A Super Neighbour scheme has been set up for volunteers to help their neighbours during the coronavirus outbreak. I have been working together closely with District Council leader Cllr Trevor Bartlett to set up the project.
It will work alongside the council’s own dedicated hotline and email for the ‘Shielded’ and most vulnerable. Operation Shield is a national Government programme aimed at supporting the country’s most vulnerable 1.5 million people who must stay at home for the next 12 weeks.
The Shielded will be contacted directly and will be supported over the next 12 weeks through national and local co-ordinated call centres and hubs.
This includes support with food and medicine, where they do not have help from family and friends.
The Shielded group have been identified by GPs and medics across the country in an unprecedented health and public services mobilisation led by the Health Secretary, Matthew Hancock, and the Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick.
The Super-Neighbour scheme aims to support residents who are not part of Operation Shield, but are self-isolating or need someone to talk to or help out.
Likewise, residents who are not in at-risk groups or showing viral symptoms, including older people who are self-isolating but otherwise well, can volunteer to help those in need. Help will be co-ordinated with established charity and voluntary groups who want to get involved.
People can sign up by visiting https://natalieelphicke.com/coronavirus-volunteering-support/ and providing their details.
I am working with voluntary organisations and the local council to make sure everyone can do their bit to help their neighbours and get help to those who need it.
I would encourage people to get involved if they can. This includes older well people who are self-isolating who can help man the phones, direct pick-ups and deliveries and keep other people company.
There is no doubt about it – this is the most serious public health threat we have faced for a very long time. But together, we can look after each other and get through this as a community.”
Leader of the Council, Trevor Bartlett, said: “We are committed to using all our resources, staff and facilities to support our community at this time. Together we will get through this.
“I would like to thank everyone in the council who is working so hard. It’s very much appreciated.
“If you are already involved in a group helping, let us know through the Super Neighbours sign up, so we can all pull together and make sure no-one is left out.”