Over the last few weeks, Monmouthshire County Council has been overwhelmed by the wonderful support offered by communities looking to help neighbours and friends during the COVID-19 outbreak. Community action groups have grown in their numbers and amazing acts of kindness have been witnessed. Over 30 community-led action groups have been set up across the county all with the aim of supporting others in this time of need.
Volunteering plays a vital role in the support network offered to the most vulnerable during this time and the council is encouraging more people to think about how they might be able to help their neighbours. It could be as small as a smile when passing by or offering to collect basic supplies like groceries – it all makes a big difference.
To build on this amazing generosity, Monmouthshire County Council’s Community & Partnership Development Team is asking anyone who might be able to offer their time to get in touch with them. The team can provide people with a DBS Check, information and guidance, training and link volunteers to people needing support. The aim of this support is to ensure the people offering the help and those receiving it, feel as safe and comfortable when doing so. The Community & Partnerships Development Team is also encouraging community action group leaders who haven’t yet contact them to get in touch in order to continue developing the network or opportunities.
Cabinet Member for Social Justice and Community Development, Councillor Sara Jones said: “In times like these, Monmouthshire’s greatest asset is its people and communities. We have witnessed amazing acts of kindness and communities coming together even stronger than before. Thank you to everyone who is putting yourselves and your time forward to help others. I would like to encourage everyone to think about how you could help someone else in your community. Something as small as a phone call to an elderly neighbour or offering to put the bins out for those who are in isolation can make the world of difference.”
Monmouthshire County Council is also issuing advice to people who may be volunteering on simple dos and don’ts in order to keep everyone involved safe.
- Pick up the phone to chat to anyone who’s self-isolating. Ask if they need any food/supplies/medicines to be picked up
- Pick up any urgent or essential supplies during your one trip out that day – simple shop for others while you shop for yourselves
- If they’ve got a smart phone/tablet teach them how to use it so they can see people – Digital Communities Wales has a team of expert trainers and advisors on hand to help get people on line just phone them on 0300 111 5050
- Encourage people to open the window to get some fresh air and listen to the birds
- Keep washing your hands and follow all social distancing guidelines i.e. stay 2 metres apart
- Go into people’s homes
- Go within 2 metres of people (knock doors, and leave bags on the door step)
- Don’t start being trusted with credit cards or taking money out for people who you don’t know.