During the first lockdown of the pandemic in March 2020 it quickly became obvious that there was a need for an authoritative, regularly updated source of information for local people. There was a bewildering mass of information and guidance being made available on the Government’s website and locally people were volunteering to help others, especially the vulnerable and ‘shielding’. There was a need to sift through the detail and point local people in the direction of the most up to date facts as well as putting volunteers in touch with those who were looking for help.
SaSS had begun a newsletter in January 2020 but now decided within a day or so of the lockdown to repurpose the newsletter and to distribute it to all member organisations represented on SaSS. The aim was to bring together all the information needed by the community support groups in an easy to read format. This was produced and distributed twice a week to begin with, later once restrictions were eased, dropping to once a week and in the summer, fortnightly. Information was gathered by Helen Dowse, with contributions from other SaSS members. As well as helping with the sourcing of information, Anne Trevett, SaSS Chair, edited the material and it was initially turned into a newsletter by Liz Batten.
The distribution list grew to its current level of over 250. The newsletter reaches many more people than that because it comes with the explicit instruction to forward it on to others and some organisations print off hard copies for hand delivery. Linda Baker, SaSS Administrator has now taken over the design, layout and distribution. To contribute to the content please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. To subscribe to the mailing list please sign up here.