With the ongoing spread of new Coronavirus, and the understanding that the virus is now distributing within the population and is a particular risk for older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions,

The Rural Coffee Caravan has decided to suspend all our visits and events until further notice.

This is to ensure that we do not contribute to the spread of the virus from individual to individual, that we protect those most at risk of serious harm from contraction, and to minimise the risk to the wider community, volunteers and staff.

The health of our neighbours and our wider community is our number one priority. 

Alex Smith (Founder of the Cares Family) said on March 12th 2020 “In times of challenge and change, how we stay together and help to connect those most at risk of social isolation and social distancing – not just now, but in normal times too – will come into sharper focus”.

We agree and so, going forward we will be looking for ways for neighbours to stay socially connected while physically distanced.

Community Action Response poster illustrating 5 things you can do to make a positive difference in your community:thinking of others, connecting and reaching out to your neighbours, making the most of local online groups, supporting vulnerable or isolated people, sharing accurate information and advice.

Each and every community we work with is different, so what will keep people connected and safe in the days and weeks ahead will be different for everyone.

Ideas we are considering helping communities to adopt in order to stay during these challenging times include:

  • Encouraging people to reach out to neighbours to offer practical and simple offers of support: getting people who might not already feel happy with using Skype or other video conferencing set up with it; offers of help with shopping; a friendly chat. Here’s a useful flier that you could consider using. @CovidAidUK has a really useful step by step guide to help people start getting organised as well as links to local groups being formed which are being added to every hour
  • Setting up a phone tree: for those old enough to remember these – these are a useful way of passing messages around small social networks and could be useful for local communities needing to share messages in the weeks ahead. There are instructions online how to set these up, like this.
Illustration of an example of a phone tree
  • Join our c-a-f-e (coffee and friends events) network: this network is full of venues and groups who bring people together week in week out across Suffolk. These groups are unlikely to be able to operate as normal in the times ahead however we know they want to play a part in helping keeping people connected and supported within the community. We will use the mailing list in the weeks ahead to share ideas and tips to help people in isolation stay occupied and connected, such as creating audio book clubs; TV drama/play critique clubs; working on art & craft projects which can eventually come together as community exhibitions. It’s a two-way network so we will ask you for your suggestions too so that we may share them.

For more information and to join please EMAIL US

If you have ideas on how to keep people connected and healthy in the weeks ahead please don’t hesitate to let us know.

We are all in this together.

We will closely monitor the situation and will update our position regularly but our hope is to resume outdoor visits in the summer.