Craven is a place where looking out for friends and neighbours is part of daily life and kindness comes naturally. These values are what helps make the county such a special place to live, work and visit.
We know that people will want to help their communities and we’re encouraging everyone to look out for anyone in their immediate area who might need help whilst also keeping themselves safe.
What can I do to help my family, friends and neighbours?
Wherever possible people who are self-isolating are being encouraged to ask for help from family, friends, and neighbours. We would encourage everyone who can help others to let their family, friends and neighbours know if they are available and what they can do to help.
The type of help which could be offered includes:
- collecting and delivering shopping – leaving deliveries on the doorstep or safe place to avoid close physical contact;
- suggesting local shopping options and trusted suppliers;
- collecting and delivering prescriptions if you are the nominated person registered with the GP;
- caring for pets;
- regular social contact via telephone, FaceTime, Skype calls or other methods that will avoid physical contact (offering to call your neighbour who can’t get out so they have someone to chat to on the phone could make all the difference);
- encouraging people to contact others in the same situation by linking people together;
- delivering books and magazines or materials to support hobbies such as wool for knitting or art materials;
- reassuring people with accurate and up to date advice and information; and
- signposting people to other sources of help if needed.
What else can I do to help?
We are aware that informal networks of volunteers are being set up. We are also encouraging established local groups to consider what support they may be able to provide. There may be a group in your neighbourhood that needs extra volunteers.
If you would like to offer your time to a local charity, voluntary organisation or community group with COVID-19 support but are unsure who to talk to, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
There are also a number of social media groups being set up in towns, villages and local neighbourhoods. People are signing up to offer their time to help people who are self-isolating. Our advice is that help should wherever possible avoid physical contact and be focused on immediate local areas.
It is also important that people volunteering manage their own wellbeing. We don’t know how long this situation will last and we need to make sure we stay healthy and don’t put ourselves at unnecessary risk of infection or of infecting others. Please follow national guidance on what action to take to stay safe.
I need help and support
Our advice to anyone self-isolating is to ask for help from family, friends, neighbours and trusted local groups.
For anyone who doesn’t have someone they can call on for help, we’re encouraging them to contact the county council customer service centre who will signpost people to the right support.
That will include adult social care teams, a trusted local voluntary group or NHS 111 depending on what they need.
Information for voluntary organisations, charities and community groups
Voluntary organisations, charities and community groups provide valuable services, activities and opportunities for social contact. Often these groups are for older people and many of the volunteers will be older themselves.
If you are a voluntary or community group and have recently stopped delivering services and activities or you’re thinking about doing so please let us know. This may be your contract manager, stronger communities or the service development team. If you’re unsure who your usual contact is please call the North Yorkshire County Council customer service centre on 01609 780 780.
There are other things volunteers can do to help reduce the risk of loneliness and social isolation of your members and others in your community such as:
- phoning people to check they are ok and to have a chat;
- encouraging group members to contact each other by asking for permission to share contact details;
- helping people with things such as shopping or caring for pets during periods of self-isolation; and
- encouraging people self-isolating to ask family, friends and neighbours for help.
- if you know of anybody in your community who you think needs support and where they don’t have anyone locally who can help, please encourage them to contact the North Yorkshire County Council customer service centre on 01609 780780.
The National Council for Voluntary Organisations are also keeping their website regularly updated with ideas and advice.