Open message to all Voluntary and Community response to Coronavirus from AVOW
The response that is occurring in our communities to the crisis we are all facing is fantastic and everyone should be congratulated for being good neighbours. Planning now is crucial before we hit the predicted peak around Easter time. This is giving everyone some time to prepare. At community level, there are a few things that can be done so that there is support available for our vulnerable and isolated neighbours.
As we progress to the government’s next phase, it is important to think locally about the crisis, below are some practical actions you can take in your community:
Don’t think beyond a street – the bigger the area you try and cover the more chance someone will be missed. Establish a Street Group by:
- Identifying ‘Street Champions’ one or two individuals in each street could take on the role of ensuring everyone in the street is included in local action planning.
- Encourage everyone to be involved and to be supported – anyone in denial about the issues should be actively encouraged to sign-up, notice who might be missing from the conversation and make every effort to include them.
- All the Champions in the wider community should set up communication to share issues and general information.
Look at ways to communicate without increasing physical contact such as; a Facebook Group, WhatsApp Chat, regular Skype calls or regular telephone calls.
- Keep your What’s App Groups for the purpose intended to communicate messages of need.
- For people not on a mobile or internet – use a normal phone contact and designate someone in each street to ring them
- For the few that don’t have either use good old-fashioned pen and paper – and notes through letterboxes.
It is vital that everyone thinks about the safety of themselves and anyone they come into contact with when helping.
- Do not go into people’s house if you are delivering shopping, medicines etc
- Vulnerable people should not open their door to anyone they do not know.
- Do Not let people into your home who is not known
- Be very careful when giving a bank card for someone to get shopping – know the person
- Wash your hands after every contact- do not run the risk of cross-contamination
- Personal contact should be kept to a minimum, and where possible social distancing measures should be put in place.
There is further guidance available for volunteering from the Welsh Government.
- Ensure anyone using a vehicle keeps their fuel topped up as much as possible
- Food – supplies at present are still flowing but stocking up extras that are dried and tinned food
- If you are making a meal think if you can do an extra meal and take it to an isolated neighbour
At a time of crisis, there will be people who will become emotionally upset with what is going on and the lack of contact with friends and relatives will increase the upset. If there are neighbours known not to have relatives, you could arrange for someone to contact them and speak to the person at least twice a day.
Contact with others is crucial to help people feel they are not isolated.
To support other people everyone within a family should try to talk about issues when they arise – do not bottle up anything.
There will be further updates about emotional support in the community available at www.avow.org or our social media channels.
Volunteering to Support Service Providers
Community volunteers required over the coming weeks to support the public services. This register is
These roles will be dependent upon local requirements and in relation to the current Covid19 situation and as it develops.
All skills and experience will be considered.
Always follow the guidance issued by Public Health Wales.
Any queries you have about support in the community please get in touch with AVOW by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01978312556.