The town is bracing itself as Swanage starts four weeks of lockdown from Thursday 5th November to Wednesday 2nd December 2020, in a bid to reduce the spread of the coronavirus pandemic that is threatening to overwhelm the NHS.
This has meant the closure of many shops and businesses and the cancellation of activities. However this time, Swanage is more prepared and many more shops offering essential products are to remain open, with services like dentists and opticians continuing to see patients.
Swanage Town Mayor, councillor Mike Bonfield reopening Institute Road after the pavements were fortuitously widened to two metres
“We are so lucky to live in this wonderful area of Purbeck”
Swanage Town Mayor, councillor Mike Bonfield says there’s plenty of community support to get us through this difficult time:
“As we enter the latest government lockdown I ask you all to again look out for our vulnerable residents that are still very concerned about this ongoing situation. People’s wellbeing and loneliness is always a concern and this is getting worse as this pandemic continues.
“We are so lucky to live in this wonderful area of Purbeck and have so many groups and individuals that are willing to support us especially during difficult times and there are so many businesses that have been so supportive during the last nine months, please I ask you all to support our local businesses so that they are able to ride out this latest shutdown.
“Finally, I hope that as long as we do as we are being asked, we will be able to have some form of a family Christmas, as we all need something to look forward to.”
Chair of Swanage Neighbours, Laura Rowan organising art bags for school children, funded partly by Swanage and Purbeck Rotary
A neighbourhood network has been set up across Swanage
Once again the local organisation, Swanage Neighbours is taking an active role in coordinating the Swanage Community Coronavirus Response group, that’s been formed to share information and support each other during the coronavirus pandemic.
During the last lockdown a neighbourhood network was set up across Swanage to undertake neighbourly tasks.
Chair of Swanage Neighbours, Laura Rowan said:
“As with the previous period of national restrictions, I think the one thing we can count on, and a real silver lining at this hard time, is that the Swanage community will pull together and offer their support to one another.
“Swanage Neighbours will be helping to ramp up and facilitate this effort again, connecting volunteers with those who are in need of support. We’re particularly able to help those who are self isolating or self shielding, with errands such as food shopping or prescription collection.
“We also have a team of social volunteers who would love to call up for a chat if you are finding this period lonely, as I am sure many are. If you need a hand or can lend one please do get in touch with us”
Many pubs and restaurants now offering takeaway services
Lots of businesses and shops have adapted over the last nine months with many pubs and restaurants now offering takeaway services, which they hadn’t done pre-Covid. Shops have installed plastic screens and many have upgraded their websites to allow them to sell items online.
Digital communication and engagement is booming and with this in mind, one resident, Linda Welsh has started up a Facebook group ‘Support Swanage businesses through lockdown’ to help them promote what they are offering over the next four weeks. She said:
“The reason why I set this up was to help Swanage businesses during lockdown. My idea is that by having one Facebook group purely for businesses to advertise what they offer during this time, they won’t get lost in the general chit chat posts on various groups.
“I have no vested interest in any business in the town, except one and their merchandise cannot be chosen via their website, but I’m hoping by setting up the ‘Support Swanage businesses through lockdown’ Facebook group, it will help keep some of our businesses trading profitably at this awful, stressful time.
“I honestly think we are so lucky in Swanage to have so many independent shops and businesses and we must do all we can to keep them going. Swanage is dependent on tourism and our shops are part of the attraction, for instance the shop, Curiosity is known not only nationally, but internationally thanks to past Harrow House students.
“I’ve even had someone say to me that they often visit Swanage because they love the choice of so many small shops, so we really mustn’t lose what helps make Swanage so special.”
- The Swanage Town Council will continue to post useful information on its website and Facebook page throughout lockdown. Councillor Mike Bonfield has his own Facebook page
- Swanage Community Coronavirus Response group aims to share information and support each other during the coronavirus pandemic. It is there to help anyone who needs assistance with neighbourly tasks like shopping, picking up medicines or a friendly chat. The group can be reached via Facebook or its Swanage Neighbours website
- Support Swanage businesses through lockdown Facebook group has been set up to help local shops and businesses to promote what they are offering over the next four weeks.