Coronavirus – Village Response

Nether Heyford & Upper Heyford – Village Response

(Last update 03/04/2020)

Update 03/04/2020

Everything is good.

The village register/volunteer scheme that has been taking shape and growing since Monday 16th March. It has really helped us all to get settled in to a situation that no-one expected – safe in the knowledge, that even remotely, we can let our neighbours know we are there if they need us. 

It’s looking highly likely that we have all identified (informally) all of our senior village residents who live on their own.

Work continues behind the scenes with huge national voluntary efforts and government work with regards to NHS (medicines and appointments) and emergency food supply chain networks (Supermarkets) related to the recent “Emergency Larder” / food box deliveries. The village has proved that it can play an essential role in a South Northamptonshire emergency food distribution network.

Thanks to the continued voluntary activity and support that has been offered, we have been able to keep going during difficult ever-changing restrictions/guidelines.

The Village Hall, Parish Council, Parish Church, Baptist Chapel, The Foresters Arms & The Prattler plus all the other various clubs and organisations across the village are all combining their energy and efforts to maintain a coordinated approach to all the support, help and assistance that is coming our way in the next few weeks and days

Contact any of us using the details below, but in the meantime, remember the village motto “Happy Days” (Joan Collins) and start thinking about how we can reboot Heyford Feast (late harvest festival) on the village green when we can all get together again when this is all over.

“Be Prepared” – Akela (aka Ray Haddon)


Latest updates:

Update 31/03/2020 22:46 “Emergency Community Larder” weekly Wednesday delivery starts tomorrow.  The village is organised and ready to commence same-day distribution of these government food supplies aimed at the most vulnerable villagers in our community that have been mostly affected by the Coronavirus situation. 

Tomorrow is a test of this new national logistics system, based on a “Hub and Spoke” model which is widely used across the distribution industry. 

Nether Heyford are participating on this first day of operating and we have all our village “spokes” covered for tomorrow. We have made such good progress that we are ready to upgrade to a Mini-Hub in the system if we are asked to do so.

Update 31/03/2020 18:40 Tesco CEO announces 5 fold increase in food donations – see below “Emergency Community Larder” section

Update 31/03/2020 UK GOV COBRA meeting discussed emergency food supply distribution.

~ // ~

Nether Heyford and Upper Heyford now have a Register of Vulnerable Residents and a Register of Volunteer Buddy Residents that are all residing in our 2 villages.

30/03/2020 – Register of Vulnerable Residents – The Prattler and the Parish Council have identified most residents over 80 years old in Nether Heyford and Upper Heyford who could possibly need community volunteer help over the 12 weeks that began on Monday March 23rd.

30/03/2020 Current status : 55 residents over 80 years old

[33 of these 55 residents live alone]

[4 of these 55 residents are over 90 and live alone]

If you know anyone over 80 years old who lives in the village please help us to let them know that the village has organised buddy volunteers within walking distance, they are not alone and we are ready to help. If anyone knows anybody else you think we may have missed or please add them to the register online:

The register is available for any village resident who is:

  • Over 65 who have been told to stay at home for 12 weeks from Monday March 23rd
  • Anyone of any age who received the NHS/GOV UK letter last week placing them in the “Shielding category” who are particularly vulnerable due to certain current health conditions.
  • Any village resident who has children eligible for free school meals at Bliss School
  • Any village resident who is experiencing severe financial hardship due to the Coronavirus situation
  • Any new village resident who has joined the village recently to spend the 12 week period with family members living in the village

~ // ~

30/03/2020 – Register of Village Volunteer Buddy’s

Our original objective (16th March) was: “willing to assist helping the vulnerable village residents. (picking up shopping, posting mail, friendly phone call, urgent supplies, online chat, dog walking) ” – for those told on the 16th March that they need to stay at home for 12 weeks from the 23rd of March –

Since then we all now have been placed under tighter self-isolation / social distancing / shielding measures that have changed very day.

We continue to strive to operate observing government guidelines and in accordance with the recent new law passed through parliament last Friday which the Police are now tasked with interpreting and implementing.

30/03/2020 Current status : 78 village buddy volunteers and still more signing up every day

The Register of Vulnerable Residents and a Register of Volunteer Buddy Residents is updated and shared daily between The Parish Council, The Prattler and The Foresters Arms Food Bank.

~ // ~

Prescription Medication – Bugbrooke & Weedon:

30/03/2020 – Prescription medication: Prescription Medication will not be handled or delivered by the village “buddy” volunteer network. The NHS volunteer network recently launched should eventually cover prescription medication delivery.

In the meantime please speak to your GP surgery if you have any concerns over the next 2-3 weeks.

In an emergency contact Charles Kiloh – Parish Council Chairman who is already out delivering Bugbrooke surgery prescription medications and is working with Weedon surgery for a possible similar solution.

