Coronavirus (COVID-19) - I Can Give Help and Support

We know you'll want to help your community and we’re encouraging everyone to look out for anyone in their immediate area who might need help, whilst also keeping themselves safe.

What can I do to help my family, friends and neighbours?

Wherever possible people who are self-isolating are being encouraged to ask for help from family, friends, and neighbours.  If you can help others, let your family, friends and neighbours know if you're available and what you can do to help.

The type of help you could offer includes:

  • collecting and delivering shopping – leaving deliveries on the doorstep or safe place to avoid close physical contact;
  • suggesting local shopping options and trusted suppliers;
  • collecting and delivering prescriptions if you are the nominated person registered with the GP;
  • caring for pets;
  • regular social contact via telephone, FaceTime, skype calls or other methods that will avoid physical contact (offering to call your neighbour who can’t get out so they have someone to chat to on the phone could make all the difference);
  • encouraging people to contact others in the same situation by linking people together;
  • delivering books and magazines or materials to support hobbies such as wool for knitting or art materials;
  • reassuring people with accurate and up to date advice and information; and
  • signposting people to other sources of help if needed. 

What else can I do to help?

We're aware that informal networks of volunteers have been set up.  We're also encouraging established local groups to consider what support they may be able to provide.  There may be a group in your neighbourhood that needs extra volunteers.

There are also a number of social media groups that have been set up in towns, villages and local neighbourhoods. People have signed up to offer their time to help people who are self-isolating.  Our advice is that help should wherever possible avoid physical contact and be focussed on immediate local areas.

You can find government guidance on coordinating a local group.

If you're volunteering, it's also important that you manage your own wellbeing.  Please follow national guidance on what action to take to stay safe.

Information for voluntary organisations, charities and community groups

Voluntary organisations, charities and community groups provide valuable services, activities and opportunities for social contact. Often these groups are for older people and many of the volunteers will be older themselves. 

If you're a voluntary or community group and have recently stopped delivering services and activities or you’re thinking about doing so please let us know. This may be your contract manager, stronger communities or the service development team. If you’re unsure who your usual contact is please call the North Yorkshire County Council customer service centre on 01609 780 780.

There are other things volunteers can do to help reduce the risk of loneliness and social isolation of your members and others in your community such as:

  • phoning people to check they are ok and to have a chat;
  • encouraging group members to contact each other by asking for permission to share contact details;
  • helping people with things such as shopping or caring for pets during periods of self-isolation; and
  • encouraging people self-isolating to ask family, friends and neighbours for help.
  • If you know of anybody in your community who you think needs support and where they don’t have anyone locally who can help, please encourage them to contact the North Yorkshire County Council customer service centre on 01609 780780.

Community First Yorkshire are posting regular updates to support voluntary sector groups.

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations is also keeping its website regularly updated with ideas and advice.

Covid-19 information to help migrants, and those supporting them.

NHS Volunteer Responders

NHS Volunteer Responders has been set up to support the NHS during the Covid-19 outbreak. To do this they need an 'army' of volunteers who can support the 1.5m people in England who are at most risk from the virus to stay well.  Doctors. nurses and other professionals are able to refer people in to NHS Volunteer Responders and be confident that they have been matched with a reliable, named volunteer. You can join today.