Flintshire County Council have been working in partnership with Flintshire Local Voluntary Council (FLVC) to ensure vulnerable people receive appropriate support. Prior to Covid-19, (FLVC) already had access to a directory of validated community organisations i.e. those who were constituted, had received appropriate training and had policies in place, such as safeguarding. This Directory is updated as new community groups set up. FLVC employ two staff based with the Council’s Single Point of Access (SPoA) team signposting and supporting individuals to access the voluntary and community support available across Flintshire. Furloughed staff from organisations who work closely with the Council have been encouraged to volunteer via the Volunteering Wales website. Over 200 people have stepped forward to volunteer in Flintshire, 84 individuals chose to volunteer for the council and virtual training has been put in place. Together we are fighting Coronavirus COVID-19
Vale of Glamorgan Council has established a Crisis Support Team to provide information and assistance and works closely with Glamorgan Voluntary Service and Cardiff & Vale Age Connects, directing people to organisations that can help. Vale Heros is a searchable database that helps connect individuals in need of support with those offering it. People can register if they need assistance with grocery shopping or medicine collection, for example, as can individuals or groups able to help with such tasks. Currently, numerous people are volunteering across the Vale, with over 2000 coming forward since March when the Covid-19 crisis hit.
A new Vale Heros Crisis Fund has also been established to offer grants of up to £3,000 to community groups, the voluntary sector, town and community councils and eligible businesses.
Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council quickly established seven Community Resilience Hubs. comprising of ‘virtual’ multi-disciplinary and organisational teams from Council services and partners, led by Council Community Coordinator.
The Community Resilience Teams contact all the people who request assistance, and those on the NHS Shielded lists, to provide support with shopping, picking up prescriptions, dog walking, and befriending services, matching the needs of residents with local volunteers, community groups, partner organisations, or by providing staff support.
To date, over 2800 residents have been supported by the Community Resilience Centres and close to 11,000 residents on the NHS Shielded list contacted by ‘phone with an active offer of support.
The council were overwhelmed by over 1100 applications for volunteers and have currently paused recruitment as they work to mobilise Community Resilience Volunteers in response to local need.
Powys County Council, Powys Teaching Health Board and Powys Association of Voluntary Organisations (PAVO), as key partners of Powys Regional Partnership Board , established a Community Sector Emergency Response Team (C-Sert) to coordinate and support emergency response to people in the community who may be affected by COVID 19 through formal and informal volunteers. The CSERT, with the assistance of thirteen Community Connectors based around the county, arrange practical support for vulnerable (shielding and non-shielding) residents from local volunteers through local support networks. In terms of services offered through the CSERT, is provided with shopping and medication collection as well as a befriending service to help tackle loneliness and social isolation. Powys has around 4,000 volunteers across the county at any given time. The CSERT have been very pro-active in increasing formal volunteer support during the pandemic
The Pembrokeshire Community Hub is a one-stop shop for any support required during the current pandemic, from help with shopping to a friendly telephone call. It is a partnership between Pembrokeshire County Council, Pembrokeshire Association of Voluntary Services (PAVS), Hywel Dda University Health Board and Delta Wellbeing. Residents who would like to volunteer are signposted to a web based interactive directory of community support organisations that are registered with PAVS, or they can volunteer directly through Volunteering Wales. 94 Community Support Groups have registered with PAVS, and over 600 volunteers have registered with Volunteering Wales.
Newport City Council (NCC) has put in place a robust set of practical support mechanisms to help those in the community who are most vulnerable. This has been helped significantly by the already implemented community hub approach supported by the Council’s spatial data team. The council has maintained its vital contact centre to continue service support and has put in place a free phone number for the hubs. Working with Volunteer Matters and GAVO, Newport has over 300 volunteers working in communities. NCC is enhancing foodbank parcels with extra essential items. The council is helping to provide baby bundles (milk, nappies, wet wipes etc.) that have been purchased for distribution to the most vulnerable as identified by health visitors as well as activity packs for young children and well-being packs for older residents.
Over 500 people registered as volunteers in Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council’s Safe and Well Service to help people receive food, collect medication and help with other daily tasks. The Council is working with Neath Port Talbot County Voluntary Service to develop an on-line induction and training programme to volunteers. Hundreds of the council’s staff have also joined this enormous volunteer effort to support vulnerable and at risk residents and elected members have proactively engaged with their local residents to ensure that response from agencies is timely and appropriate.
The Isle of Anglesey County Council have established a joint Covid-19 Co-ordinators group across Statutory and third sector organisations. The group, chaired by the Council’s Leader is part of the island’s response to the pandemic. It consists of the Council and the third sector led by Medrwn Mȏn and Menter Mȏn who are working to mobilise Covid-19 community support groups on the island. The co-ordinators group have developed a Covid-19 community guidance. The council has 860 registered volunteers operating within 36 area teams. Sixty of these volunteers are classed as specialist volunteers as they have a current DBS. Through community support, volunteer groups and ‘neges’ meals service around 675 individuals are being supported, with a further 325 individuals receiving assistance with prescription collection, food shopping and referrals to various support services.
Gwynedd Council have deployed 23 officers to create a COVID Support Team set up to make contact and deal with inquiries from all resident who are isolated and/or concerned about their circumstances due to COVID-19, contact details are available on the Council’s website. Within the first 11 days in April the councils Team had over 1,000 calls from self-isolating and high risk shielding individuals. The calls for advice, signing up for the emergency foodbox and/or to arrange collection of medication. The Befriending schemes support vulnerable residents with shopping, collecting medicines, preparation and delivery of food etc. Alongside Menter Mon, Gwynedd Council have collated a list of food businesses across Gwynedd offering a range of service support residents during the pandemic. There are 600 volunteers registered to the Volunteer Bank of the local Volunteer Council, Mantell Gwynedd.
Ceredigion County Council (CCC) have been working in partnership with Ceredigion Association of Voluntary Organisations (CAVO) to coordinate the volunteer response to COVID-19. Clear process has been put in place for individuals wishing to volunteer in different communities, whereby CAVO ‘match’ volunteers with groups or organisations. As of the 24th April 2020, 192 volunteers had signed up in response to COVID-19. CAVO and CCC are working in partnership to update resource lists three times a week. These are available on the Local Authority website and include a directory of meal deliveries, shopping and prescription collection, support groups in each community across Ceredigion.
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