Update: 19th March 2020 –
Hambleton Community Action will continue to provide services and support to all of our current clients where we are safely able to do so. However, we are changing the way that we deliver some services, to reduce the risk of infection for staff, volunteers and our clients.
We are committed to following government guidelines in terms of reducing the risk of infection, and as a result we have reduced our office staffing with several of us working from home. Our office is currently closed to visitors, except by appointment.
Scientific advice remains that the best ways to reduce risk are:
- To self-isolate where you or a member of your household has symptoms of covid-19 (fever, persistent cough)
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitiser with a high alcohol content (70% is recommended)
You can get the latest advice here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
Healthwatch North Yorkshire have created an easy-read advice leaflet https://healthwatchnorthyorkshire.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/easy-read-advice-on-the-coronavirus-v1.pdf
National government updates and advice for the public can be viewed here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public
As the situation is rapidly evolving and changing, we encourage you to refer to the links above on a regular basis.
We are currently working with partner agencies to ensure that support is available to those who need it, when they need it, within the communities we serve. This community response will need to be sustained over weeks and months, so we are working on how best to deliver and support this. This will include offering support and advice to local community groups and the informal support networks that are already being created. It’s fantastic that so many local people in our communities want to offer help in these uncertain times as more people will need to stay at home, but people aren’t always sure where to start and some are worried about safety or fraud.
We want to encourage kindness and neighbourliness in these uncertain times, but we want people to stay safe so here are some tips we’d like to share for everyone to please bear in mind:
- Tap into what’s already there – local charities, faith groups and community hubs and have lots of knowledge about the local area and who needs help.
- Start with your neighbours, even if you haven’t had much contact before, where people may recognise you and trust your offer is genuine.
- Keep it local and manageable – please don’t try and cover a large area or more than you realistically can sustain – this is likely to last for months
- Extra phone calls to keep in contact with friends, neighbours and family could mean a lot to them and is an opportunity to find out about any needs they may have
- Don’t get into personal care or going into people’s houses – be assured that other agencies will be looking at this
- Keep it to essentials so a lot of money is not involved and don’t expect or ask people to pay for support, if they insist, suggest they pay you back later ‘in kind’ when they are well
- Be cautious, just as you would normally be careful about not giving away too much personal information to people you don’t know
- Please be aware of coronavirus scams as fraudsters are exploiting the outbreak with various types of fraud and cyber-crime. Read more on the Action Fraud website.
- There are some good ideas and resources listed on this Campaign to End Loneliness webpage , including tips from Mind charity for people feeling anxious or worried about Coronavirus
“As a responsible charity with appropriate governance and safe systems of operation, we reference-check and DBS-check everyone who volunteers with us where they work unsupervised with vulnerable people. Whilst we appreciate that many people are generously offering their time to help out others within the community, HCA is unable to place unreferenced / non-DBS-checked, short term volunteers with clients where they are considered vulnerable. We do however welcome applications from potential volunteers who are willing to engage longer-term, and we will of course provide training and support to any new volunteers who decide to join our team.”