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Supporting local communities during the coronavirus outbreak

Last Modified March 24, 2020

We are joining forces with the voluntary sector to ensure that local residents and organisations get vital support during the coronavirus outbreak.

In addition to the support being provided by central government, we're working with Communities 1st to ensure there is a range of programmes running locally.

To help those in need, Communities 1st has set up the Compassionate Community Connector programme for people who are healthy and at low risk to help others.

There is a range of volunteer roles on offer from dog walking and befriending through to call handling and back office functions. So far nearly 250 people in Hertsmere have signed up to support the service.

Anyone who would like to offer support to someone in their community, can sign up to the programme using the online form:  https://www.communities1st.org.uk/COVID19support or by phone: 020 3940 4865 between 1pm – 3pm, Monday to Friday.

Stephen Craker, Chief Executive of Communities 1st, said: "We’re pleased that Hertsmere Borough Council is supporting our endeavours to organise volunteers effectively during this public health emergency.

"We’re anticipating that there will be a huge demand for help across the borough from people struggling to get out of their homes because of age, disability or illness.

"By becoming a Compassionate Community Connector, you can be confident that your work will be coordinated and directed towards those in real need.

"People who are being helped by our volunteers will have the assurance that appropriate safeguarding measures are in place.”

Councillor Morris Bright MBE, Leader of Hertsmere Borough Council, added: “Many people across the borough want to do their bit to help at this very challenging time, and it’s important that the effort is co-ordinated effectively.

"We are very keen to do whatever we can to support everything that is being done to ensure everyone in our communities who needs practical help and support can access it.”

If you need help and support and are self-isolating

If you need help (shopping, dog walking/pet hosting, telephone tech support for online shopping or using skype/facetime etc) whilst isolated, you or someone on your behalf, can complete an online form at https://www.communities1st.org.uk/COVID19support or call Communities 1st on 020 8207 5115 or email help@communities1st.org.uk 

You will then either be matched with one of the Compassionate Community Connector volunteers, offered support immediately or signposted/referred on to a local voluntary or community organisation.

Hertfordshire residents can also contact HertsHelp on 0300 123 4044 for advice and support.

Supporting the voluntary or community sector

Communities 1st is also looking to provide support to the local voluntary and community sector organisations who provide essential services to Hertsmere residents. Can your organisation be contacted by local residents needing help? Can your organisation make use of additional volunteers? Can Communities 1st signpost people to your organisation?

Voluntary sector organisations who need help or can offer support, please complete the form at: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/KHFFL88

If a group or local organisation would like to discuss anything, please email memberservices@communities1st.org.uk or phone Communities 1st on 01727 743018.

Posted on Tuesday 24th March 2020

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