Volunteers reach out to help people in self-isolation

More than 300 Wealden residents have volunteered to help with the county-wide effort to provide a Community Hub for all those self-isolating and in need of support.

“It is heart-warming in these very stressful times to see how generous people are with their time and spirit,” said Councillor Philip Lunn, Wealden Cabinet member for Community and Public Health.

“Our volunteers understand that we all need to help each other to see us through this crisis – despite concerns we may share about our own safety during the Covid-19 pandemic. I want to thank them all for their commitment. We are able to ensure that proper social distancing measures are maintained delivering food and medical supplies.”

The Community Hub operation has now been up and running in Wealden for two weeks working alongside the 3VA Council for Voluntary Service. It is currently receiving some 30 calls for assistance every day. Some require food or medical supplies to be delivered. Other cases are referred to the NHS. Some people are seeking advice and re-assurance which can be given over the phone.

“A number of Community Hub volunteers are already working with existing voluntary services such as Age Concern and Care for Carers,” said Adam Chugg, Chief Executive of 3VA. “Many volunteers have work or community experience which is proving invaluable to the help we are providing. Their volunteer time is being spent making doorstep deliveries to isolated people who do not have their own means of support and unable to receive supermarket deliveries. Others are providing reassurance and support over the telephone to people in self-isolation, or assisting in the administration of our aid effort.”

“Wealden District Council staff have been temporarily transferred from their existing roles to help with the Community Hub, and are part of this terrific effort,” added Councillor Lunn.

“We are likely to be social distancing for some time to come. Those volunteers who have not yet have been assigned roles will soon find themselves busy. The need for support, which may just be a kindly word over the phone, will become even greater. Volunteers will be in great demand and we will need more.

“We are also seeing thousands of little acts of kindness taking place across our communities. These may be between people down the same road who may never have known of each other before. It is helping us all step forward into the uncertainty of the coming days with greater reassurance.”

Information about how to contact the Wealden Community Hub for assistance with supplies or support can be found on the Covid-19 Community Support pages of the Wealden website. As can a Community Hub leaflet which you can download and share with others who may need assistance. There is also a link to the form for people who are interested in volunteering, or volunteers can email 3VA directly at info@3VA.org.uk .