United stand - volunteers join forces to help those in need during pandemic - The Redditch Standard

United stand - volunteers join forces to help those in need during pandemic

Ross Crawford 20th Mar, 2020 Updated: 20th Mar, 2020   0

THE community of Redditch is pulling together to support people in need during the current coronavirus / Covid-19 crisis.

One number – 01527 919869 – will link people directly to a team of volunteers ready to help people self-isolating and needing prescriptions or food or other form of assistance.

The operation is being run through the pooled resources of the Emmanuel Church / Ecumenical Centre, Reach CIC, Church Hill Big Local and the Disability Support Project and together they believe they can cover the entire town.

Similar help groups are being set up in both Alcester and Studley.

“We’re pulling together and I’m really quite proud of this town because people are thinking of others and that’s fantastic and we will get through this,” said Nicky Farnes, manager of the Ecumenical Centre.

Reach CIC and Church Hill Big Local Partnership will be working together across Arrow Valley East Ward and Woodrow, to tackle the challenges of the coronavirus outbreak.

Liz Williams director of Reach CIC said: “Action to support the vulnerable – be they older people, people with underlying health issues or those with mental health challenges – needs to be taken at the lowest community level to be effective, meaning small areas of estates or streets.”

Volunteers are delivering leaflets asking people if they need help or want to volunteer, be it keeping our socially isolated in touch via phone calls, social media etc, shopping, collecting prescriptions, posting letters.

The community voluntary service is part of the national Covid 19 Mutual Aid network UK sharing resources and good practice, including up to date information, fact sheets and standard operating procedures.

Wendy Johnson, the Chair of Church Hill Big Local Partnership said: “Reach CIC approached us about being part of the community action in our local area, and we were pleased to say yes.

“We will also carry the volunteering information and deliver this out to our local community, working together this was means that we avoid duplication and wasted efforts.”

Anyone wishing to volunteer or to offer help in kind – the group needs paper for leaflets and help with printing – is also asked to ring 01527 919869.

Alex Powell of Disability Support Project added: “To make sure no one tries to take advantage of the situation all our volunteers will have proper photo ID made from good legitimate hard plastic – they will also have minimum contact to reduce the danger of contamination either way.”

The 01527 919869 will be staffed from 9am to 1pm but there is an answer machine service and any messages left will be dealt with the following day.


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