Find out how local people are building a community that will last longer than the Coronavirus Crisis.
Now we are just over a month into the covid19 restrictions I thought I would update you on how things are going.
How will RBWM support the vulnerable during the covid19 crisis?
When I responded to the Mayors reply to my question about, how RBWM would support the vulnerable during the covid19 crisis. “There’s no money, no resources, you are the ward councillors, you go and sort out your own wards”
A plan comes together
I knew where and how I was going to do this. Old Windsor has a great response hub and I wanted the same concept in Dedworth.
All Saints Church is in an ideal location and already had a very small help hub. The idea was to partner with the church and create a new bigger hub with many more volunteers.
So with its new identity and focus, the West Windsor Hub (WWHub) went live after 5 days to plan and put in place essential services. This included;
- A new phone system, that can take up to 16 calls at a time, these call can be take remotely at home.
- Creating an identity with a logo.
- Putting help pathways in place along with check list and safeguarding.
- We are working with Tesco’s who donated our first weeks food bags and continue to support the hub in any way they can.
We now have a directory of approx 75 volunteers, undertaking tasks that include, leaflet delivery, food delivery, prescription delivery, a phone befriending service (we have a mental health first aider and a practitioner to help anyone struggling to cope with isolation).
- We have an amazing team of chatter boxes who keep in regular contact with their phone friends.
- We have a small team of shoppers, we are able to take cash or contactless card payment on the door for our clients.
You can find out more about the WWHub in the article, “Windsor is Coming Together Against Coronavirus”
The WWHub can make referrals to FoodShare, which is currently over subscribed.
We are now also giving out between 10 & 17 food parcels a week, to those in need, which is where funding is needed.
There were some requests I wasn’t expecting, and we managed to help with.
An elderly lady finds peace
In the first week we had an elderly lady phone because her TV wasn’t working, this was an interesting request. This lady’s TV was really important to her as she was unable to get out.
So the challenge was taken on, one of our volunteers is a handy man and does some work for the church. The problem was caused by an errant black bin liner which had wrapped itself around the ariel.
A quick call and off he went, the aerial was sorted out and a very happy lady settled down to watch her favourite programmes.
A homeless young man housed
We have seen a young homeless man, who was sleeping rough for a month, having been initially refused help by authorities. He was eventually made his way to the grounds of All Saints Church, where he saw the WW Hub poster and he phoned for help. we gave him a hot meal and drink; housing continued to refuse to house him so we gave him a sleeping bag and told him to attend the `Homeless Project the next day. In the mean time, I contacted the lead member and duty manager, informing them we had a duty of care to this young man and he was housed the following day. That was a great success.
Celebrating in confinement
We have help an elderly lady get a birthday cake to her disabled daughter, who lives in a care home in Slough. One of our volunteers baked a beautiful cake, we delivered it so as to make the day special despite the current restrictions.
Reaching desperate need
I can not express how it feels to hear a 74 years old woman crying on the phone because she and her little dog haven’t eaten for a few days. We got a box of food including dog food to her within 30 minutes. The pensioner was very grateful that someone could help her and her dog
Dignity in difficulties
Another client commented that we gave him back some control during this difficult time. He can give us a shopping list of his choice of items enabling him to eat his favourite foods, giving him back a sense of control during a traumatic period in his life.
Non of this would be possible, without the amazing team of volunteers, and donations from the community. I want to take this opportunity to thank you all.
building a community” last longer than this crisis
My hope is that this “building a community” last longer than this crisis
Cllr Carole Da Costa, WWRA, Clewer & Dedworth East
- This post is part of the WWRA Councillors regular series of Blogs to inform and empower local residents; as promised in their election leaflet
- It is also to comply with clause v of the Members Code of Conduct which states, “You must be as open as possible about your decisions and actions and the decisions and actions of your authority and should be prepared to give reasons for those decisions and actions.”
- The views expressed in this article are not necessarily the views of the West Windsor Residents Association (WWRA).
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