The Blackdown Support Group was initiated in April 1991 as a community response to a community problem. An answer to a perceived and increasing need identified by Doctors, community nurses and those of us working and living in the community, a source of help, care and support to supplement and work with that already being provided by the statutory bodies such as Health and Social Services and the Primary Health Care Teams.
The rurality of the Blackdown Hills, ‘an area of outstanding natural beauty’, hides the deprivation and isolation for those old, infirm or alone, particularly if not possessing their own transport. Because of the extent and geographical spread of the area, the resources and time spent travelling between clients by the statutory bodies are stretched.
Blackdown Support Group is now a registered Charity with its own constitution and board of trustees. Our Co-ordinator, call handlers and dedicated band of volunteers work together to provide help across the 200 sq. miles served by the statutory bodies, working on the whole, but not necessarily from or with the Blackdown Practice.
Our area of cover is broadly the catchment area of the Blackdown Practice, which presently covers the parishes of Churchstanton, Corfe, Neroche (Bickenhall, Curland, Orchard Portman, Staple Fitzpaine), Otterford, Pitminster, Trull, Wellington Without and Thorne St. Margaret, West Buckland, Buckland St. Mary, Combe St. Nicholas, Burlescombe, Hemyock, Culmstock, Clayhidon, Kentisbeare, Uffculme, Broadhembury, Combe Raleigh, Dunkeswell, Luppitt, Sheldon, Upottery, Yarcombe.
Blackdown Support Group is a community self-help scheme extending the voluntary ethos.