Tough times bring out the best in people

Riki Schaumkell (pictured with her 18 month old son Sione) is just one of a number of locals who are offering to help Cobar’s older citizens and those with compromised health during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Tough times can bring out the best in people and it’s good to see that there’s a number of local residents who are kindly offering help to our elderly residents during the uncertainty of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Riki Schaumkell posted a notice last week of an offer to help her elderly neighbours and those with compromised health.

The young mother of three said she felt compelled to help after she saw people around the country were starting to panic buy groceries.

“All over the media, you could see it was the elderly who were missing out.

“We have a lot of elderly living in Cobar, people who live alone, and don’t necessarily have help to get down to the shops,” Riki said.

“And some people live week to week and can’t exactly stock up.

“I thought I would put it out there that I could help.”

Since putting the notices up last Monday to help with grocery shopping, Riki has had two calls, including one from an 82 year old lady who has no family in Cobar.

“Both of them wanted to chat.

“Both said they were totally fine which was great to hear and said they would keep my number if they needed help later,” she said.

“There’s too much scaremongering going on at the moment and we’re all going to be okay if we just be a little bit kinder than usual.”

Another resident Andrea Waugh said she’d noticed a lady in town shopping last week who was having trouble walking and getting into her car.

Andrea said it appeared to her that the lady might not have any family or friends to help and that there were probably more people in our community who could also be in the same circumstances.

She posted her offer of help on Facebook to help any elderly or immune-compromised members in Cobar that don’t want to (or cannot) leave their house to get groceries, chemist and bakery, and don’t have family/friends to do it for them.

Andrea said she’s had lots of messages from seniors saying they were grateful she is even thinking of them and also offers from friends to help her with deliveries. So far no one’s taken her up on her offer but Andrea said she is ready to help when the call comes.

Lenny Fitton, a former resident who moved back to town last year after retiring, has
also made a similar offer of help via social media.

Lenny said he’s available to pick up groceries or medicines, he might be able to help fix something that is broken, or if it’s just a chat that seniors want, then he’s happy to talk.

“I’m not after any accolades for what I do,” Lenny adamantly told The Cobar Weekly when we asked him about his post.

All are offering their services for free.

Cobar Shire Council general manager Peter Vlatko is working with Khan’s SUPA IGA manager Matt Carey to obtain a pallet of toilet paper which will be commandeered for seniors only.