Charles is also working with Towcester Area Door to Door  volunteer driver network to provide help to residents if they have any emergency hospital appointments related to serious conditions that are still scheduled and required.

~ // ~

Village Food Bank:

30/03/2020 – Nether Heyford Food Bank

The village community effort so far in response to the crisis also includes a new Food Bank operating from The Foresters Arms pub and is accepting donations (food and essential supplies) alongside making daily deliveries to village residents via the volunteer buddy’s – all so far have been accepted and welcomed by some of our most vulnerable residents on the register.

~ // ~

Emergency Community Larder:

30/03/2020 – Nether Heyford “Emergency Community Larder” 

Last week – Nether Heyford Parish council received details from SNC of an “Emergency Community Larder” scheme set up by a food bank charity in conjunction with UK Gov to channel new major food donations from Britain’s leading supermarkets in response to the Coronavirus situation.

Supermarkets are now donating a tonne of food each week to South Northamptonshire Council to be split between the villages.

Since Nether Heyford started reacting two weeks ago today on Monday 16th March,  we have created:

  • Register of Vulnerable Residents
  • Register of Volunteer Buddy Residents
  • Village Food Bank

We have found ourselves in a great position to immediately distribute emergency food supplies from the new government scheme “Emergency Community Larder” primarily because:

  • Vulnerable Resident Register: We know the people who need it the most – and we know where they live and their phone numbers (Thanks to friends and neighbours registering them)
  • Volunteer Buddy Register: We have a lot of volunteers who have offered to help in both daily individual walking deliveries and weekly van “milk round/paper round” deliveries (finishing the difficult “last mile” of the “Hub & Spoke” logistics model)
  • The Village Hall committee have responded quickly and unanimously agreed the use of the village hall each week for us to receive the Emergency Community Larder delivery, split it up into packs and get it all delivered out around the village the same day. The village hall provides the perfect building (accessible large space) where the volunteer pickers and packers can maintain social distancing, hand washing, food hygiene, H&S assessment, registered scheme address etc.
  • We have an existing Food Bank set up at The Foresters Arms pub who can take any surplus from the weekly larder delivery to add to the ongoing donations received (food and essential supplies) for daily volunteer buddy deliveries to the same group of vulnerable residents – this removes the need to store any food in the village hall and arrange security patrols etc.

The 2 main charities involved in providing this food supply are: 





31/03/2020 18:40 Tesco CEO Dave Lewis:

“We currently donate £3m of food every month through our Community Food Connection scheme and distribution centres. On top of that, we’ll also provide £15m of food donations (ambient and fresh) to FareShare and the Trussell Trust over the next 12 weeks – food they need for distribution to community groups and food banks. In addition, we’ll donate £1m between the two organisations to support their continuing operations.”

~ // ~

Face Masks:

One village volunteer, Melissa James, has been manufacturing Face Masks to provide (on request) to those on our Register of Vulnerable Residents.

  • Over 40 Face Masks already manufactured at home in just over a week
  • Homemade using 100% Cotton fabric
  • Built in HEPA Micro Filters
  • Machine washable (removable filter)
  • Gloves and a mask are always worn during production
  • All masks are sanitised in a machine during the final production process

Donations required to continue production:

  • Thin ribbon ties
  • Cotton fabric quarters
  • Henry / Hoover HEPA Micro Filter bags

Contact Melissa James on email:

~ // ~

Microsoft Teams – New Village Group:

An online village “Microsoft Teams” group is now ready for local verified residents only, invitation emails shall be sent out and we should have a good group ready for group online video lessons/meet-ups. Please look out for an email invitation.

~ // ~

Northamptonshire County Council:

23/03/2020:  The Nether Heyford Register/Buddy scheme has been registered with NCC:

Find the latest local and national coronavirus updates affecting Northamptonshire. This includes health advice and guidance, changes to council services and events, and support available for businesses and educational settings.

~ // ~

NHS Volunteers

30/03/2020: NHS Volunteer Responders – The government call for NHS volunteers to help tackle Coronavirus paused yesterday after 750,000 applications:

~ // ~


Please do not hesitate to use these contact details below if you require further information:

Jez Wilson (Digital Editor – The Prattler) – 07761 672376 – Text/Call or Email:

Emergency Food Larder / The Prattler / Neighbourhood Watch 

Charles Kiloh (Parish Council Chairman) – 07779 900860 – Text/Call

Emergency Food Larder / Prescription Medicines / Emergency Hospital Appointments 

Sue Boutle (Editor – The Prattler) – 07500 636009 Text or Email:

The Prattler / Neighbourhood Watch 

Faye Brasset (Foresters Arms)  – 07827 707599

Village Food Bank and Foresters Arms Pub

Jez Wilson 

To update this page with any further village activity please email:

One thought on “Coronavirus – Village Response

  1. A very informative site. We are both over 70 but are mobile and with vehicles.
    We would both be willing to help if required.


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