Community support group ACER goes into ‘hibernation’ as lockdown measures ease


ACER - Credit: Archant

Axminster Community Emergency Response group (ACER) - set up to provide vital support for residents during lockdown - has suspended its operations.

Steve Holt. Picture AHLoF

Steve Holt. Picture AHLoF - Credit: Archant

Spokesman Steve Holt said that even with the Government’s revised social isolation criteria, local residents are trying to get back to as normal a lifestyle as possible and are self supporting.

He said: “ACER, as we knew it, will go into hibernation and can be resurrected should the need arise.”

Mr Holt, treasurer of Axminster Hospital League of Friends, said since it launched in March ACER has provided a myriad of assistance to meet the community’s needs.

Volunteers have delivered more than 1,500 prescriptions and undergone more than 350 shopping excursions as well as providing hundreds of food parcels.

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He said: “Of course, there have been a few hurdles along the way.

“ACER has had to adapt to a rapidly evolving situation, and at times, some within our community were unclear as to the exact role of ACER.

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“Indeed, for some, it was considered a ‘catch-all’ for anything out of the ordinary.

“Despite this, ACER’s volunteers rose to the challenge and responded to all requests.

“ Even when ACER had been unable to help, we directed people to those that could to ensure the whole community received comprehensive support throughout the crisis.

“With the easing of the lockdown restrictions, the emergency requirement no longer exists.

“ACER has concluded that it is the right time to go into hibernation and that it is now appropriate for those within the community who can support themselves, to take back that control.

“We are using the term hibernation as, should the emergency need arise, ACER will reawaken to provide the necessary, consolidated support.

“We would like to thank all the volunteers that have stepped forward to help, the core charities that have worked tirelessly to meet the needs of the whole town, the communities in the surrounding villages who have established their own support networks, and anyone who has donated food, money or resources in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. We could not have got this far without you.”

* For those still receiving, or in need of help from one of ACER’s partner agencies, these still exist in their own right and continue to operate as they were prior to March this year. So, rest assured, if you still require assistance, you can contact these organisations directly.

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