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Co-ordinator Jane Panell keeps us up to date with Lowick & District Connected’ Covid Response Group


  • From Lowick Village Stores, there’s news of around 50 – 60 contacts and orders a week being made – often collected and often delivered to those isolated in Lowick, Bowsden and Berrington – both by you as volunteers and Karen and Ritchie as well. Some are becoming regular orders and a few have had a panic when they’ve forgotten something.
  • Volunteers are also helping keep the shop supplied, collecting stock from Wooler and Chatton
  • We’ve got people shopping for neighbouring households and making sure all is well,
  • People are collecting prescriptions from the shop, pharmacies and surgeries in Wooler, Berwick and Belford.
  • A couple of Government food parcels have been delivered to some of our “shielded” residents – and it is understood that these will be arriving weekly.
  • And many of us are keeping in touch by phoning and emailing friends and checking that all is well.
  • Birthday boy! Well, he can’t match Capt Tom (sorry! Colonel!) but Ritchie at Lowick Village Stores is half way there, as he celebrated his 50th birthday on Thursday 30th!

Books and DVDs etc

  1. Statement on Library Service Provision

The County Council is moving the libraries service to a fully digital and online offer during the lockdown.  In the meantime, all due dates for items previously due in March or April, have been extended and there will be no fines during this period.  Making reservations has been stopped, but all reservations waiting for you in the library currently will be kept for when normal service resumes.

Our digital library is available and library members can access eBooks, eAudiobooks and eMagazines with BorrowBox and RBdigital.  If you are not a library member you can join online today and access our digital library with your temporary borrower id. See the Northumberland County Council website for details of how to access this service.

  1. Locally available books and DVDs

We’ve been exploring what we can do to reduce the piles of read and watched material in our homes and bring those books and DVDs to people who need them. We don’t think we can manage a “lending library” type approach, but maybe we can get some books/DVDs into the Lowick Village Stores and people can pick them up there – and maybe you as one of our volunteers can talk to people you are telephoning/taking shopping and prescriptions to who are shielded or isolating and see if there’s something they’d like – what kind of book/movie. Then you can pick up items and deliver them, safely. The idea is that anyone donating makes sure the material is wiped and placed in a separate bag (for paper, wiped and then 48 hours untouched seems to be adequate). We’ll launch this at the weekend and pilot it for a week or so and see how it goes.


As we know the Government is thinking about us all wearing masks when we go out. A chap called Mike Drawbridge has been hard at work and using his 3-D printer has created face visors for a range of people and including our Ritchie and Karen at the Lowick Village Shop. They’ll be ready for when they’re needed!

And some friends have been especially imaginative in making their own masks using household items. Here are two examples. Yes, the first involves saucepan lids and the second used milk cartons. (These are NOT recommended!) What ideas do you have?

More services available

The range of services available is growing daily and the list is significant – one of the most useful sources is on the Healthwatch Northumberland website and here are one or two items from there:

  • Safe Families are offering remote support for all Northumberland families with children who may be struggling for a variety of reasons during the Coronavirus pandemic. Whether you are a parent, grandparent, or carer for children, many issues have come up in recent times with home-schooling, isolation, and a range of other concerns.This service is open to anyone who may benefit from some outside, remote support to help them, and you can refer yourself at any time via the Safe Families contact form from the website
  • And the Coop has  launched a gift card scheme for those shielding or self-isolating and reliant on others to do their shopping. By calling a dedicated Co-op phone line on 0800 029 4592, they can purchase a gift card which can be shared with friends, neighbours or volunteers to pay for shopping in their local Co-op store.

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