Graham Stuart, MP for Beverley and Holderness, has welcomed the official launch of East Riding Council’s community response to the Covid-19 pandemic; designed to help vulnerable people in the area who are being advised to stay at home for extended periods of time.
The Government has advised that 1.5 million people with some of the most serious underlying health conditions, such as those with certain cancers or who are on immunosuppressant drugs, should remain at home – with no face-to-face contact aside from carers – for 12 weeks in order to protect themselves from the risk of catching the coronavirus.
Many others are self-isolating for up to 2 weeks; remaining indoors if they or anyone in their household are displaying the main symptoms of Covid-19. These are fever, or a new, persistent dry cough.
So far, several pre-existing or new community initiatives – often supported by local community leaders or parish councils – have moved to help people with everyday activities like shopping, collecting prescriptions, or walking pets for those who aren’t able to rely on family, friends or neighbours to help.
But now the council has launched a new service to complement and draw together this community action, with a new, dedicated contact centre for residents who aren’t aware of any community action in their area.
The contact centre will log and triage calls from residents before being passed onto the HEY Smile Foundation – a charity which works closely with the private, public and voluntary sectors – which is working alongside the council on this project.
Community groups are being asked to register at beecan.org, which is hosted by the Foundation so that anyone who calls into the council’s new contact centre can have their details passed onto groups that are offering support in their area.
Commenting on the community response, Graham said:
“I’ve been delighted by the speed at which ERYC has acted since I first raised the need to ensure vulnerable people aren’t being forgotten a few weeks ago.
“The level of community support that I’ve seen has been brilliant, but it’s vital that people aren’t falling through the cracks if there isn’t any support in their area. By having a single, dedicated contact centre being run through the council, which is linked to as many groups in the area as possible, we can ensure that anybody who needs help knows that they can ask for it here.
“I know that many individuals are stepping up to the plate and offering their help as well. While you can’t register at beecan.org as an individual, I’d really encourage people to join the hundreds of thousands who have signed up to be an NHS volunteer at goodsamapp.org/NHS.”
The new centre is contactable by phone at 01482 393919, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. It will be open 7 days a week and is staffed by the council.
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