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Team Caerphilly – Better Together: Building a community response to coronavirus

Posted on : 18 Mar 2020

Team Caerphilly – Better Together: Building a community response to coronavirus

‘Kindness campaign’ to support the most vulnerable during unprecedented period

As the number of cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to increase around the world, communities here in Caerphilly county borough will be considering how they can help support the most vulnerable residents through this situation.

With many, many examples of where community groups and individuals are already supporting neighbours, the council, together with partner organisations, local charities and community organisations are exploring ways for how they can identify particularly vulnerable people in the community who need some support due to self-isolation.

With the latest Government advice being that groups particularly vulnerable to Coronavirus, such as those over the age of 70 will be asked to stay at home for some weeks, the council will be writing to all households in the county borough over the coming days to establish where those residents – that is, those who have no alternative support available to them – live. This is in order to consider how a community response can help provide some support to them during this time.

The community response isn’t a council service, but the council – together with many other organisations and community groups - are working to provide as much help and support to those in the most vulnerable group and who are in real need, and have no family or support network, during this unprecedented period of time.

The council has also written to its staff, asking whether they’d consider (providing they remain fit and well), becoming a volunteer ‘buddy’ to a vulnerable person who lives in their local area – and offer to support them during their period of self-isolation. This may involve things such as offering to post mail, picking up urgent supplies or even just keeping in touch with friendly phone calls.

To support this, the council has also facilitated a Community Response ‘Kindness Card’ scheme, which encourages members of the community to check in with vulnerable neighbours – particularly those with no close family or support network, and to offer any assistance (such as help with shopping, placing bins out for collection, walking pet dogs or just a friendly phone call) that person may require. Kind hearted residents are encouraged to write their name, address and a contact number on the card and post it through the door of a resident they know to be vulnerable or isolated, with the offer of free help in any way they are able.

Cards will be available from libraries, leisure centres, customer service centres and other premises across the county borough from Friday 20th March. Online versions of the card are also available to download and print here: Team-Caerphilly-Neighbour-Cards.pdf

Leader of the Council, Cllr Philippa Marsden said, “It’s a time for everyone to come together to ensure we can collectively provide support to the most vulnerable in our communities, and make sure that we’re looking out for one another during this time. Here in Caerphilly county borough, community spirit is already very strong; it’s the very nature of our communities, and so for many, checking in with elderly and vulnerable neighbours will already be happening.

“The ‘Kindness Card’ scheme is a simple initiative which provides kind hearted residents with the necessary tools to help make a difference to the lives of a vulnerable resident who may be self-isolating at home. It may seem like a small thing to offer help of placing a bin out for collection for a neighbour – but this small act of kindness can make a very big difference”.

Cllr Marsden added, “This scheme is a small step in the wider multi-agency work around understanding and addressing where there may be gaps in support for our most vulnerable residents. The council cannot do this alone. We all have a part to play in doing our bit for the good of our area and I have no doubt our residents will continue to step up to this challenge and pull together at this time”.

For the latest information and advice about coronavirus in Caerphilly county borough, please visit www.caerphilly.gov.uk/coronavirus

NB:

*** While the ‘Spreading Kindness’ cards are produced by Caerphilly County Borough Council to help facilitate the community response to COVID-19, the council is not held responsible for the actions of the person named on the card.



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