Our community hub is now up and running and we are fielding calls and putting people in touch with local sources of support. People can get in touch online at https://www.wealden.gov.uk/news-and-events/coronavirus-covid-19-latest/community-support/ or by phone on 01323 443322. Your continued help and assistance in facilitating local responses is vital and much appreciated.
We are working with East Sussex County Council, other Districts and Boroughs and local CCG and NHS representatives to continue to refine and develop the support we can provide through the community hubs. However, and in line with central Government advice, we hope that most people will be able to rely on their own support networks through family, friends and neighbours. It would be helpful if you could also reinforce this message to help us all manage demand and expectations so we can all focus our efforts on those most in need.
We are arranging, with East Sussex County Council, for the attached leaflet to be delivered directly to households containing vulnerable people in Wealden – as you will see this helps explain who should contact the hub for support and how to do so. We also plan to arrange for stocks to be delivered to you for local distribution as you see fit. It would also be helpful if you could post on any social media that you use. We hope to send the leaflet out in the next few days.
We will continue to refine and improve the information available on our website and hope to shortly include a list of businesses that can deliver food, and publish an interactive map enabling people to find their nearest support networks.
We are working with 3VA to coordinate volunteers and put them in touch with local organisations. 3VA have set up WhatsApp groups and Zoom meetings for local groups – if you have not already signed up for these you can contact 3VA at firstname.lastname@example.org . 3VA can provide help and guidance about working with volunteers – further information can be found here https://www.3va.org.uk/how-we-can-help/coronavirus/health-advice The Government has also published updated advice about DBS checks https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/safeguarding-factsheet-community-volunteers-during-covid-19-outbreak/safeguarding-and-dbs-factsheet-faqs
Government support for the extremely vulnerable – those who are at very high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 because of specified underlying medical conditions – is also progressing. As I mentioned in my email last week, locally in East Sussex, support will be coordinated through the County Council, acting through the Sussex Resilience Forum. The full list of individuals in the shielded group is being providing to each Local Resilience Forum and we expect to receive this data by the end of this week. East Sussex County Council will make initial contact with the people on the list to check and establish their needs, including social care needs.
The Government is prioritising those in the high-risk group who are unable to rely on family or friends for adequate practical support throughout the period of shielding. For this group a basic package of food and household essentials will be supplied and delivered by major food service suppliers with established national delivery infrastructure.
Further information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable
Do please keep us updated about your own local arrangements and let us know if there are any recurring issues that we may be able to help with. We have recently circulated information to you about help with obtaining handheld card machines – if you are interested in this please email your expression of interest to email@example.com no later than Wednesday 8 April.
In the meantime please also encourage residents to follow our twitter account (@wealdendistrict), like our Facebook page or sign up to MyAlerts for regular updates.