Coronavirus Help: Where To Find It & Where to Offer It!
Look for the helpers – it’s a phrase that brings comfort and calm the world over in time of panic and stress.
Here in Calderdale, people are already reaching out to see what their neighbours need; to offer groceries, childcare help, a friendly ear, online tutoring and so much more.
It’s human nature to want to help and although it might be hard to ask for help ourselves, people often really do want to make things easier.
So I’ve compiled a list – and will be adding to it over the coming days – of how you can volunteer to help if you’re able, and where you can access support if you need to.
Calderdale Council has set up a virtual volunteering hub, where you can access advice and support. You can also register your interest to help and support the local community, and be matched with people who need help.
DONATE TO THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION FOR CALDERDALE COMMUNITY RESILIENCE FUND
This fund is raising money for vulnerable local people during the coronavirus pandemic. It could provide essentials such as food for families and elderly people, and hygiene packs. You can find out more and donate here.
SUPPORT THE FOOD BANKS
Food banks – mainly led by volunteers – are relying on the kindness of local communities even more than usual. Food and financial donations will be gratefully received to help top up supplies.
Cllr Tim Swift, leader of Calderdale Council, said: “If you’re planning to drop off food at a food bank, please do this safely and in line with the Government guidance on staying at home and away from others, to protect yourself and other people. Make your trip to the food bank part of your shopping trip for essentials, and before you go, check the food bank’s arrangements for ensuring you don’t get too close to their staff and other visitors.”
Healthy Mums has set up a fabulous scheme where you can become a penpal to help people feeling anxious or isolated. It’s an online system, and you will be matched with one other person. To take part, message the Healthy Mums Facebook Page with your email address, giving your explicit permission. The only details your pen pal will receive is your first name and email address – then it’s up to you how much information you share.
Find a local group to help:
Mutual aid groups (volunteer-led initiatives) have been set up to help vulnerable people in local communities. You can check to see if there is one local to you here.
Baby Cafe in both Halifax and Huddersfield are temporarily closed and Calderdale Breastfeeding Peer Supporters won’t be available for face-to-face consultations.
But telephone support is available via:
Calderdale Breastfeeding helpline: 07920466660
National Breastfeeding helpline: 03001000212
Todmorden, Boothtown, Jubilee and St Pauls groups are closed until further notice. Please phone ahead about Wellholme and Illingworth groups if you are planning to attend.
Help With Food:
All the local food banks can be contacted online, and the links are provided above.
Calderdale Council has confirmed that free school meals are continuing – either provided by schools or via supermarket vouchers. The national guidance has more details and I will update here once I know more about it.
Extremely vulnerable people may qualify for a nationally-arranged delivery of food parcels. The council will be notified who needs a parcel and arrange for them to get one. If you don’t qualify, the council encourages you to try your local food bank.
The Staying Well Service:
Although home visits have been suspended, the Staying Well service is still accepting referrals. All clients will be contacted and offered help and support. If you know someone who is isolated or vulnerable, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01422 392767.
Calderdale Lighthouse is a service to support disadvantaged and vulnerable families throughout Calderdale and the surrounding areas. It works through a third party referral system so if you need help, contact your midwife, health visitor, social worker, family support worker or teacher. Help might include baby equipment, clothes (from newborns to teens), bedding, toys and books, nappies and toiletries. The service hopes to continues as long as Government guidelines allow. Referrals are made through the website.
FOCUS 4 HOPE
This community group supports the local homeless, elderly, vulnerable and isolated. If you are self-isolating due to COVID-19, it can help with food parcels, shopping services, prescription collections, posting mail and other urgent needs. Contact Louise on 07542 94163 or email email@example.com
I’ll update this blog daily as new information comes in, but please do share if you find it useful. You can also find daily info on our Facebook Page, Calderdale Mumbler News Page.