In light of the coronavirus crisis, events are changing rapidly. Thankfully due to the support of our hard working volunteers and staff, so is our response.
To meet the increased demand, we are scaling up our Together Co Befriending service to offer more phone based social support to people who are extremely isolated due to health conditions and/or older age in Brighton and Hove. Many are at risk of severe illness if they catch coronavirus.
It’s vital we scale quickly and responsibly as requests increase. Not only to support vulnerable people to maintain social contact and access to essentials, but critically to ensure people get the right information on how to stay safe.
Last week we sent over 700 letters, and made over 200 phone calls to our members to find out what additional support they might need during the crisis.
Many of our members told us they would like more frequent phone calls from volunteers so that they feel more in touch and less anxious. Others requested help with access to food and other supplies. We are already putting people in touch with volunteers, who are fully trained and security checked, to fulfill these requests.
Our staff are also busy processing volunteer applications, and we are finding ways to speed up our training and vetting process to get volunteers matched to an isolated person quickly. We will make our volunteer training freely available to support community groups as soon as possible. You can find out more about volunteering with us here.
We are immensely proud of how much our befriending community has already achieved in such a short time, and we look forward to building on, and growing this over the challenging months ahead.
Right now, emergency funding is critical to charities like ours who are offering frontline support to the most vulnerable in our communities. Please donate what you can or set up a Facebook fundraiser to support us. We will also be releasing a list of essential pro bono and in kind support required to help meet increased demand for our services.
You can find the latest government advice on the coronavirus outbreak, here.
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© 2019 Together Collective a Company Limited by Guarantee registered in England and Wales: Company No. 03895574, whose registered office is Projects The Lanes, Nile House, Nile St, Brighton BN1 1HW. Together Collective is a registered charity: Charity No. 1083390