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Coronavirus: How to be part of a volunteer force fanning out across Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 11:37 24 March 2020

Chocolate and Easter treats being given to a charity in Great Yarmouth. The handover was arranged by James Bensly after stock at TK Maxx was made available when the stores shut due to coronavirus. It is one of many examples of people's willingnes to help others during the outbreak Picture: James Bensly

Chocolate and Easter treats being given to a charity in Great Yarmouth. The handover was arranged by James Bensly after stock at TK Maxx was made available when the stores shut due to coronavirus. It is one of many examples of people's willingnes to help others during the outbreak Picture: James Bensly

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A rallying call has been issued to create a volunteer force to help those struggling in the coronavirus lockdown.

Taila Taylor is taking donations of essential supplies at her family's pub, The London Tavern in Attleborough. Picture: Courtesy of Taila TaylorTaila Taylor is taking donations of essential supplies at her family's pub, The London Tavern in Attleborough. Picture: Courtesy of Taila Taylor

With grass-roots organisations already rapidly set up and deploying delivery and friendship services across Norfolk the aim is to co-ordinate them and avoid confusion and duplication.

The effort is being matched by an appeal for donations, The Covi-19 Community Response Fund, as daily life changes dramatically.

The appeal is supported by the National Emergencies Trust (NET) which has taken the unprecedented step of launching a UK-wide disaster relief fund in response to the pandemic.

Trust chairman, Lord Dannatt, said: “While there is much that government can and is doing, there is also a strong desire of the public to help others and there are local grass-roots organisations that can provide vital support to people who need it.

“We will channel the money raised to those organisations so people who need it can get support as quickly as possible but also who will need these vital funds to continue to be there for the long haul.”

It involves local authorities working with community and public sector partners to continue to support communities, particularly those who are considered vulnerable and/or self-isolating without any other means of neighbourly or family support.

It will create a centralised point where individuals and groups can register and target their work in response to requests.

If you able to volunteer, please click here for more information and to register.

Volunteers will be screened.

In a statement Great Yarmouth Borough Council said: “To ensure this much-needed support continues to be available to support community projects, a funding call has been put in place, led by the Norfolk Community Foundation.

“Donations received will allow the local organisations involved to carry on their vital care and support work during this challenging time.”

Carl Smith, leader of the council, said: “The council, alongside the voluntary sector, is working hard behind the scenes to get preparations in place as soon as possible that will allow us to offer services such as deliveries of food and medicine, to those most vulnerable and those who are self-isolating but who may not have family and friends around them.

“We are asking for people to rally round their community in this trying time and help in any way they can, whether that be volunteering or donating.

“We have already seen a fantastic level of community response and we are so grateful for those who are helping us to support those in need.

“The new volunteering portal aims to help coordinate those efforts and match them with need, so we all work together efficiently and effectively.”

Further information about the new Community Team for Great Yarmouth will be released in the coming days.

Donate online quickly and securely, or alternatively make a cheque payable to Norfolk Community Foundation (referencing Covid-19 Community Response Fund) and send it to Norfolk Community Foundation, St James Mill, Whitefriars, Norwich, NR3 1TN, or telephone us on 01603 623958.


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