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Coronavirus (Covid 19) update

Here you'll find all the latest info to help you and your family stay safe and also ways to support your organisation

HOW ONE WESTMINSTER CAN HELP YOU VOLUNTEER

These are unprecedented times and One Westminster is doing all we can to help the Westminster Voluntary Sector and the community in any way we can.  We also know that the situation is changing daily and that emails can well be out of date before they are written.

Our main activity over the coming period will be assisting in allocating citizens who want to volunteer to where they can be of most use.  To help us get this right, please let us know what, if any, volunteering support you need in the immediate to near future.

We think that food security and accessing food is going to be the immediate priority.  Three categories of clients are likely to face challenges around accessing food.

  1. Self-isolating older people or those with long-term conditions
  2. People with no money to purchase food having been reliant on food banks previously or recently lost their job etc.
  3. School children sent home if and when schools close.

In the absence of a national government scheme, we want to do all we can to help in this regard.  If you have the capacity to support people around food, please let us know.  If you have people contacting you to advise they are hungry please let us know so we can pass this information on to someone who can assist.   Please tell us what you need and we will do our best to secure a way of getting you that help.

For the immediate future should you receive calls of people offering to volunteer, please feel free to direct them to our www.onewestminster.org.uk website and to follow the Covid-19 Volunteer link, where they will be able to complete a form and we can direct them to where they can be of most help.  HOWEVER, THE BEST THING YOU CAN SAY TO ANYONE WHO CONTACTS YOU IS TO PLEASE MAKE A FINANCIAL DONATION – HOWEVER GREAT OR SMALL – TO NORTH PADDINGTON OR WESTMINSTER FOOD BANKS.

Finally, we at One Westminster, are fully aware that many voluntary organisations have diversified their funding over the past 10 years and may be reliant on earned income alongside grant income or contracts.  If the Covid-19 crisis is likely to affect your income as a result of this, please could you let us know so that we can report back to Westminster Council and Government on the impact the crisis is having on the local charity sector.

Please do not hesitate to contact me or my colleagues on our email addresses at any time and we will continue to do our best to help you.

Our current strap-line is:  KEEPING EVERYONE SAFE WHILE HELPING OUR COMMUNITY

To this end, see below our current advice regarding public volunteering:

1. If you want to help in your community, please contact One Westminster first for guidance and support on how to volunteer safely and to register your interest.

2. Please minimise face-to-face contact and opt for telephone support instead.

3. If you are planning to volunteer or set-up volunteering or a group in your neighbourhood, please do so as close to home as possible, avoiding travel and limiting your contact to people in your own street, block etc.

4. Refer to our website for up-to-date information and support.

Do all keep safe and well and we hope to have contact with you soon.

Jackie Rosenberg, One Westminster CEO

NEW WESTMINSTER HELPLINE FOR VULNERABLE PEOPLE

Up to 1.5 million people in England have now been identified by the NHS as being at higher risk of severe illness if they contract coronavirus. The government has urged they should stay at home for at least 12 weeks (from 22 March 2020) to protect themselves and the NHS are contacting the people who are most vulnerable.

A new helpline phone number for vulnerable Westminster residents, which also offers support in community languages, has now been set up by Westminster City Council on:

020 7641 1222
 
People can phone the number or register online here.

KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR SCAMS

It's sad to report at this time of national crisis that unscrupulous criminals are seeking to make money out of our fears and distress, often from society's older and vulnerable people. 
  
Fortunately, the National Trading Standards Scams Team has created some helpful materials, including this handy postcard and a letter you can send out to raise awareness,  to help promote scams awareness around coronavirus (COVID-19) scams. And here's a social media pack that organisations' communications teams can use. 

Here are just some of the scams that have been spotted, but please note that criminals come in all shapes and sizes and can contact you at the door, by phone, post or online:

  • Virus testing kits - these are only available from the NHS
  • Vaccines or miracle cures - there is currently no vaccine or miracle cure
  • Overpriced or fake goods to protect yourself from coronavirus
  • Shopping or medication collection services
  • Home cleaning services
  • Emails saying that you can get a refund on taxes, utilities or similar are usually bogus

How to volunteer safely

The Government has now issued a full set of guidelines on how to help others while staying safe yourself. At the moment you should only leave the house for one of four reasons, and one of these is to provide care or to help a vulnerable person. Even when you are doing this, you need to do so safely. Follow this link for the full Government details on how to help safely

 

Coronavirus advice in 34 languages

If you're struggling to follow the official advice in English - or know someone who is - then check out Coronavirus (Covid 19) advice in 34 languages, which now includes the lock down rules for the UK population  

Produced by Doctors of the World in partnership with the British Red Cross, Migrant Help and Clear Voice, the guidance is based on the government’s updated advice and health information. Please forward this information to migrant and asylum-seeking communities who would like this crucial information in their own language.

Anyone who would find emails on the subject useful should sign up by sending an email to Subscribe

TIPS ON HOW TO WORK WELL REMOTELY

Superhighways, a project of Kingston Voluntary Action, supports small charities and community groups in London to do more with digital and data, has generated some great advice for organisations planning or getting started with working remotely. Check out these useful hints and tips below.

NCVO advice for organisations

The National Council for Volunteering Organisations has a range of useful practical advice to help voluntary groups and organisations get to grips with the enormous changes expected of all of us in the days and weeks to come.

Click here for full details.

For those with an underlying health condition

Healthwatch Central West London has brought out a Guidance & Support pack that has crucial guidance from national charities on what to do if you have an underlying health condition, and the latest communications from hospitals in our area. Access it above if you are living with such conditions as diabetes or asthma, or other conditions.

Red Cross: Small acts of kindness

In these perplexing times, the British Red Cross reminds us of the power of kindness with eight ways to be kind to your neighbours - and yourself! Click here to read. 

Staying well when social distancing

The government has now advised that if you have an underlying health condition(s) or if you are aged 70 or older, you should be social distancing for up to 12 weeks. This can seem a daunting process to many, so the Royal College of Occupational Therapists has created some top tips to help people get through it all. Click below for a printable poster. 

BBC VIDEO EXPLAINING SOCIAL DISTANCING

The Government has advised us to practice social distancing, but what exactly does it mean in practice? Click to view this video from the BBC  - it's all you need to know in just about a minute!

Safeguarding vulnerable adults In Westminster

Westminster City Council has produced these useful flyers to remind groups and organisations dealing with vulnerable adult groups what to do and where to seek help during the COVID-19 outbreak. Check them out below.

Official sources of advice

Advice from the NHS on how to protect yourself or how to access medical help can be obtained by clicking here

The government's response to the Coronavirus COVID-19 includes advice on staying at home, social distancing, travel and guidance for employers and businesses. Click here 

Click here for guidance about coronavirus (COVID-19) for health professionals and organisations.

You can find advice on social distancing throughout the UK and also how older and vulnerable people can be protected by clicking here