Working with volunteers to support the most vulnerable

Staff at West Suffolk Council working with community volunteers have continued to get help to the most vulnerable over the Easter weekend.

The staff, operating as part of the Home, But Not Alone service, connect community volunteers to the vulnerable, to help them get food and medicine. Council staff are also able to help people who are home alone and feeling lonely.

During the week to and including Easter Sunday the West Suffolk team dealt with 202 calls and supported people with a range of issues including access to food and medicines. The council through its work coordinating with local volunteers, was able to help all of these people.

The freephone number is in operation seven days a week from 9am to 5pm on Alone freephone 0800 876 6926.

The council is also warning vulnerable people to be on their guard after reports that someone claiming to be from the council contacted residents saying they needed bank card details in order to send them a food parcel. The council does not ask for these details.

None of the work supporting the most vulnerable would be possible without the efforts of community volunteers out delivering food and medicine to people in their area.

West Suffolk Council asks that volunteers or groups register by emailing Families.Communities@WestSuffolk.gov.uk and on the Tribe Volunteer app. People who are registered on the Good Sam app need not register again.

That then enables the team at the council to map and coordinate volunteer support, matching it to the calls it receives from people needing help in a certain area.

John Griffiths, leader of West Suffolk Council, said: “We are extremely grateful to the work of all the volunteers and groups who are working with us to help the most vulnerable in their areas to get through this crisis. We are all in this and will get through this together.

“We are supporting this fantastic community work through funding, guidance and more. Home But Not Alone is not about replacing or duplicating this work but rather to help coordinate things to ensure that no one falls between the gaps.”

The Home But Not Alone campaign is being run by the Suffolk Collaborative made up of all of Suffolk’s district councils, Suffolk County Council, Community Action Suffolk, the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich , Suffolk’s Clinical Commissioning Groups, the NHS – Integrated Care System, the Ministry of Defence, the National Probation Service – Norfolk & Suffolk, the Suffolk Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Suffolk Constabulary, the Suffolk Association of Local Councils, Suffolk Community Foundation, and Suffolk Voluntary Organisations Group.

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