Hull City Council is to launch a community response hotline to support the city’s most vulnerable residents during the Coronavirus outbreak.
A dedicated number is being set up for anyone who needs extra help if they do not have a support network in place – whether that is with tasks such as shopping, dog walking, or access to other essential services.
The local authority will make contact residents who are identified as the most vulnerable within the city to offer support to those who need it. The Government is also in the process of issuing letters to 1.2m people nationally who due to their health conditions need to take additional measures to shield themselves from contact with others.
The community hotline is expected to go live later this week and will ensure that those in most need receive support from Hull City Council, its partners and community groups.
The hotline is also being created to build an army of volunteers, along with council staff, to support the city’s communities and its residents.
Councillor Stephen Brady, Leader of Hull City Council, said: “The local authority is truly committed to supporting our most vulnerable residents.
“We are doing everything we can, within our ability and available resources, to protect the health and wellbeing of our residents.
“This dedicated hotline will be available for those who need support or if you know anyone who requires extra help. We need to offer a friendly hand of support to ensure we all remain safe and well.
“We have been overwhelmed with the level of support from the public and our partner organisations and we are truly grateful. We are now co-ordinating a network of support to ensure we can help those who need it.
“It is important we all stay safe, take care of each other and do everything we can to protect ourselves and our NHS during this outbreak.
“These are unprecedented times and normal life is rapidly changing for us all. By working together we will get through this. We and the city will become stronger as a result.”
If residents need support then we urge them to contact the hotline later this week and register their details.
A plea has also been sent to local groups, community services or organisations that can support the COVID-19 relief efforts.
The council encourages the many groups that are being set up with the intent of offering help through social media but advises people to be vigilant. Elsewhere in the country there have been examples of unscrupulous people using such networks to exploit the vulnerable. If you make use of such help, the council urges residents to ask to see official identification such as a passport or driving licence and make a note of who is offering the support.
It is also crucial to follow the latest Government guidelines in terms of social distancing and self-isolation.
[Anna Marshall – Hull City Council]