Ealing has many voluntary groups that are well supported by local people working hard to do something good and make a difference in their local communities.
Take a look at the different ways that you can help your friends and neighbours during this period.
Ways to help
The easiest way to make an immediate difference is to be a good neighbour and check on any elderly or vulnerable neighbours who may be socially distancing or self-isolating. This includes single parents and those that live alone.
If your neighbour is socially distancing or self-isolating, you can respect this by contacting them by phone or social media. If you do not have their contact details, post your contact details through their letterbox and asking them to contact you if there is anything they need. This might be shopping or collecting a prescription, walking their dog or it could be as simple as knowing that someone is there to check in on them regularly.
Please be mindful of the need to protect vulnerable groups from frausters and remind them not to give out any financial or personal details. If you are concerned about the welfare of an elderly or vulnerable person you can contact the council on 020 8825 7170. This line is staffed during office hours and will not provide health advice.
Please think about yourself and what you are realistically able to do before you offer your help. Consider how long you may be called on to help and what you will do if you can no longer offer support to someone, or you have to self-isolate yourself.
Other ways to volunteer
If you would like to take on a more structured voluntary role, the council works closely with Ealing CVS who support the many voluntary and community sector organisations in the borough on a day-to-day basis. Ealing CVS is not coordinating activities, but they are offering advice and signposting for the local community and voluntary groups. You can also search for a formal volunteer role at www.do-it.org.
The British Red Cross community reserve scheme are a network of people ready to help in an emergency, supporting their community by sharing public health messages, connecting with others safely and helping provide basic supplies. You can sign up to be part of the scheme online.
Ealing Food Bank provides emergency food and support to local families who are referred to them in crisis. Up to date information about what donations they currently need and how you can give is available online.
The Mayor of London has published some information on COVID-19 and the voluntary sector.
Look out for scams
Sadly, fraudsters often take advantage at times of crisis. Think twice before you are asked to donate to any online COVID-19 fundraisers. As a council, we have no way of knowing whether these are legitimate and how the funds might be fairly distributed. Instead, consider donating to well-established charities that already support vulnerable people in the community, such as Age UK Ealing and Ealing Food Bank.
If you are self-isolating, look out for fraudsters knocking on your door and or calling your phone pretending to be the bank, police or Ealing Council and using COVID-19 as a cover story. Do not give personal information to, or open the door to, people who you do not know. And if anyone asks you for your bank details or for money, close the door or hang up. Criminals can be very charming, but don’t worry about seeming rude.
Do your bit to help flatten the curve
Please follow and share the following advice to play your part in delaying the spread of COVID-19 and protecting those who may be more vulnerable in our community:
- Help keep yourself and others safe by washing hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser.
- If you have a new, continuous cough or a high temperature (37.8 degrees and above) you must stay indoors for seven days if you live alone. If you live with others and one of you develops symptoms, the whole household must stay indoors for 14 days. These restrictions apply from the start of the symptoms. Please follow the guidance on self isolation and do not contact your GP.
- If you can help by delivering shopping or other items for someone who is self-isolating, leave them on their doorstep, do not go into their home. Be considerate in the way you shop and do not buy more than you need so that others are not left without.
- Please check online updates from trusted sources including the council and central government to make sure you have the latest information.