Ealing Council has issued guidance to residents and community groups on how to stay safe and well while volunteering during the COVID-19 pandemic. The advice is available to download on Ealing Together.
Across the borough, thousands of people are helping family members, friends and neighbours. And mutual aid groups have also self-organised and are playing their part in making sure that isolated and vulnerable residents have what they need if they are self-isolating.
And local charities and community groups have quickly mobilised and grown to meet the unprecedented challenges. In fact, many people will be volunteering for the first time, while others will be adding to their existing volunteering activity.
Inspiring to watch
Councillor Peter Mason, cabinet lead for Ealing Together, said: “The way that Ealing has come together to support each other has been inspiring to watch and my heart-felt thanks go out to everyone who is doing their bit to help.
“It’s crucial that we all remember that these are extraordinary times and that extraordinary demands are being placed on people. We must all take extra care of our emotional, mental and physical health.
“I encourage everyone who is volunteering to follow the NHS guidance on hygiene and social distancing very carefully. By keeping yourself safe, you are helping to keep everyone safe.
“And please think about how much you are taking on emotionally as well as physically, especially if you are working with vulnerable people. This work can take its toll and its OK to limit how much you do and to take breaks. The COVID-19 pandemic is going to be with us for a while and we all need to pace ourselves.”
Ealing Together, a coalition of community groups, charities, residents, businesses and Ealing Council, launched last week. In just five days, nearly 500 volunteers signed up to help others and the recruitment was temporarily paused this week while offers to help are matched with volunteer roles.
Councillor Mason continued: “The incredible response to the Ealing Together appeal shows how community-minded Ealing is. I know there will be many more people quietly doing their bit to help outside of any formal or informal group. If you are one of these people, thank you. And please read the guidance and make sure you are taking care of yourself as well as others.”