Covid ‘community champions’ get Tower Hamlets Council cash to carry on helping neighbours

PUBLISHED: 13:36 23 October 2020 | UPDATED: 13:51 23 October 2020

Council cash for 'Covid champions' to help others through pandemic. Picture: Mike Brooke

Council cash for 'Covid champions' to help others through pandemic. Picture: Mike Brooke

Mike Brooke

A Covid volunteer hub helping vulnerable people in the East End since the pandemic began has been given the green light with funding from Tower Hamlets Council to continue for another year.

Cllr Candida Ronald... Cllr Candida Ronald... "It's inspiring to see community come together to support each other." Picture: Mike Brooke

It follows a spike in Covid-19 cases which continue to rise while London has become a high alert region.

Support for the “valuable resource” run by Volunteer Centre Tower Hamlets has been agreed by the council’s cabinet as an urgent need.

“The hub has been essential in enabling volunteers to help people,” Cllr Candida Ronald said.

“This year has been extremely challenging for everyone, but it has been inspiring to see the community come together to support each other.”

Mayor John Biggs... Mayor John Biggs... "Volunteers play a role in response to Covid to protect vulnerable people". Picture: Mike Brooke

Some 2,300 people signed up as volunteers through the centre at the start of the pandemic, to help neighbours and others who were socially isolated, including those advised to self-isolate.

Their roles include transporting protective equipment to carers’ homes, delivering shopping to the housebound, helping in community kitchens and distributing food supplies to voluntary organisations and local foodbanks.

The cash is being allocated from the government’s new Covid public health grants, with additional funds from the council’s own building grants programme.

Mayor John Biggs told the cabinet: “These volunteers played a role in the response to Covid-19 in protecting some of our most vulnerable people. This funding will help support these grassroots organisations.”

The volunteering hub runs a community champions network helping residents stay up-to-date with advice about Covid-19. The champions share information with families, friends and the communities to make sense of it all.

The council is urging people to sign up to be a community champion to receive latest information to share with others.

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