When the Westcombe Society made the hard decision to cancel events we entered new territory as the country went into lockdown to try and curb the spread of Covid-19.

We took a two pronged approach, first we had to decide whether distribution of the April Westcombe News could go ahead and second we wondered how we could help the local community.

Some felt that the Westcombe News should only be available as a pdf but most felt that it was important to reach those who don’t have access to the internet and that we should produce a paper version and distribute it as usual if at all possible.  We therefore worked hard to make sure that publication of the April issue could go ahead whilst maintaining social distancing, Stay at Home instructions and minimising the risk of transmission of the virus.  Our local printer opened up specially to print the paper but did all other preparation at home.  We rearranged the way we sort and prepare the rounds so that the paper was counted by individuals in their homes rather than as a group activity.  We arranged collection from doorsteps and delivery to other doorsteps as part of peoples daily exercise which was followed by individual deliverers posting the papers through doors as part of their daily exercise.  We kept handling of the papers to a minimum and those who did handle the papers and bags were careful to practice personal hygiene and hand washing.  All help was voluntary and nobody took part who had any worries about putting themselves or anyone else at risk.  Those who felt they couldn’t do their usual delivery for any reason were replaced with new temporary volunteers who have found themselves at home with time on their hands.  We hope that this meant the papers made it to residents as safely as any other form of post.  In particular we hope it reached those who don’t have access to internet.  Whether we can repeat this process for the May issue remains to be seen.  We are planning to produce a paper, at least in pdf, and will update this website with how we intend to distribute it nearer the time.  Meanwhile the Westcombe News April 2020 issue is available here in pdf for anyone who did not receive a paper copy.

With regard to helping the community in other ways we have set up a volunteer scheme to help anyone in Westcombe Park who needs it during these difficult times.  Detailed information is on the front page of the Westcombe News April 2020 which includes phone numbers and email addresses, see here.  You can also email info@westcombesociety.org for more information.  Please make contact if you either need help or can offer help.

As we said before Westcombe Society events are cancelled for the forseeable future due to Coronavirus.  This sadly includes the Easter Egg hunt due to take place over Easter Weekend.  We hope to replace the Daffodil Tea with a Strawberry Tea some time in the summer and will update on other events as we make decisions about them.  We are keeping the date for our AGM in May open for the moment and will update this nearer the time.

We think most people are by now aware of what local shops and facilities are still open.  Public transport is still running but with trains on a limited timetable.  We are told not to use it unless we have to and that both Maze Hill and Westcombe Park station ticket offices will be closing.  Ticket offices at larger stations will remain open though we don’t know for how long and hours may change.

Greenwich Park remains open for the moment, though sadly the Flower Garden, Rose Garden and Observatory Garden are now closed due to the difficulty of policing social distancing in these areas.  The park will also close at 7pm every evening and dogs must be kept on leads.  Please use parks wisely and maintain social distancing so that the remainder of this lovely open space and other local parks can remain open for the enjoyment of all.

We will update this page from time to time as we receive more information, meanwhile we encourage residents to look after themselves, their families and vulnerable neighbours and hope that all our residents get through this crisis safe and well.  Please remember that if you can help in any way or need help during this time of crisis please email us on info@westcombesociety.org or contact us via the phone numbers in Westcombe News April 2020.