Tiny village of Pidley made huge contribution during pandemic

Trisha and Margaret from Somersham and Pidley 

Trisha and Margaret from Somersham and Pidley Timebank donating knitted items such blankets to residents at Field Lodge Care home. - Credit: Somersham and Pidley Timebank

The village of Pidley has a  small number of houses and very few amenities, but its contribution to the community is huge.  

Katie Ixer, co-ordinator of Somersham and Pidley TimeBank, describes the list of things that local people did to support the community throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.  

Katie said: “Our membership increased at the start of the pandemic, I think we had 35 new people sign up from Somersham and Pidley.  

“Then we did a mass leaflet drop to all houses in Somersham and Pidley telling people we were here to help.  

“We offered dog walking, prescription collections, small amounts of shopping up to £40 worth of items and we made telephone calls.  

“One of our group made some masks and we handed those out to people.”

members and co-ordinator of Somersham and Pidley TimeBank

From Right to Left: Annie Clements and Charlie Clapham, Katie Ixer, (members and co-ordinator of Somersham and Pidley TimeBank) and NHS staff. - Credit: Somersham and Pidley TimeBank

Katie explained that all events were cancelled throughout the pandemic in the village. 

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She said she was rushed off her feet throughout the pandemic but there were a few outdoor coffee mornings last summer during the period between lockdowns.  

Before the pandemic the TimeBank encouraged residents to join in with village activities. 

Villagers helped to make bunting for the primary school's summer and there is also a knitting group where members make ‘twiddle muffs’ which are really good for people who have dementia.  

The village hall in Pidley.

The village hall in Pidley. - Credit: HUNTS POST

They knitted and donated these to Field Lodge Care Home, in St Ives, and also made these for the ambulance service.

The TimeBank is not the only group in the village that contributes.   

The Pidley Mountain Rescue team has raised a huge amount of money for charity.  

The Pidley Mountain Rescue Team raises money to support people with disabilities.

The Pidley Mountain Rescue Team raises money to support people with disabilities. - Credit: HUNTS POST

The team provides specialised equipment for disabled children and adults to develop and progress their personal mobility, and improve their home life, while raising awareness of the needs of disabled people in the community.    

Examples of equipment supplied include wheelchairs, electric scooters, specialised trikes, paediatric buggies, adaptive computer software and hardware; and sensory equipment. 

The charity has more than 1,000 life members, including well known local politicians and celebrities. They raise up to £18,000 annually, averaging 15 events each year. 

The village also has a pub called The Mad Cat Inn, a church and many community groups who also contributed to village life.