Volunteering and community support

Caerphilly county borough is a place where community spirit is strong; we help each other out in times of need and are a close knit and supportive community.

We’re aware of so many community groups, neighbourhoods and individuals who are doing fantastic things to support those who need it throughout the Coronavirus outbreak. Our message to you is THANK YOU! Please keep doing what you are doing – safely of course. It’s wonderful to see people pulling together to help each other out.

We’ve put together some useful information below, which we hope will be useful in helping you make a difference in your community.

How can I help?

If you want to make a difference, the best thing you can do is to be a good neighbour.

If someone you know needs to self-isolate due to coronavirus, they may look to call on friends, family and neighbours to help them with some of the basic tasks. If you can help them with this, please reach out to them and let them know. We have created a useful ‘good neighbour’ card, which can be downloaded and printed off. These cards can be posted through the letter boxes of those who are self-isolating.

You can find the Hello I'm your neighbour card here (PDF)

There are a number of things you may like to consider supporting a neighbour with, including:

  • Practical help like food shopping for essentials
  • Befriending and social support – although making sure you adhere to social distancing guidelines
  • Checking in with your neighbour by phone
  • Basic tasks like dog walking, putting bins out and posting mail

Doing the little things - Looking out for each other safely (A video by the Welsh Government.

 

Health first!

It’s fantastic that you want to help in your community, BUT ensuring the health and wellbeing of everyone is vital. If you display any signs of illness, or if anyone in your household is ill, you should not offer to help a neighbour. Remember the general advice for reducing the chance of infection from Coronavirus or other contagious disease:

  • Wash your hands
  • Use a tissue for coughs
  • Avoid touching your face

Offering to help in your community

Please remember if you are helping others out, to take care of yourself first and always follow the latest advice on social distancing and self-isolation.

Some top tips for helping others in the community:

  • Keep it local and manageable – it’s fantastic that you want to help your neighbours, but don’t try and cover more than you realistically can sustain. This may last for several months.

  • Stick to a patch you know well – try and keep to where people will recognise you and trust that your offer of help is genuine. People may be cautious about accepting help if they don’t know you and have the right to decline your offer.

  • Social distancing – when in contact with others, follow social distancing advice and keep a safe distance from others (this is two metres of six feet apart)

  • Wash your hands – be sure to wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds before and after contact with your neighbours, and follow the NHS ‘catch it, kill it, bin it’ advice when coughing or sneezing.

GAVO have produced useful resources for volunteer groups and activities (mostly free) activities to keep you occupied at home. Read more here https://www.gavo.org.uk/covid19

If I’m unable to help a neighbour, what else can I do to help?

Food banks rely on donations and nationally there are pressures on stock levels in some areas. A big thank you to everyone who has supported and continues to support local food banks – it is much appreciated.

During the coronavirus pandemic, it is important that food banks remain stocked to help support those most in need.  If you can, please continue to donate to local foodbanks via your local supermarket. The Trussell Trust also accept financial donations – full details and more information can be found here: https://www.trusselltrust.org/coronavirus-food-banks/

These are unprecedented times – but thank you for your continued support for our area’s local foodbanks!

What are the council doing to support the community response to Coronavirus?

We’ve established a dedicated ‘Community Response’ team and have written to each household in Caerphilly county borough, inviting people to contact us if they meet ALL of the following criteria:

  • They are self isolating currently
  • They are a resident of Caerphilly county borough
  • They are aged 70 or over and/or have an underlying medical condition
  • They have NO ALTERNATIVE SUPPORT available from family, friends, neighbours or community groups

Those residents who meet ALL of the criteria are invited to contact the team to see how they can be supported. The contact number is highlighted on the letter that each household received. Currently, council staff are volunteering to help support those people who are in the greatest need.

Can I link in with the council scheme?

We have received a large number of calls and emails from residents who are keen to support the council’s community response – thank you all very much indeed for this. Your details have been added to our database of community volunteers.

HOWEVER – the council’s community response is intended to complement, and not to replace the excellent community efforts that are already going on across the area. The best thing you can do to help is by continuing to be a good neighbour, checking in regularly with residents in your neighbourhood.

Where can I find more information?

GAVO (Gwent Association of Voluntary Organisations) and CCBC have put together a Community Volunteer Information document (PDF) to help link people in our communities to support available – locally online and through telephone helplines.

 
  • Volunteering If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, you can register at the Volunteering Wales website for Coronavirus (COVID-19) community response volunteering opportunities. We are working with Gwent Association of Voluntary Organisations (GAVO) to help facilitate volunteering opportunities. Please sign up here: https://bit.ly/3dKFmPG
  • Support Services: https://www.dewis.wales/
  • Caerphilly Meals on Wheels – the council is able to support anyone in Caerphilly county borough wanting a meal delivery. Some residents may also qualify for a subsidised rate. Call 01443 864 055.

Latest information on the outbreak of Coronavirus, along with information about the virus and its symptoms can be found on the following websites: