There is a dedicated weekly update issued by the specially formed Collaborative Board covering all of Suffolk.
This is the 8th newsletter sent on behalf of The Collaborative Communities Covid-19 Board.
This week we wanted to show you in figures the extent of the work being done within communities to help those who are vulnerable, or are suffering hardship because of the Coronavirus. As restrictions begin to ease, and the infection rate continues to fall, we have begun to think about life after lockdown. What help will still be needed? Who will need longer term support? Which of our charities and community groups will need bolstering? We recognise that elements of our work will be needed in the longer-term.
Other items included in this newsletter:
- Those we’ve helped through The Home, But Not Alone phoneline
- Response of Suffolk Police during Covid-19
- Safeguarding conference
Here is a snapshot of the great work going on as Suffolk comes together to respond to the Covid-19 outbreak:
- A man called the helpline because he needed his wife’s prescription picking up. We arranged through the Good Sam app to arrange for a volunteer to deliver the medication and followed up with a courtesy call to make sure all was sorted. The man was very thankful for the help given.
- Family of five needed urgent support. The father was unable to work due to a number of health issues and the family only had basic supplies in the cupboard. They were due to have a Government food parcel, but this hadn’t been delivered yet, so we arranged through a community group for the family to be put on the list for delivery from their local foodbank. They have also been linked to their local Social Prescribing project to help with medication delivery.
- An elderly man in his 70s had just been discharged from hospital and was receiving treatment for cancer. He had an emergency food parcel from Government but this was several weeks ago, and was in urgent need of supplies. We arranged for a emergency food parcel to be delivered by taxi that day. We also alerted a local community group to his situation, who can assist him with shopping if the food parcel does not arrive again. With permission, his contact details were also passed to a near-by church group who offer befriending services.
There have been 8,869 calls taken since the phoneline was set up. Phone calls are answered and cases managed by staff at each district, borough or county council depending on the type of enquiry. This phoneline is for vulnerable people in our communities, and not for general Coronavirus enquiries.
Wherever possible we link people in need with local groups and businesses, who are doing an amazing job in our communities. One of these is the Woodbridge Emergency Support Group and here is a little snippet of their story:
We quickly established a volunteer organisation comprising just under 300 volunteers to service over 650 residents. In the first few weeks of the crisis we delivered over 1,500 prescriptions on behalf of local chemists who were overwhelmed. We also saw the first cases of financial hardship brought about by the loss of employment and lockdown and now undertake regular deliveries in association with local food banks. We purchased a cloud based telephone and client management system to deal with all the requests for help and have introduced a telephone support service for those experiencing loneliness. Our services now range from counselling to dog walking and the numbers supported continue to grow.
Inspector Claire Simons, Neighbourhood Partnership Inspector and Prevention Bronze for Op Response, explains the response of Suffolk Police during the pandemic;
“Throughout the pandemic, Suffolk Police has seen an increase in rural theft, commercial break-ins and burglary non-dwelling. We have also seen a rise in reported domestic abuse incidents.
We work closely with partner agencies and our regional colleagues to predict emerging trends and have produced bespoke local responses to all these demands. We have also circulated guidance and advice to our partners and communities across Suffolk to provide support to vulnerable premises and to raise awareness.”
To receive regular crime updates we encourage our networks to sign up to Police Connect here; https://www.suffolk.police.uk/services/police-connect
Suffolk Police is also asking partners and those volunteering within the community to remain vigilant to those who may be vulnerable or at risk of domestic abuse and to report any concerns. In the coming weeks, we will be raising awareness of domestic abuse and offering crime prevention advice during the vulnerable and key worker hours at Suffolk supermarkets.
Suffolk Police provide a wide range of crime prevention information on their website. This now includes information relating to the pandemic. Many of the documents are self-assessments to enable people to protect themselves and their property better. This will be updated as we move through the recovery period. Police ask that you share the link within your organisations to help us to raise awareness of First Principle. To see the full range of information go to: Suffolk First Principle
Community Action Suffolk is delivering an on-demand safeguarding conference for the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector, which is available from today (May 28th). This conference would be useful if you work with people in a paid or voluntary role and want to know how to keep people safe and sound; to understand some of the safeguarding challenges people may be facing then this is for you. Some, not all, of the resources are specific to challenges Covid-19 brings about through ‘lockdown’ and isolation. If you’d like to take part visit:
Community Action Suffolk hosted an ‘Introduction to becoming a Good Neighbour Scheme’ on Tuesday 26th May. This online introduction and Q&A session was helpful to reach communities and their Covid response groups that may be considering ‘what’s next?’, and particularly those who are interested in what a Good Neighbour Scheme is and how they could join our Suffolk Network. The video is available to watch on the @SuffolkGNS Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/suffolkgns/videos/616826552254275/
Thank you for helping us to help others – it really is an amazing community effort. And please remember to #StickWithItSuffolk as lockdown measures continue to ease.
With very best wishes,
Chrissie Geeson (Head of Localities and Partnerships, Suffolk County Council)
Chair of the Collaborative Communities COVID-19 Board
The Board is made up of: Community Action Suffolk, Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils, Church of England in Suffolk, East Suffolk Council, Ipswich Borough Council, Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG, Ministry of Defence, National Probation Service – Norfolk & Suffolk, Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System, Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Suffolk Association of Local Councils, Suffolk Community Foundation, Suffolk Constabulary, Suffolk County Council, Suffolk Voluntary Organisations Group, West Suffolk CCG, West Suffolk Council