At the start of the Covid19 emergency, a wide group of Dover organisations joined together to form Together4Dover under the umbrella of Dover Big Local. Launched on April 3rd 2020, the helpline service offered support to local residents throughout the pandemic through all three lockdowns.


Particular care was taken to ensure that Together4Dover’s ‘regular callers’ could continue to be supported by signposting to other services where possible. This meant that each person received either a call from the NHS Social Prescriber, or a doorstep visit from the local Community Warden as duty of care was of paramount importance to Together4Dover.


Over 80 local Dover people offered to volunteer which included manning the helpline phones, running shopping and prescription errands, as well as delivering hot meals and fresh food deliveries for referrals received for local families in need. There was also a laundry service offered, together with counselling services provided by Harmony Trust Therapies. Our services were greatly enhanced by a grant from Dover District Council.


Deacon Michelle Legumi, chair of Together4Dover Covid 19 Support, said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the amazing support our volunteers have given. There have been many examples of them going above and beyond in completing the errands as they all care deeply about our community.


“The numbers speak for themselves: we completed around 600 errands, took more than 1,100 phone calls and delivered nearly 800 hot meals and more than 800 food deliveries. Absolutely staggering in view of the very short lead times involved to set up the operation. A huge thank you to all those who volunteered during these very difficult months.”


Feedback from residents was wonderful including:


From the beginning, Together4Dover worked closely with Dover District Council’s Community Development team, Kent County Council Community Wardens and the local NHS Social Prescriber which proved invaluable in having ‘joined up thinking’ across the different groups.


Support was magnificent from local companies with Dover Marina Spa hotel cooking the hot meals, Buckland Media supplying all the printing, Drop N Go offering laundry services and local leisure company, Saga Group, providing driver volunteers plus staff to help with website production.


Surplus food was donated by local supermarkets including Aldi, Morrisons, Tesco and Marks & Spencer. Tesco donated 1,500 carrier bags, Aldi donated hand sanitizer for volunteers and The Beacon Church hosted the Emergency Food Deliveries. The phone system was kindly donated by the Dial9 group.


A HUGE thank you to all these organisations.


This initiative was a resounding success with firm foundations laid should anything like it be needed again.