Here to Help

Last updated 21 May 2020

Coronavirus – supporting our community

As a small community, we need to do all we can to support each other and keep each other safe in the light of the Coronavirus outbreak. Here’s what’s happening in the villages, things to look out for and how you can help.

Neighbourhood Champions

Following the appeal from our Parish Councils, an amazing 72 villagers have stepped forward to offer support to neighbours who are vulnerable or self-isolating.

Every cluster of 10 houses in Cottingham and Middleton now has its own Neighbourhood Champion assigned, and you should have received a leaflet through your door with their name and contact details.  If you didn’t receive or can’t find your leaflet, please contact George West-Robinson.

Because of the fantastic response, we also have a reserve team who can step in if needed, and several people have agreed to help out in the village shop too.

The co-ordinators have collated some of the feedback and questions from volunteers and residents into the attached Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), which will be kept regularly updated.

The co-ordinators are always happy to receive any feedback, good ideas or queries you may have, preferably by email, to any of the contacts below. 

A huge thank you to all our volunteers. You truly are Champions!

Village Store and Café

The shop remains open until 1pm each day.  They’re getting most of the basic items in and are happy to put items aside for you. The cafe is closed  but they’re continuing to serve snacks and drinks.

As the shop is small, they’re taking a few steps to keep everyone safe.

  • They’ll be serving customers from the doorway so everyone can keep two metres apart. Please be patient, there’ll be a supply of umbrellas for when it rains!
  • Save time by phoning ahead on 770097 to place an order. You can pay over the phone with a debit or credit card, or when you collect.
  • If you’re paying at the shop, please use a contactless card or mobile phone if possible, to minimise cash handling.
  • The shop can’t deliver groceries but your Neighbourhood Volunteer may be able to do so for you.  If you don’t know who yours is, there’s a list in the shop, or contact George West-Robinson.
  • Newspapers can also be reserved, and delivered for £1 per week (on top of the cost of the papers).  Again, you can call the shop to place your order.

Thank you for your support.

Anyone for coffee?

If you’re missing your Starbucks/Costa/Pret, the Village Store and Cafe has a full barista set-up, ready to serve amazing coffee and delicious home made cakes to take away. You can even call ahead on 01536 770097 and they’ll have it ready for you.

Clive Greening has started bringing his mobile Really Awesome Coffee van, serving coffees, teas and milkshakes, to outside the Rockingham Wheelers clubhouse. He’s now planning to come down around 2pm every Saturday until further notice, so why not pop down and give it a try?

Fresh fish

Grimsby fishmonger Paul Farrell (Farrell’s Fish) is now back outside the Village Store and Cafe from 12 noon to 12.30pm every Wednesday. So, if you’re missing your fresh fish and seafood, you know where to come! You can contact Paul on 07730 601644, email

Homegrown beef and lamb

If you’re having trouble getting hold of meat, Simon and Wendy Hempson-Medwell have a limited amount of frozen meat (homegrown Pedigree Longhorn beef and some homegrown lamb) from their farm, that they can deliver to your door. Butchered locally by Joseph Morris, cuts include topside beef joints, lamb shoulders, slow cooked frying steak and mince. Prices are based on supermarket prices. Contact Wendy on 07557 642443, email

Parish Council meetings online

Both our Parish Councils will be holding their monthly meetings virtually for the forseeable future, using the Zoom platform. If you’d like to join the meeting virtually, please email your Parish Clerk for a log-in and password. Meeting agendas and minutes are available on the Parish Council’s websites. All details below.

WebsiteNext meetingClerk’s email

Wednesday 10 June, 7pm (to include Annual General Meeting). Please note this meeting has been put back a week from 3 June

Tuesday 19 May, 7.30pm

Cancellations and closures

We’ve been advised that the following events and activities won’t be going ahead, due to the Coronavirus situation:

  • Parish Council and local elections, 7 May. All postponed until next year.
  • Village Wine Safari, 16 May. The organisers will refund anyone who has paid for tickets in advance and will also return any wine donations. It’s hoped that the Wine Safari can be reinstated later this year if possible but, obviously, it is difficult to judge right now. If you have any queries, please contact Ali Freestone on email

  • Cottingham and Middleton Summer Fete, July. This fundraiser for The Mill has been postponed, but the team say they hope it can still take place, later this year. The Copper Mile which was planned for Easter time has also been postponed, probably until next year, but please keep collecting your jars of coins – we promise you they won’t go to waste, and every penny counts!
  • VE Day Celebration , 22 August. Paula Orton and the team organising this event have regrettably decided to keep everyone safe and postpone until some time in the future. “We WILL celebrate VE Day as well as the end of lockdown, so that’s something to look forward to at the end of this very strange period,” said Paula, “so put your 40s clobber away with the moth balls – till we meet again.”

