Groups urged to rally round as residents prepare to isolate
Voluntary groups and community-minded individuals are being asked to mobilise throughout Dudley borough to help vulnerable and elderly people who are preparing to self-isolate due to coronavirus.
Dudley Council for Voluntary Services has been asked to lead the community response in Dudley borough and will be working in partnership with Dudley Council including public health colleagues, the police, fire service and NHS.
Over coming days and weeks, they will co-ordinate community action in order to support vulnerable people across the borough.
They are asking people to come forward and register their interest if they can spare time to help provide support in the future.
This news comes as the government yesterday (March 16) confirmed its plans to ask all people aged 70 and over to stay at home as much as possible in order to reduce their risk of contracting the virus.
This is because older people and those with underlying health conditions are more at risk from serious complications.
Deborah Harkins, director of public health and wellbeing, said:
I would like to thank our colleagues at Dudley Council for Voluntary Services for leading the community response in Dudley borough.
Now is a time for us all to come together and help where we can to protect our most vulnerable and in need residents in this way.
We continue to work closely with our colleagues in the NHS to do all we can to help keep residents safe and everyone can play their part by following advice and sticking to good hand hygiene.
The symptoms of coronavirus are a new continuous cough, where you have started coughing repeatedly, or a high temperature where you feel hot to touch on your chest or back. If you have these symptoms and live alone you should stay at home for 7 days. If you live with others, and one of you is showing symptoms, then everyone in the household should stay at home for 14 days. If the symptoms continue for more than 7 days, visit NHS 111 online of call 111.
It is really important that people do not go to your doctor or a hospital to be tested, to protect others.
Andy Gray, chief executive from Dudley Council for Voluntary Service, said:
We’re really fortunate in Dudley in that we have a strong voluntary community, with many organisations already poised to offer their support.
At this stage, it’s impossible to say how many volunteers we’ll need and when we’ll need them. Therefore, we’re asking people to register their interest so we can create a pool of volunteers, who can be deployed as the situation changes.
People may be asked to help with offering a phone-based befriending service to help those feeling lonely and isolated or help deliver parcels to people who are unable to leave the house.
I would also urge people to donate to their local food banks if they can.
Dudley Council care workers are continuing to work as normal and people who receive social care will continue to have those visits.
To find out more about volunteering with Dudley Council for Voluntary Services go to http://dudleycvsreview.org/