Quarantined Sheffield couple call on Government to do more to help those in need

A Sheffield couple who have been forced to go into quarantine have said the response of the Sheffield community to the coronavirus crisis has been ‘amazing’.

Wednesday, 18th March 2020, 5:00 pm

Peter Fargerlind and his husband Malcolm Holmes could be forced to self-isolate for weeks after the Government advised those in vulnerable groups to stay at home.

Malcolm has just recovered from a heart attack, and Peter is his full-time carer, putting them both on the list of at risks groups who need to self-isolate.

Peter, 51, said the mutual aid groups that have sprung up in Sheffield have been fantastic, with the pair receiving dozens of offers of help already.

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Peter Fargerlind and Malcolm Holmes will have to self-isolate for many weeks.

But he also called on the Government to do more to secure the supply of essential items like food and medicine to those in most need.

He said: “The response from the community in Sheffield has been amazing. What people are doing with these mutual aid groups is fantastic.

“But we have had absolutely no help from the GP or the council or the Government. I rang the surgery and they suggested we go into isolation but my main worry is food.

“We don’t own a car and do all our grocery shopping online. We have managed to get a Waitrose slot but we have no guarantee what we are going to get.

“We have been told we can go outside for a walk but I am not risking going to the supermarket in case I bring it back.

“And I am speaking on behalf of a lot of people who are in worse situations than us.

“Boris Johnson is meant to be making a statement but why is he leaving it so long?”

Since the crisis worsened last week, mutual aid groups have been set up all over the city to help those who cannot leave the house access the support they need.

One of the biggest is the Sheffield Mutual Aid group on Facebook which currently has more than 4,000 members.

However, challenges remain such as connecting with the many elderly people in Sheffield who may not have access to a computer or social media.