  • The Village Hall Annex is now closed until the end of June. Any events that were planned to take place between now and then will of course not happen. The VHMC will keep the situation under review and will re-open as and when advice deems it safe to do so.

  • The Welland Wanderer bus service to Corby and Market Harborough has been suspended until further notice. The service will resume as soon as Government advice makes it practicable.

Enjoying the countryside

If you’re looking to get out for a bit of fresh air and exercise (once a day, and keeping 2 metres apart of course!), you may like to try out the Cottingham and Middleton Village Walks, that take you round the villages and show you points of interest along the way.

There are also plenty of short circular walks using the footpaths in the two villages, which you can see on this interactive map. Footpaths are marked with dashes and the Jurassic Way with diamonds. For the clearest view, set the slider in the middle of the marker at the top left of the map.

We’ve been advised that the stile leading into the golf course (off the back road around Cottingham) is currently broken, so please take care if you are going that way on your daily walk. Cottingham Parish Council has been informed. 

Please also be aware that there will be cows grazing in The Dale from 1 April. The grazier has assured us that, in accordance with the grazing agreement, the number of cows will be kept to a minimum (no more than 10) and there will be no calves, bulls or cows with horns. In addition, he has advised us that he has selected cows that are mature and used to being around people. If there are any problems, please contact David Grayson on 772565, email

Blackthorn Wood Golf Course

Blackthorn Wood Golf Course is back open from 8.30am to 5.30pm, for telephone bookings and for members only, and the driving range is open for anyone to use, from 8.30pm to 6pm. The bar is closed but the clubhouse is open for payment and toilet facilities. You’ll appreciate that the situation is changing all the time though, so please contact the club on 01536 403119 for the latest information.

Science at home

If you have kids off school needing some stimulation, Cottingham’s Kerry Esgate-Green, who is a former secondary school science teacher, is offering free online video science tutorials through her company Super Scientists. She has also produced 30 fun, ‘£1 practicals’ science kits for kids aged 4 (with adult supervision) to 15 years, all available through her website at Kerry can deliver a selection to your door, with Paypal and Online payment available, and can post outside the villages for a small extra cost to cover postage. She can also rent and deliver science equipment to the villages for £2 a day. Contact Kerry on email or telephone 07539 478874.

Virtual Church Services

All church buildings are closed at the moment, but you can join in with a virtual church service from St John’s Church, Corby at 10am every Sunday, with the Reverend Paul Frost. Click on the following link:

Supporting our NHS

Clap for Carers, Thursdays, 8pm
The ‘clap for carers’ is now taking place every Thursday at 8pm. It’s great to hear those claps, banging saucepans and even bagpipes ringing out through the villages!

Sewing for superheroes
If you’re handy with a sewing machine, a local group has been set up to stitch much needed scrubs, headbands and wash bags for our local NHS. Patterns are provided and they’ll come and collect completed items from your door. More information on Facebook Scrubs Up for Northants NHS.

Food for heroes
The Old White Hart, Lyddington has reopened its kitchens to cook and deliver fresh and nutritious meals to the hard-pressed staff at Kettering General Hospital. Find out more, including how you can make a donation to support the scheme here.

NHS Coronavirus status checker
The NHS is asking people to tell them about their current experience of the virus through an online coronavirus status checker. They want to hear from you whether you’re experiencing symptoms, think you’ve had the virus or are feeling well. This will help the NHS plan its response to coronavirus by showing where the virus is spreading and how it affects people. The only personal information you’ll need to provide are your age, postcode and how many people live in your home.

Corby Foodbank

Corby Foodbank has seen the number of people going in for food parcels jump to an all time record. If you’d like to make a donation of non-perishable food to the Foodbank, Jane Sheldon is taking supplies up there every Monday. Please drop them into her porch anytime at 28 Rockingham Road, Cottingham.

Jane says they are good for baked beans, soup, pasta and not biscuits, but particularly need the following:

  • UHT milk
  • Packs of juices
  • Bottles of cordial
  • Tins of fruit, tomatoes and meat
  • Packs of rice
  • Toiletries all sorts

Jane would like to say a big thank you to villagers for their kind donations so far, which she says are increasing week by week, and all go to help out the more needy people in Corby.

Postal Services

Our lovely posties Chris and Mel have asked us to share the following information with you.

