Keeping Communities Connected Through the Covid Crisis

Making sure hard to reach communities like Gypsies and Travellers are well supported during the lockdown is all in a day’s work for our Community Development Worker who has helped one client who didn’t understand who she could spend time with during the lockdown and was still visiting family. Our Community Development explained the rules clearly and the client understood that she must stay at home and stop visiting her son and grandchildren.  Our Community Development Worker also recently responded to a call for help from another client who needed help to fill in self assessment forms for the local authority as her husband was self-employed and could no longer work.  We suggested that she contact the council directly, supplied her with a list of questions to ask her and made some suggestions she could make to them regarding when and how she could submit the paperwork.  Later the client confirmed that the local authority was satisfied with the information received from our client and had advised that the paperwork could wait until the lockdown was lifted.

Surrey Community Action supports over 100 good neighbour schemes across Surrey with information and advice.  We have supported them in various ways since the Covid-19 pandemic to help them to remain as active and effective as possible.  We have supplied information on how to protect volunteers’ well-being if they are transporting clients in their cars, given advice on how to collect prescriptions safely or access funding, matched them with new volunteers and supplied I.D. lanyards for new mutual aid groups which have sprung up to support existing schemes such as Send Community Aid for example, which has been set up in Send to assist Send Help, a local good neighbour scheme which has had to scale back due to the age of their volunteers.  We are now helping schemes to source PPE as clients start to resume their regular GP appointments and hospital check-ups.

Our Inspiring Enterprise Advisers are reaching out to people who are furloughed or suddenly made redundant to signpost them to training, offer help with CV writing and assist them with business plans and websites and all the foundations for a new business whilst they have this down time to work on it and so they are ready to hit the ground running once we’re out of lockdown.