With Kent facing tier restrictions after 2 December, Kent Community Foundation knows that it is now more important than ever that people across the county come together to support the Knock and Check campaign and check on their elderly and isolated neighbours this winter.

Josephine McCartney, Chief Executive, Kent Community Foundation, said, “Kent Community Foundation is delighted with the overwhelming support we have received for the Knock and Check Campaign. Our elderly neighbours were already facing a long, lonely winter but with lockdown they may become even more isolated and lonely as they are not able to see friends and family or perhaps even leave their homes.

Our campaign is being supported by Kent County Council and many charities and community groups across the county and together we hope to encourage the community to join us and help the most vulnerable through winter, with simple and safe actions. I hope that those reading Dartford Living magazine will join us this winter to offer some small act of kindness, especially during the festive season when our neighbours may be particularly lonely and isolated.”

Roger Gough, Leader of Kent County Council, said, “We are very pleased to be supporting the Kent Community Foundation ‘Knock and Check’ campaign this winter. The 2018 KCC Select Committee on Social Isolation set out a number of recommendations and one of these was to raise awareness of social isolation and loneliness. We have seen great community spirit during COVID-19 with neighbours stepping up to help each other and this has been vital in keeping important social connections.

We know that the winter months may feel very isolating for some, especially given the ongoing challenges of COVID-19 this year. A familiar face or offer of help could make a real difference to someone’s day and we encourage people to continue the acts of kindness demonstrated across the county during the first lockdown, over the months ahead.”

Local group, Wellbeing Link, who support people with life-affecting conditions living in the Dartford and Northfleet area, is backing the Knock and Check campaign. Most of the Wellbeing Link members are over retirement age and would normally attend weekly meetings which in current times are not possible so the group has adapted to the pandemic and is interacting with its members via the phone or Facebook. 

Susan Woodley, Wellbeing Link, said, “Our Wellbeing Link volunteers call our members on a regular basis to have a chat, check how they are and ask if they need anything and we have encouraged our members to keep in touch with each other too. Many of our members have family supporting them but we take extra care with those who are without support.

We are very grateful to Kent Community Foundation for their funding during the first lock-down which enabled us to set up support mechanisms to continue out work within the restrictions of the pandemic. We sincerely hope that the community gets involved with the Kent Community Foundation Knock and Check campaign to support their elderly neighbours and especially those without a support network.”

Josephine McCartney continued, “We have a resource directory on the Kent Community Foundation website of organisations in Kent and Medway who are there to help you and your neighbours.  Please do pass details of the help and support that is available to those who need it and together we could make a huge difference to the vulnerable within the county this winter, and ultimately we hope to save lives too.”

To find out more about Wellbeing Link visit www.wellbeinglink.org.uk

To find out more about the Knock and Check campaign visit www.kentcf.org.uk/knockandcheck

About the Knock and Check Campaign

The Knock and Check campaign is part of the annual Kent Community Foundation “Surviving Winter” initiative. During the winter Kent Community Foundation is asking the community to help save lives by looking out for and helping elderly neighbours. You can offer help with their shopping, share something you have baked, give them magazines or books you have read, arrange for prescriptions to be delivered  or just simply say hello and ask if they need any help.

An online Knock and Check Resource Directory lists the help and support that is available for the elderly.

People are reminded to maintain adequate social distancing when checking on neighbours and everyone should use a chain or spy hole before opening the door to anyone who knocks.

For more information visit www.kentcf.org.uk/knockandcheck

About Kent Community Foundation

Kent Community Foundation is one of 46 accredited local Community Foundations across the UK. Since 2001, Kent Community Foundation has distributed over £40 million in grants and provides financial support to hundreds of charities and deserving causes throughout Kent and Medway.

Community Foundations are local champions, connecting people and organisations that want to improve their communities. They invest in local people and organisations tackling some of the biggest issues facing communities today and supporting some of society’s most disadvantaged people. They provide help and advice to those who want to give at the heart of their communities, both now and in the long-term, by matching donors to important local causes.

To provide support to charities, Kent Community Foundation helps individuals, families and businesses, establish and administer their own charitable funds to support the local causes that mean the most to them and where a modest sum of money can make a significant impact.