The COVID-19 pandemic we’re in the midst of is a time of great uncertainty and not just for the UK. Globally, the virus has disrupted, changed and taken many lives.
Since the Prime Minister’s address to the country on Monday (23rd March) it is evident that there is still room for even more measures to be introduced to “flatten the curve.” The new Stay at Home guidance highlights the importance of remaining at home, the limited reasons for which we are allowed to leave our homes and the consequences of non-compliance. These measures mean that there will be more barriers in the way of residents in local communities and isolated residents not getting the things they need.
Our public services have been, and are still, working tirelessly to help those infected with or affected by the virus. Our Government is taking more drastic action to help slow the spread of Coronavirus and ease the strain on our NHS.
We’re all in uncharted territory; doing what we think is best for ourselves, our families and those around us. In the face of a new “normal” we have seen communities come together to support each other through what is proving to be an incredibly challenging time.
United communities are strong communities, and since the introduction of social distancing and self-isolation measures, this have become evident to us all. Communities throughout Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent are supporting each other with the help of community organisers, infrastructure support organisations, local community groups and social media.
Together with Stoke-on-Trent City Council and other charity partners, VAST and Totally Stoked have created the #StokeonTrentTogether Support Network. The network provides the link between those in Stoke-on-Trent who need help and those that can safely provide help.
Community support networks are also emerging throughout Staffordshire.
Stafford Borough Council have issued a call for community volunteers and as one of the Governments recognised hub’s for community help for Stafford. The hub is a place where people can register to help others in the borough.
Support Staffordshire’s Coronavirus Community Support Effort allows volunteers to register interest to help those in isolation in their local area. It also includes some top tips on how to be a good neighbour to reassure others that you’re not a fraudster.
Local people have also taken to social media to support those in isolation. Facebook has seen a surge in new groups being created specifically for helping those who are vulnerable, elderly and in isolation. The Stafford Coronavirus Support Network and Burton-upon-Trent Coronavirus Outreach are prime examples of this.
Community support networks are popping up all over the country bringing community spirit to the forefront of our minds at this critical time.
United communities are strong communities!