Tuesday, 28 April 2020 00:00

Providing essential support to the city’s most vulnerable residents

Written by  James Hyde
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Providing essential support to the city’s most vulnerable residents

Norwich’s most vulnerable have been put firmly at the top of the agenda when it’s come to co-ordinating and directing the work of the Norwich Community Response (NCR) hub.

The NCR was very quickly mobilised as the city’s response to supporting those most in need of help during the coronavirus pandemic when the country went into lockdown.

Within a matter of days, the NCR was up and running and was carrying out essential work, with the help of city council staff and a fantastic volunteer network. 

This involved taking delivery of food at a central hub, packaging it up, and getting it out to those who unable to shop for themselves. Other essential work included picking up prescriptions and delivering them to those with no other means of getting their necessary medication.

So far, the city council has made over 4,000 welfare calls and has helped around 2800 of our most vulnerable residents. During these calls we find out what type of support they need and see they get it through our volunteer network. We then continue to offer further support through follow-up calls and by assessing the need for additional help such as befriending through a volunteer.

The NCR hub has so far coordinated the delivery of over 360 food parcels and completed around 250 medical pickups. These figures are rising every day. Our thanks go to the many dedicated volunteers for their hard work, seven days a week, to make this happen.

The Hub also includes staff members offering support to existing local voluntary groups as well as new community groups who are coming together to support their neighbours during the crisis. Using the councils’ LUMi platform, the council team are supporting these groups to make their offers of support public so anyone can find out what they can access from dog walking to befriending calls. 

Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council, said: “People across the whole city have rallied around to support each other during this crisis. I’m so proud of the strength and leadership this has shown.The NCR hub has been coordinated fantastically by Norwich City Council staff, and I want to extend my personal thanks to everyone who has helped the most vulnerable in our society to get through this. It’s helped so many of us recognise the value of having a supportive and caring community which is dedicated to looking out for, and looking after, those who need help the most during this pandemic.”

Over 500 volunteers have already registered to help in Norwich – a remarkable testament to their selfless support. While the high volume of interest means it’s taking us a while to go through applications, please be assured that we will contact everyone who has been kind enough to offer their time or services.

The NCR hub is one of seven similar hubs operating around Norfolk as the county’s collective response to providing essential support for the most vulnerable in our neighbourhoods. This work forms part of a Norfolk-wide approach to providing a local resilience network which brings many local authorities and other key services together.  

If you would like to volunteer with this vital work, please visit Voluntary Norfolk.

Last modified on Tuesday, 28 April 2020 19:54

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