Advice about the Coronavirus crisis is changing on a daily basis, so please keep checking information regularly. It’s important to take measures to keep yourself safe.
Many people also want to know the best way to help others in their community who need it so here are three practical ways you can help:
The NHS responders scheme has been set up to support vulnerable people during the coronavirus pandemic. Anyone who is over the age of 18, fit and healthy and not experiencing coronavirus symptoms can volunteer. This scheme is not intended to replace local groups helping their vulnerable neighbours but is an additional service provided by the NHS.
The help required will include:
- picking up medicines from pharmacies to deliver to vulnerable people
- driving patients to appointments
- bringing patients home from hospitals
- making regular phone calls to check on people isolating at home
Some of these roles will require you to have a DBS check and access to transport.
You can find out more information and sign up at https://www.goodsamapp.org/NHSvolunteerresponders
Manchester Community Central is also running a COVID-19 volunteer scheme which looks to link volunteers up to charities local groups which are working in he community based on the skills they have. You can sign up to that here.
You can also volunteer with groups which work with older people. Didsbury Good Neighbours, Burnage Good Neighbours, Chorlton Good Neighbours and Withington Assist all do this across our constituency. They provide befriending services and practical support for older people. As the government has advised over 70s to stay at home, their work will be more important than ever. You can find details of volunteer roles on their respective websites.
Check on your neighbours
Whatever measures the government puts in place, an important thing you can do is to talk to your neighbours and find out whether anyone on your road is likely to need help over the next few weeks – while observing appropriate advice on social distancing.
As more people are likely to go into isolation in the near future, being aware of neighbours who may need shopping picking up for them or may need support running errands will be vital. We can help ensure the most vulnerable in our communities are looked after by neighbours working together to help those who need it.
Support your local foodbank
Our constituency is covered by three Trussell Trust foodbanks (Burnage Foodbank, Chorlton and Didsbury Foodbank and Fallowfield and Withington Foodbank) which provide food parcels for those in need of relief. Job losses over the last couple of weeks have already led to a surge in demand for food parcels and school closures will put additional pressure on families in poverty.
Please use the links above for details on how to donate, which items of food are needed most and how you can volunteer.