Yet another good news story for Hambledon: as was reported at the start of the week, the raffle held by the locally-based Village Spirit Collective to raise money for the Community Foundation for Surrey’s Coronavirus Response Fund achieved a remarkable £1,108. This more than exceeded expectations – the Collective’s Ian and Alpa Cox were hoping that they might make around £200!
And there’s more good news, albeit from outside Hambledon. In responding to the Coronavirus pandemic, Waverley Borough Council has made support for struggling businesses one of its top priorities. Staff have been redeployed to focus resources on making the software and operational changes required, individually contacting affected businesses by phone and physically processing all of the grant claims; and on 24 April Waverley announced that it has paid over £15m. directly to around 1,200 businesses across the Borough. What a positive contrast to so many of the national rescue schemes that seem to be going pear-shaped at the moment.
Apart from calling 111. One Hambledon resident who had to be talked through an, albeit not too serious, attack of Covid-19, cannot praise the service too highly – from the quickness of responses to calls and the subsequent quality of advice, from start to finish. Another really good news story. But there’s a health downside too: spare a thought for the residents of the Hydon Heath Cheshire Homes which is now completely locked down, with several occupants not well and some in hospital.
By their very definition, when it comes to coping with difficult times it is the people most in need of advice and care who are likely to remain unidentified. This can happen even in a village as supportive as Hambledon. Hopefully we all continue to keep our eyes and ears fine-tuned, particularly as there are now so many groups that can offer so much help (including non-financial).
The collection of weasle words, meaningless phrases and porkies (you take your pick as to which is what) continues to amaze. We’re working round the clock, when we’re not working 24/7 (come on, everyone needs a bit of sleep); we’re doing everything possible (who do you think you’re kidding?); we’re calling for assurances (it’s not the calling that we want, it’s the assurances); but we’re following the science, or the best scientific advice (which – or whose?). How sage is sage advice? And perhaps the best (or worst) of all: it’s completely unacceptable (yes, it is).
Getting back to normal, the first cuckoo in Spring was heard a week ago near Burgate; and he’s been joined by another one, round about The Hydons. The village pond is full of tadpoles; swallows have started to arrive; and the paulownia tree at the back of the Village Hall carpark is in full flower.
As you will have seen from Saturday’s post on the websitet, the May Parish Magazine is now on its way to subscribers via the new team of hand deliverers. The absence of several of regular features (casualties of lockdown) has not prevented the production of a bumper issue – evidence that more than a little talent has been hiding in the village for far too long.
Updates from the Shop continue to appear on the village website, including a photo montage of one of the volunteer teams at work. Looking after the needs of so many customers can make you pretty hungry – and thirsty: so the food and drink choices of a couple of the workers have been featured. Emma went for frozen fish from one of the new suppliers that has recently been sourced by the Shop; Martin’s top pick was a case of beer (no surprise there!). And Jon’s doing his best to turn us into a bunch of winos – his pick for your picnic: a mixed case of six wines! It’s hard not to enjoy in Hambledon.