View from the front line: praise from Market Rasen Action Group co-ordinator

“Do you know what, I don’t care about me -as in what clients I have lost. I don’t care that I don’t have a social life or talk to many friends. All I care about is helping our residents who really need our help.”
Coronavirus outbreak (stock image)Coronavirus outbreak (stock image)
Coronavirus outbreak (stock image)

Volunteers have been out and about helping those in need at this time of crisis.

Co-ordinating efforts through MRAG (Market Rasen Action Group) is Julie Lambie, who has praised residents for their support and the town’s businesses for pulling together.

Julie gave a detailed - and at times emotional - update on what is going on.

She said: “On a daily basis, we are getting over 30 calls from residents that Noots are forwarding on to us.

“Our prescription collectors are DBS checked and I can’t thank Boots staff enough thy are just amazing. They even ask how everyone of us is.

“The volunteers that are helping, this isn’t just MRAG, include Nicky, June and Cathy from the town council, and our town and district councillor Stephen Bunney, plus many other volunteers - we also police , RAF personnel, Market Rasen Round Table, Air Cadet staff.

“We have volunteers who can just do shopping and then we have our DBS volunteers who are able to do the prescription runs.”

For many the pressures of finding ways to help people can be very emotional.

Julie continued: “The post office staff have been amazing; especially a big shout out to Mary Jane (the post office manager).

“She has been reduced to tears again by so many vulnerable people coming in and being worried

“Between me and Mary Jane, we are talking regularly and there are leaflets in there that they are handing out to those who they know are vulnerable, those who are at risk, those who are disabled, those with COPD, cancer patients and elderly residents who have no family.

“Me and Mary Jane have stood in the post office just crying - it was just horrendous.”

But Julie is keen to point out this is a team effort.

She said: “Our volunteers are just phenomenal, we cant do this without them, I can’t do this without them.

“I am being called team leader and my house is being called Market Rasen headquarters; well I haven’t really got a house anymore - everywhere is just like an office and a food bank.

“For the Co-op staff, the abuse they had from some people is disgusting, but hopefully now these rules have been implemented by the government more people will just praise them up; give a big shout out to them

“They are looking after MRAG volunteers; we are helping them as much as we can, trying to ease the pressure on demands.

“The foodbank is going to the salvation Army and I know I can also dip in to it as well if I need to.”

The volunteers are also going that bit further to support other services.

“Julie continued: “We have just dropped a little care pack into the doctor’s surgery - a friend who works there rang me up and said could I take them some milk.

“Doctors and nurses and staff can’t get hold of milk daily, so we are going to designate one of our volunteers to go in and pick up milk for them.

“We will also use our funds to purchase this; they don’t need to worry about anything like that.

“So we dropped in a little care pack for the doctors staff - some treats, some gluten free stuff, because there’s members of staff there who can’t get gluten free food in there either.

“We will also do this for the staff at Boots.

“Again, they have been amazing; they have just blown us away with their support.

“The trust that our designated prescription collectors have been given is phenomenal.

“I have spoken direct to the pharmacist - what a lovely guy - and would just say that every one of those members of staff is just amazing, so we are going to look after them as well.

“They will also be getting a care pack from MRAG, which has been donated with goods from the public. “We want them to have some treats too and let them know that we all love them too.”

Julie spoke from the heart when she reflected on the situation.

She said: “On a personal note, I just want to say a huge thank you to the residents of Market Rasen. You are supporting us in ways that I never thought we‘d get supported.

“We have voicemails, we have text messages, we have people down the street just smiling at us. People ringing up leaving messages saying thank you so much, without you we don’t know what we’d do. The information on the leaflets is giving us peace of mind.

“We have family members ringing from London from Scotland asking if we can look after their relatives; so heartfelt, so warming.

“Do you know what, I don’t care about me as in what clients I have lost. I don’t care that I don’t have a social life or talk to many friends. All I care about is helping our residents who really need our help.

“All our volunteers are fit and healthy.

“We have our protocols in place - we all have hand sanitisers, take our temperatures daily, wear gloves, keep our distant. We want to make those residents feel safe.

“If any of our volunteers become ill - even a slight illness, just a general illness, we will be telling them they cannot go near anyone.

And Julie had an important messages in support of local businesses.

She said: “I want to say a big thank you to Mattus, who are phenomenal.

“We need this little supermarket. This has been a family business for many many years and we need people to support them. They need us. They suffered the fire and had to move shops.

“We need people to support our local high street. Everybody is going to suffer for quite a few months. Yes we know there is government help out there but they need our support now and they need to be supported after all this is finished.

“So a big thank you to every one of our independent traders who are working their socks off and providing for our community.

“We have had a huge donation from Market Rasen Round Table and a large donation from Union Jack Fish and Chip Shop - we thank them both.”

Anyone who would like to make a donation to the MRAG fund through their PayPal account should send an email to [email protected]