Waltham Forest Council launches Community Help Network to support the vulnerable during Coronavirus outbreak
The Community Help Network includes the launch of a new helpline service to provide additional support for the over 70s, who are self-isolating and do not have easy access to community support. Delivered in partnership with Age UK Waltham Forest, Eat or Heat, and PL84U, vulnerable residents will be provided with support such as essential food supplies, prescription collections, emergency home repairs and social contact.
The network will also support the fantastic local efforts of the community helping each other. From this week residents will be able to sign up as a volunteer to help others in need, contribute to a crowdfunding platform to enable donations is in development, and share their stories of community kindness across the borough so they can be celebrated with others.
The government has announced it is creating a network of local hubs for people who do not have a support network. We are waiting for further details to be released and will do everything we can to support.
The Community Help Network will be initially focussing efforts on the most vulnerable, with support expected to be developed further over the coming weeks.
Over 70’s helpline
You can find out more about the service on the Waltham Forest Council website where you can also register for help. Or you can call 020 8496 3000 between 9am-5pm. The service will be in place from Monday 23 March 2020. If you know someone in need you can register on their behalf.
Residents can sign up as to volunteer here. Voluntary activities may include delivering food via foot or car, packing at food banks, administration and phone contact for those isolating.
Share your stories
The council is inviting residents to share the stories of community kindness in these uncertain times and would also like to hear about what residents’ experiences of self-isolating and home schooling. People can submit stories by email, and using the hashtag #AllTogetherNowWF on social media.
Leader of the Council, Cllr Clare Coghill, said: “In times of difficulty, we can take great reassurance in the knowledge that communities throughout Waltham Forest are coming together to support each other during the widespread outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The Waltham Forest Community Help Network is our way of supporting both our most vulnerable residents directly, as well as providing a way for residents to help each other. As we face this unprecedented challenge together, let’s remind ourselves of the pride and positive energy that makes us unique and use those attributes to help each other through what we know will be a very difficult period.”
Emma Tozer from Age UK Waltham Forest said: “At Age UK Waltham Forest, we provide companionship, advice and support for older people who need it most all year round. During this outbreak, it is vital that these services continue for those most vulnerable. We are very happy to be partnering with Waltham Forest Council, Eat or Heat and PL84U to ensure that we are reaching those most in need at this time.”
Gary Nash from Eat or Heat and Saira Mir from PL84U said: “As food banks in Waltham Forest, we know that the demand is increasing at the best of times. With the Coronavirus outbreak affecting more and more people every day, now is the time to solidify local partnerships to help our community’s most vulnerable. This network with Waltham Forest Council and Age UK Waltham Forest is the first step in doing just that.”