Individuals, businesses or organisations who want to help support vulnerable residents who have been impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak are encouraged to follow guidance published on the Council’s webpages.
The borough has an exceptional volunteering community and so it is no surprise that community groups and residents have been quick to offer their support.
Several community organised social media groups have been set up to help aid volunteering across the borough. Whilst the Council applauds the community’s efforts in wanting to help, we want to ensure support is delivered to the right people, at the right time and in the right way - we must also make sure that support is delivered safely.
To ensure that support is as effective and safe as it can be, Richmond Council is centralising efforts by working in partnership with Richmond Council for Voluntary Service (Richmond CVS), Age UK Richmond and other voluntary organisations.
Richmond CVS is an established voluntary and community sector coordination service; it is best placed to mobilise those willing to help in accordance with volunteering safety protocols, which will help protect the most vulnerable.
Therefore we are encouraging those that want to help to sign up with Richmond upon Thames’ official volunteering database. Your details will then be passed to other relevant voluntary groups helping with the coronavirus response.
By registering with Richmond CVS, you will be partnered with key groups who will allocate you to volunteering tasks. These may include:
- Shopping for food/supplies
- Delivering food/supplies to vulnerable residents
- Picking-up and delivering prescriptions
- Having a friendly phone conversation with those at risk of loneliness when in isolation
- Walking dogs for those self-isolating
- Supporting with critical transport needs
- Helping with digital skills coaching
Groups formed in response to the coronavirus pandemic and voluntary organisations that are looking for volunteers should contact Richmond CVS to check that they have the right processes in place and to help get volunteers.
Cllr Gareth Roberts, Leader of the Council, said:
“Together we are stronger, and it is encouraging to see the community come together to help one another. However, we must make sure that our volunteering effort is free from safeguarding risks to protect our vulnerable residents’ safety and wellbeing.
“The best way of doing this is by using existing support from well-established services and by working as one.
“Aside from volunteering, please remember the other simple ways that you can help, including donating to food banks, donating to registered charities that are supporting the vulnerable, responsible social-distancing and self-isolation, and not panic buying groceries.
“Please stay safe by following Public Health England’s guidance for protecting yourself against the virus.”
All up-to-date information on coronavirus can be found on the Council website.
– from a Richmond Council press release - 18 March 2020