Council Leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson gives his latest update on Portsmouth's fight with the Corona Virus. With the council and
volunteer groups linked closely together and working hard to help the city's vulnerable, Gerald's insight also comes from making calls himself to city residents.
"I hope this update finds you and your family safe and well.
One of the positive things to come out of this terrible situation is watching the way that the voluntary and community sector, businesses, neighbours and volunteers have rallied round to find out what they can do to help the city as a whole.
Obviously, the most important thing we had to do as a city, was to ensure that the most vulnerable residents didn’t slip through the net and so work started straight away between the Council, Solent NHS, Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group, local businesses and organisations across the city to provide a coordinated community response. This enormous effort has been pulled together by the city's voluntary & community sector hub, The Hive Portsmouth. The initial priority was to work with the elderly and vulnerable who are advised to self-isolate and those who have no support in place.
Last week alone 2354 individuals have registered for support with 741 saying that they have no one to help with essential supplies. In that week The Hive has been able to:
- Help with shopping or food deliveries (and over 400 food parcels were delivered)
- Provide 1269 regular outbound calls/welfare checks
- Provide drop off support for nearly 200 prescriptions
- Help with other issues such as dog walking
As well as the incredible donations made by hundreds of
Portsmouth residents and businesses, this would not have been possible without an amazing commitment from the following partner organisations:
At the heart of this is an amazing volunteering effort – both from long term volunteers who are the lifeblood of local charities and voluntary/ community groups and were doing it way before the pandemic, but also those people who have stepped forward and offered their time and effort because they are willing and able to do it in these exceptional circumstances.
There are now over 890 volunteers at The Hive and more are coming forward each day and registering on the website. This has been so overwhelming that there are sufficient volunteers for food packing, food delivery, pharmacy delivery and welfare calls already! However, there is still a need for the following:
- Neighbour support (looking after a couple of streets by yourself - Delivering 'Isolation Packs' and leaflets through doors or leaving on doorsteps. Being a point of contact for vulnerable neighbours to feedback any problems.
- Dog Walking
If you would like to help by volunteering please do get in touch with the HIVE
So many people in Portsmouth are helping out and my thanks to everyone for making our community stronger."
Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson
Leader Portsmouth City Council
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