Ashfield District Council is continuing its effort to ensure essential aid and support is given to vulnerable residents within the district.
Recent NHS figures have shown that Ashfield has the highest number of extremely vulnerable people at risk from the Coronavirus in Nottinghamshire.
Alongside centrally co-ordinated assistance from the Government, NHS and Nottinghamshire County Council, the district council has been working with Ashfield’s voluntary sector in leading the way to support those who are struggling to get by without the help of friends, family or support networks.
The council has also supported the voluntary sector by doubling the Ashfield Community Fund by an extra £10,000. The focus is on helping organisations with the supply of food and supplies to the most vulnerable.
The council said it is linking all its efforts together and stepping in where emergency support is required.
The team is split to two sections – one liaising with voluntary groups, foodbanks and supermarkets, to ensure support and supplies are balanced. The other section is continually contacting vulnerable residents to make sure they are safe and well. They are also on standby to deliver emergency food parcels, prescriptions or help with discharged hospital patients, if a request comes through from the central County Council team.
In the past four weeks, they have distributed and delivered over 225 food parcels to various food banks and directly to the doorstep of vulnerable residents.
More than 1,400 of the council’s Lifeline service customers have been contacted by phone to ensure they are coping in these difficult times. All council tenants have also been contacted and the council has written to approximately 11,000 residents suspected of being vulnerable in the current crisis. Councillors have also been contacting thousands of residents across the District to offer help and assistance.
Coun Kier Barsby, cabinet member for health, said “It has been an amazing effort by all our Council staff and volunteers during these unprecedented times. Helping residents in our District is paramount and we are deeply indebted to the efforts of community, voluntary and faith groups, as well as individuals, food banks and local businesses.
“They have all pulled together for the good of our community. It’s vital for residents to know that we are there if they need us. Please get in touch if you need us.”
Paul Parkinson, Ashfield District Council’s deputy chief executive, said: “This is not something the council has been involved with before, but we moved rapidly to assemble a virtual team of volunteers from across the council to help with the effort.
“Within just two days we had contacted dozens of organisations to build a database of organisations who could help our residents. We then followed this up by linking food banks to supermarkets. Our staff have been excellent and like many other voluntary organisations, they also gave up their Easter break to help those most in need.”
If anyone requires help with food, prescriptions, or coping during self-solation call 0300 5008080 or go to the coronavirus help page on the Ashfield District Council’s website.