There with you: Help through volunteering and community groups

PUBLISHED: 15:00 25 March 2020

Voluteers needed Picture: Getty Images

Voluteers needed Picture: Getty Images

Archant

A community volunteer hub is being set up East Devon District Council (EDDC).

Both existing and new volunteer and community groups have been playing their part in helping the country deal since the coronavirus outbreak.

EDDC have been working with Devon County Council, national bodies, town and parish councils, voluntary and community groups, and local businesses to help build this response.

Councils will focus particularly on the needs and wellbeing of the critical ‘shielded cohort’ of people at higher risk of severe illness from Covid-19 who may be pregnant, over 70 or have other debilitating diseases. Their needs will be prioritised above others.

Local councils have been asked to set up hubs to co-ordinate volunteer efforts providing support for those people who may be self-isolating, in need, or vulnerable for other reasons.

Councils will be the administrative unit delivering these hubs with a focus on providing access to food, medicines and other supplies in the first instance.

EDDC’s immediate task is to identify the people with the right skill-set to harness this community effort and volunteers.

Its officers are already in contact with many groups and are working to expand this network, working with town and parish councils, voluntary and community groups, other local leaders and local businesses to help us build this response.

An EDDC spokesman said: “There are already many great examples of people coming together to look out for each other and we will look to nurture this and do all we can to make sure there is a focus on getting real help and support to all those that are likely to need it most.

“As the situation develops, we will update you with guidelines and will outline what we will be asking of you, to help us carry out the new duties required by Government.”

EDDC has already appointed a new community volunteer co-ordinator from its existing team who is already in contact with community groups and will be actively exploring ways the council can support groups as quickly as we can.

How to volunteer: If you feel you may be able to assist, please could you respond by email to EDDC new email account covid.community@eastdevon.gov.uk.

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