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 Mayor of London has published some information on COVID-19 and the voluntary sector.
Other ways to help
An easy 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 help with. 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.
Beware of scams
Sadly, fraudsters often take advantage at times of crisis. Please beware of fraud and 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. You can find a list of local charities and groups on the Ealing Together website.
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.