A small army of community volunteers is assembling, ready to help Plymouth’s most vulnerable through the coronavirus outbreak.
In times of crisis, the good in people often shows through and many are reaching out to the Council with offers of helping hands with various skills and from all walks of life.
Now, the new Plymouth Good Neighbours scheme will see the Council join forces with community groups and charities across the city to provide a central place for people to put their hat in the ring to help.
The Council will collect names and skillsets and then help groups by distributing volunteers with the right skills to right places at the right time, directly and through the many great voluntary sector organisations in the city, and key partners such as the Plymouth Octopus Project and One Plymouth.
The Good Neighbours scheme is about supporting other community groups who are already out there helping. If you’ve set something up and you want us to help support you with more volunteers, get in touch.
Councillor Chris Penberthy, Cabinet member for Housing and Cooperative Development, said: “We have answered the government’s call for help and will be providing support to some of our most vulnerable residents within days.
“There are so many groups out there doing great stuff already and that’s fab. But they need more and the Good Neighbours Scheme will help to make sure that they get it for when this crisis sadly, but inevitably, escalates.
“As I said in my open letter, I’m amazed by the kindness that has been shown across our great city and I want to thank each every soul who will be out there, serving people less fortunate than themselves.”
How can I help?
If you’ve got time to spare and you want to get involved, log on to www.plymouth.gov.uk/goodneighboursscheme
Here you can browse organisations who are looking for help and match your skills to their tasks. The website will be updated regularly as the scheme grows and grows.
Some skills might be best suited to calling pensioners with Age UK, others might be more suited to driving to supplies for the Red Cross.
If you would rather register generally and be assigned to a role, you can do this too by filling in the form.
As the coronavirus situation progresses and social distancing and self-isolation guidelines increase, more ways to help those in need will come. If you sign up now, you will be contacted when a need arise that fits what you are good at.
In the meantime, please also continue to support your friends and neighbours, maintain at all times the guidance to keep social distancing and minimise non-essential travel.
I can’t volunteer but I want to help
You can help by making sure that you are following the social distancing rules from the government and by sharing the right messages with your friends.
The internet is a strange beast and there is a lot of myths and rumours out there. Make sure you’re getting your information from a reputable source, in this case the Government, the NHS and the Council.
All of the latest info on Council services, along with useful links to the latest government advice can be found here: www.plymouth.gov.uk/coronavirus