Man creates colour coding system for people self-isolating

Staff writer

Story and video from SWNS

A man has been praised for creating a colour coding system - so people self-isolating who need supplies can let others know from the safety of their own window.

Retired pharmacist Stuart Newsome, 64, asked residents on his street to display either a green or red card in their window, depending on whether they needed help.

Stuart and his wife Jane, 63, told their neighbours they would bring shopping, collect medication, or help with transport if individuals were stuck inside.

Stuart walks down his road in Ripon, North Yorks., every day to identify if any of the houses are displaying a red card.

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He thought of the idea after visiting his 89-year-old mother-in-law, who does not have access to the internet.

He said: "It was just about this community. Not everybody has the technology to stay in touch and a new bit of tech could be quite worrying for older people.

"The red and green card idea was just a very simple message about raising awareness. We don't know everyone's phone number on the street so this worked instead."

He delivered a letter to each of the 39 houses on his road, with two pieces of coloured card and a note explaining the idea.

Stuart and Jane responded to their first red card last week when a pensioner who lives on her own needed groceries while she self isolates.

"My wife was able to do some emergency shopping for a woman who lived alone and needed some supplies," Stuart said.

"She was very grateful. She was quite mindful of strangers at the door but my wife did some shopping for her which was mainly about feeding her cats. She was concerned for their welfare."

At the moment, three quarters of the street are joining in with the scheme and putting the coloured cards in their windows.

Stuart and Jane keep themselves safe by leaving the shopping on the doorstep and making sure they stand six feet away from anyone they help.

Stuart added: "Each of us will respond in time if we see a red window. Our neighbour's children walked to the end of the terrace and they came and knocked on our door and told me that everyone was green.

"It is good to know we have already helped someone. It has already been worthwhile."

Ted Bell, 73, a pastor at Ripon Community Church, lives on the street with his wife Pamela, 63, and thinks the colour cards will really help their family.

He said: "Our street is a little bit remote anyway. We are about twenty minutes walk from a shop if you were to walk. Most people cannot even just pop to the corner shop. I think it is a good idea. We have a green card up at the moment because everything is all right."