and Guidance;
  • The revised Beer website, beervillage.co.uk, is taking shape nicely and information is being added to it almost daily. – thanks to Wendy and Kate for their great ideas and updates. A fabulous new Allotment Blog is about to go live so please take a look and have a laugh! There are also some great craft ideas coming online including lovely things for the children to do over Easter and info about sewing drawstring bags for our wonderful NHS nurses – take a look and start crafting!
  • Volunteering – at this moment we are particularly looking for additional volunteers to support our village wide telephone call service for isolated people. If you are interested in being part of a team which can provide this service, please call Lee Reeve on 07890 You can still be self-isolating and be part of this team if you wish;
  • Parish Magazine – just a quick reminder that the Parish Magazine is also online and you can find it at beerparishcouncil.org.uk in the latest news section. We also now have an Instagram account so sign up and post your lockdown piccies now! The Beer Village UK and Beer Memories Facebook sites also contain lots of information and updates so please visit them as well.

Finally, just to remind you that it is really important that in all situations we observe the government’s safety guidelines regarding social distancing. Let’s all stay safe!