Help within the Community
Help within the Community
As you will no doubt be aware national guidance about COVID-19 is changing on a daily basis. The council will be publishing a statement in the next couple of days but in the meantime, as a local councillor, I’ve been in touch with a number of residents and voluntary groups worried about what happens to people in need of food. This is a summary of what I have found and think you should be aware of in Whitstable.
- Isolated and vulnerable individuals you are aware of who may need help should be directed to Red Zebra (01227 263 email@example.com) who are redeploying their Social Prescribing Service to carry out welfare calls amongst the 850 people they already have registered as with limited transport in the area and anyone else that we identify. Red Zebra will have access to a stock of food parcels from Canterbury Foodbank which there DBS Checked staff can deliver.
- Individuals wishing to volunteer to support the effort should also contact Red Zebra(01227 firstname.lastname@example.org). They are immediately in need of people to help with the welfare calls (freeing up DBS checked staff to do delivery) and may deploy them in picking up stock from the Foodbank and other tasks as necessary. I am in touch with the leads of many of the local COVID-19 Community response Facebook Accounts and will be encouraging for them to encourage people to volunteer here first, rather than necessarily visiting vulnerable people in their homes without proper safeguarding supports.
- Individuals in need of food and not self-isolating should be encouraged to contact Clare @ Canterbury Foodbank who will signpost them to where they can pick a parcel up. You can email Clare at email@example.com. Upon speaking to Clare, food can be collected from the Umbrella Centre or on arrangement from their central warehouse
- People wishing to donate food or hygiene products for those people in need should continue to fill the yellow bins in town. These are still being collected and the contents distributed.
- People wishing to donate money can do so in person at a number of the ‘pay it forward’ schemes at the Umbrella Café, Revival @ the Horsebridge, Café Eighty Nine in Tankerton High Street at the café at Riverside Church on the Thanet Way. These schemes are already well utilised by people on low incomes who may be most affected and some will be looking to continue to offer take-away services even if their main business has to close.
We have no idea of how the demand in Whitstable may grow over the next couple of weeks but please feel free to contact me if there is anything I can do. I will continue to share information I receive and co-ordinate where it is useful. I’ll be posting to local Facebook groups this evening making this information accessible; any way you can share the information locally would be great.
Councillor Chris Cornell