Wakefield Council launches support system for lonely and vulnerable during coronavirus crisis

Could you help lonely, vulnerable or elderly people get through the crisis? Wakefield Council and other organisations have put out an appeal for fit and healthy volunteers who are able to offer help to those who need it most.

Working with community support agency Nova Wakefield District and a range of organisations across the district, the council is promoting community volunteering opportunities to help people who do not have a network of family, friends or neighbours to support them.

The work could involve chatting to people on the phone who may be self-isolating so that they don’t get lonely, doing shopping or dropping off other supplies, dog walking, making food parcels, driving deliveries, or administrative and support work.

Coun Denise Jeffery, Leader of Wakefield Council, said: “Now that everybody has been told by the Government to stay at home, older and vulnerable people are going to need our support more than ever.

Wakefield Council and other organisations have put out an appeal for fit and healthy volunteers who are able to offer help to those who need it most.

“The council is always here to provide support to the most vulnerable, but it is very likely that residents can help to reduce demand by volunteering to help others, whether that be dropping off shopping or even just having a chat over the phone with someone who might be feeling lonely.

“It’s really important to keep yourself and others safe, so together with Nova Wakefield District, we’ve provided some guidance on how to help, but always check the latest government advice because the situation is changing quickly.”

To make sure resources are managed safely and in the best way, people are asked to view current opportunities and register their interest at volunteerwakefield.org.

Anyone worried about themselves or someone else, who does not have an existing support network of friends, family or neighbours can call the council’s dedicated phone line 0345 8 506 506 between 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Choose option three to make a request for support and help will be arranged.

People have already shown kindness in the crisis.

Thousands of pounds of donations have been made to Knottingley foodbank after their store was targeted by thieves, while environmental action group The Real Junk Food Project have teamed up with a string of local charities to organise food for those in need.

And Wakefield man Jon Crowder raised £1,300 in just two days for food banks.