A message from the Mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville
Over the last few weeks, there has been an incredible outpouring of support from local residents, via local mutual aid groups, as well as our brilliant, established voluntary and community sector.
Last weekend I leafleted with my local mutual aid group in De Beauvoir, and saw for myself the difference these grassroots efforts make in terms of connecting people and providing tangible support for those who may otherwise feel very isolated and alone. Across the borough they are making a huge difference, working often alongside local councillors to serve our community in new ways.
We know that the impact of Coronavirus is going to be felt for a long time, and as a Council our priority is to help to coordinate local support in a robust, safe and sustainable way that complements our own services, to make sure that it reaches our most vulnerable residents.
The Council has been working with the local voluntary and community sector to coordinate this, and today I’m now pleased to be able to share details of how some of this will work.
We have set up a web form for those looking to volunteer their skills or time to help local people via our volunteering hub: https://volunteering.hackney.gov.uk/. It’s really simple to do and I have already signed up. This page also has other resources for those involved in this effort.
The form asks people about their capacity, experience and importantly if applicants are DBS (criminal records) checked, to enable us to allocate roles safely and appropriately, both via the Council and local, established organisations. Of course all volunteering efforts will be compliant with social distancing.
We are also launching a helpline for those affected by Coronavirus, particularly those who are socially isolating and potentially cut off from help. The helpline number is 020 8356 3111 (8am-5pm Monday-Friday). In the future, this will also link in to the wider offer of support the Government, NHS and local authorities will be putting in place for those being shielded.
Staff operating the helpline will take details of residents’ needs and will feed these back into statutory services and the volunteering hub to enable the Council and partners, including volunteers, to respond. If residents have immediate medical needs or concerns they should continue to call 111 – or in an emergency 999.
Residents who wish to make a financial contribution can donate to Hackney Food Bank, which urgently needs donations. You can give money online to avoid unnecessary social contact: https://hackney.foodbank.org.uk
In time we will be launching a dedicated fund to support other organisations in the borough helping our community at this time.
I’d like to again thank everyone across Hackney who is pulling together to help their neighbours, socially distance and support the NHS. The community spirit on display continues to inspire all of us at the Council, where we remain focused on delivering the key services we all rely on.
For more information on the Council’s response to Coronavirus vist our website.