Published: Thursday, 26th March 2020
In response to the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak, we are making this joint statement to inform people what your local charities and community and volunteer groups are doing, and how you can help.
As a community, the situation we are facing is unprecedented. This needs an unprecedented response. The Voluntary and Community Sector Forum (Sevenoaks District) and Sevenoaks District Council have come together to lead and support a response across the voluntary and community sector, which includes staff and volunteers from charities, community groups and social enterprises. We are all facing challenges and changes to how we operate. We are working to bring partners together to make a difference.
Cllr Lesley Dyball, Sevenoaks District Council's Cabinet Member for People and Places, says:
“In the Sevenoaks District we are fortunate to have a vibrant, well-connected group of voluntary and community organisations and we are very grateful for their hard work and response to the crisis. We already work well together to keep Sevenoaks District a great place to live, work and raise a family. Over the coming months we can all have a role to play in addressing the challenges we face. I encourage everyone to support these coordinated efforts. District Councillors are playing a prominent role in coordinating volunteer initiatives and residents can always get in touch with them for help and advice. Together, we will do all we can to help keep the residents of our District, our local volunteers and colleagues safe and well.”
It is amazing how many community members and businesses, including those businesses in our rural areas, have contacted local charities to offer their support. From all of us, thank you.
To make it easier for the public and businesses we’ve developed a way you can offer help easily and be directed to a local organisation that needs what you can offer:
- The Council is working with Caring for the Community - Sevenoaks District to take offers of volunteer support and direct people to a local charity.
- We are posting updates to the Sevenoaks District Council website and social media, where you can receive updates, news and information about how you can help. If you want to volunteer please, visit www.sevenoaks.gov.uk/communityvolunteer or if you’re a resident with a request for practical assistance visit www.sevenoaks.gov.uk/requesthelp
- The Voluntary and Community Sector Forum will support local charities and grassroots groups to work effectively together and to develop new ways of working. They will also support businesses that want to help.
- Age UK is coordinating and deploying volunteers to support older people who are vulnerable or struggling in self-isolation and to reduce pressure on the NHS and Social Care.
We are proud to be working closely to coordinate efforts and to ensure the most vulnerable people in our community are supported and protected. We want our friends across the voluntary and community sector, our colleagues in the NHS and Social Care and our partners in the wider community to know that we’ve got your back and will keep doing everything we can to support the district’s communities.
Chair of the Voluntary and Community Sector Forum
Cllr Lesley Dyball
Sevenoaks District Council's Cabinet Member for People and Places