After seeing the impact of the extreme weather last week, Louise Ross took to social media to gauge support for setting up a new group that will bring together volunteers in the case of similar, future emergencies.
She said: “The snowfall last week got me thinking about how the community seems to depend solely on local authorities to clear roads and pavements for them. Having previously lived in countries like Canada and Germany where the residents are responsible for their own properties and pavements leading up to them, I feel it is our community’s responsibility to look after each other and help the local authority, who don’t always have the money and manpower.”
The resulting Facebook group, called Annandale and Eskdale Community – Emergency Action Group, allows people to volunteer time or services that would help vulnerable people in emergencies. Louise continued: “People seem keen to help, and not just people from Annan. “I think we will look at collating a list of names for different areas who have the equipment, and most importantly the time, to assist the most vulnerable in our towns and villages.”
The group has established a set of guidelines for volunteers, for their own safety and the safety of those they help, but Louise explained that the it is still in its early stages of development. She said: “There is still a lot to be done, but if people want to get involved then please let us know what you can do to help people in your own area.
“If people have specialist equipment – things like ploughs or tractors, snow shovels, 4×4 vehicles – this will also help us collate more information and help us organise for any emergency situations. We are also looking into working alongside Dumfries and Galloway Council if they are interested.”
Anyone who would like to get involved should search for Annandale and Eskdale Community – Emergency Action Group on Facebook.