NETHERTHIRD community groups have pulled together to ensure elderly and vulnerable residents don’t go hungry during the coronavirus crisis.

Over the past five weeks of lockdown a combined task force of volunteers from Netherthird & District Community Council, the Community Garden and Netherthird Community Centre have all offered time and grafted to deliver essentials to those who need it the most.

The team was set up as an East Ayrshire resilience centre with the help of the council’s Vibrant Communities.

Secretary of the Community Council Tommy Samson, 51, told the Chronicle: “This all started with the lockdown, we got our plan in motion.

“We run weekly food parcel drops to the elderly and the people who need it. We have had kind donations from the Post Office and F&R stores.

“As this lockdown continues, we are seeing that people’s circumstances change all the time. We started off with about 30 food packages, we’re now up to about 70 each week.

“At the start we were just getting our head round it, learning how to co-ordinate it, but we’ve got a nice process now that is running smoothly.”

As well as food packages, they have received kind donations of hand sanitiser from Catrine distillery Loch Lomond Group.

Tommy and other volunteers are also focusing on their own streets.

He said: “We’re all scattered round about Netherthird so we’re just checking on our neighbours to make sure everyone’s alright and see if they need any help, offer to go to the shops for them.

“There’s about half a dozen of us delivering the food. Overall, we have up to 15 people who giving their time. There’s people who aren’t out but behind the scenes co-ordinating stuff. “

At the heart of the operation is Netherthird Community Centre which still remains a hub for the community, despite lockdown restricting the social activities and café from being a place for the people of Netherthird.

Tommy says some in the community are reminded of the 1980s, when the Community Centre was a key part in supporting workers in crisis during the miners’ strike.

He added: “We’re so proud of everyone, and we are so thankful for all the support we have had from the community

“The community centre means so much to people, but even though it’s not open it’s still a hub to support Netherthird.”


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