  • When delivering large parcels, they’ve been instructed to knock the door, place the package on the step and move back to the recommended distance while they wait for you to answer. They’re not being unfriendly!
  • If a signature is needed, you’ll no longer need to finger sign their PDA machine, they’ll enter ‘CV19’ in the signature box instead.
  • Special delivery items will be guaranteed for delivery by 5pm on the stated day, rather than 1pm.

Huge thanks to Chris and Mel for remaining so cheery and upbeat amidst all this gloom!

Nazz Spice of Middleton

Nazz is providing ‘drive through’ takeaways and home deliveries, with contactless payment only. The team has also introduced additional, stringent health and hygiene procedures to keep everyone safe and protected during this difficult time.

Full information is available on the restaurant’s Facebook page. You can order by calling the restaurant on 771119, or online via Just Eat.

Nazz has also said that they shop regularly so, if anyone in self-isolation needs help getting essentials, they are more than happy to help out where they can.

Royal George

The Royal George is offering ‘car park’ collections and free home deliveries on a special menu for residents in Cottingham, Middleton and East Carlton. They can deliver bottles of wine, cider and beer too.

The George are also trialling a Happy Hour from 4pm to 6pm daily. Wash out your 4 pint milk container, write your name on it drop it off at the door of the pub, then they can fill it and you collect later, only paying for 3 pints not 4. They currently have Grainstore ‘Springtime’ and Coors Lite available.

You can contact The George on 660505 and see their menu and daily specials on their Facebook page.

Spread Eagle

The Spread Eagle is currently on lockdown, in line with Government guidelines. Rob and his team say they’ve looked into offering a delivery/take away service, but have concluded there is no 100% safe way to do this for their customers or staff.

The Spread has generously given any remaining fresh produce to staff and some of their older customers, and have donated the remainder to the Village Store, who they support whenever they can. Rob says: “We would like to wish everyone a safe passage through all of this, and hope to see you all when we can hopefully reopen.”

For more information and the full message from Rob, please see the Spread’s Facebook page.

Facebook Live Q&A sessions

Northants Police are holding weekly Facebook Live Q&A sessions every Thursday from 4.30pm to 5pm, where Chief Constable Nick Adderley and his Officers answer questions about their policing operation during the Covid-19 outbreak.

You can find out more on the Northants Police Facebook page. If you can’t join live, you can send in questions in advance through the Facebook page or by email to, and you can also watch the broadcasts on Facebook afterwards.

Watch your speed

With the volume of traffic at the lowest it has been for years, Northamptonshire Safer Roads Alliance is urging motorists to slow down when driving on our county roads. Since the restrictions on travel were put in place on 23 March 23, more than 1,100 speeding offences have been detected across the county including 138mph on the motorway, 104mph in a national speed limit and 63mph in a 30mph zone.

Remember that road collisions put an extra strain on our emergency services – all of whom are exceptionally busy responding to the Covid-19 pandemic – depriving precious medical care to those who really need it.

Reporting Covid 19 breaches

If you wish to report a suspsected breach of the Covid 19 regulations, please use this online portal set up by Northants Police.

Northamptonshire has launched its very first Integrated Mental Health Response Hub -a 24/7 telephone support system. If you are feeling anxious, stressed or feel that you need a bit of support with your mental wellbeing, you can get support from a helpful Mental Health Navigator by calling 0300 330 1011.

Watch out for scams

WARNING: Please be on your guard against unscrupulous scammers attempting to exploit the Coronavirus situation. In particular:

  • There has been a surge in fake websites selling protective face masks, hand sanitiser etc that never arrive. Please be on your guard.
  • We’ve been alerted to an email purporting to be from the HMRC with a link to a very convincing fake website, asking you asking you to enter details to receive a tax rebate. More…
  • Northants Police have made us aware of a cold caller knocking on doors in Kettering offering Coronavirus home-testing kits in exchange for debit card details.

Never click on a link in an email that you’re not expecting, and never give your card details to anyone you don’t know.

The Safer Corby Team at Corby Borough Council has produced a leaflet giving advice on support services available and how to prevent becoming a victim of scams currently prevalent as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.  View Safer Corby Team leaflet.

More information and advice is available from Action Fraud, consumer champions Which? and this BBC news article also identifies some of the scams that have been identified and how you can keep yourself safe online.

For the latest updates, please keep an eye on this page #HeretoHelp and the village Facebook page. You can also sign up for email updates here.

Previous email updates – view archive

Please comply with, and keep yourselves updated on Public Health England instructions. Stay safe and stay well.