Community care is critical during coronavirus lockdown

Posted 15th April 2020

As well as supporting the businesses within Milton Keynes Business Improvement District, MyMiltonKeynes has always had the local community at the heart of its many projects and initiatives. So, when the world was hit by an international pandemic, the small central Milton Keynes team was quick to demonstrate “we’re here to help!” 

Now, three weeks into lockdown, with all of its staff furloughed, we spoke to Chief Executive, Melanie Beck to find out how MyMiltonKeynes has diversified in order to meet the many needs of the local community.

“Since the government announced lockdown, we’ve been in constant communication, as a trusted partner, with Milton Keynes Council, CMK Town Council, Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Milton Keynes Hospital Charity. It quickly became apparent that one of the most valuable services we could provide was support with deliveries, through repurposing our MyMiltonKeynes employee buses, and we’ve been using them this week for a number of critical deliveries.

“Milton Keynes Hospital has received an additional 40-50 eye shields every day, thanks to the amazing work of a kind volunteer, who owns a 3D printer and is single-handedly producing much needed additional PPE for the NHS. We’ve been collecting and delivering this vital PPE every morning to the hospital for doctors, nurses and support staff, in order to keep them as safe and protected as possible, as they treat those with the worst symptoms of Covid-19.”

Maintaining social distancing rules at all times, Melanie has enlisted the help of her husband and son, in order to increase resource and fully utilise the two buses and MyMiltonKeynes car available. She says:

“As well as PPE, we’ve been working with Milton Keynes Council, whose committed team are managing the logistics of taking calls from ‘isolated’ residents and liaising with us to deliver food parcels to those ‘most at risk’ in the community, including those currently undergoing chemotherapy, those with severe allergies and anyone with special dietary requirements, as well as delivering medication to individuals who are currently ‘shielded’. Each parcel is specially prepared to meet the unique needs of members of the community, right across Milton Keynes.”

Whilst out delivering to the community, the team has heard many stories of the impact of social isolation on mental wellbeing and wanted to do something to raise a smile, particularly over Easter weekend.

“The Food Bank parcels this week have included a little Easter treat, which we’d initially intended to support a BID promotion, and we’ve also delivered these to care homes and vulnerable individuals, to help them feel connected to the wider community this Easter.

“We would like to say a huge thank you to our partners and organisations across Milton Keynes, whose amazing work is making such a valuable difference to those most ‘at risk’ within our community.”

Melanie told us that despite all of the hard work by many organisations to protect the community, there are still some who are putting themselves and others at risk and echoed the governments advice to ‘stay home, protect the NHS and save lives’.

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