There With You: Community launches support group to help self-isolators in Portishead

PUBLISHED: 07:00 26 March 2020 | UPDATED: 12:11 01 April 2020

Portishead Marina.         Picture: Mark Atherton

Portishead Marina. Picture: Mark Atherton


People in Portishead have rallied together to support the community’s most vulnerable people since coronavirus hit the UK.

Portishead Coronavirus Support Group will work to help the elderly in town.  Picture: Harbour Residential Care CentrePortishead Coronavirus Support Group will work to help the elderly in town. Picture: Harbour Residential Care Centre

More than 3,000 people have joined the group which has come together to help protect people most at risk of falling ill with the virus and those who are self-isolating in the town.

Moderator of Portishead Coronavirus Support Network, Caroline Sutor, said: “The group was founded by Lisa Denniss and Jane Boa on March 14, who wanted to set-up a network to support each other during the coronavirus crisis and to help elderly and vulnerable locals.

“Within a few hours, the group had more than 100 people join, which now has more than 3,500 members.

“It’s been amazing to see this level of community support for the project.”

Lisa Denniss launched the support group with Jane Boa on Saturday.      Picture: Lisa DennissLisa Denniss launched the support group with Jane Boa on Saturday. Picture: Lisa Denniss

Kind-hearted members of the group have been offering to do shopping for the elderly and self-isolating, pick-up medicine for parents and write letters to residents in care homes.

People have also offered to give away spare staple food items and toilet rolls, offer advice on home-workouts for children and shared Government advice weblinks.

Co-founder of the group, Lisa, said: “It’s going to be a really difficult time, and I knew we would need a group to bring people together and support each other in Portishead. I run a local Mums In Business Association company, so I know supporting local people is really important.

“We’re already in a bad situation, so it just makes us feel less worried when everyone starts pulling together, we can get through this.”

Chair of Portishead Town Council, Paul Gardner.Chair of Portishead Town Council, Paul Gardner.

Lisa also credits Jane and Caroline, Emma Blackmore, Amie Gazzard and Margaret O’Connor for their help in making the group a success.

Businesses in town are encouraged to visit Portishead Coronavirus Support Network on Facebook if companies can help-out.

A town council spokesman said: “It has been great to see various groups setting up their own support networks and we very much encourage people to do this, running an errand or making a phone call to your neighbours will make a big difference if people are ill or self-isolating.

“The Folk Hall walk-in office is closed to the public until further notice, However, the hall remains staffed, so please contact us on 01275 847078 or if you require assistance.

“We will also create a page on our website soon to keep you up-to-date on the situation.”

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