ACTION is being taken to support and co-ordinate voluntary groups across Reading in response to the Coronavirus outbreak.
The Government’s latest advice issued yesterday is that people should avoid non-essential contact. Reading Borough Council understands many people across the town will be concerned about the impact on elderly and vulnerable people in particular, who are either self-isolating at home or avoiding contact.
Reading Borough Council is now committing to enhancing capacity in the town’s voluntary sector in response. Reading boasts a large and vastly experienced 3rd sector who will have a huge role to play in the difficult weeks and months head.
A community response group has been swiftly formed by Reading Borough Council and voluntary sector organisations across Reading as part of a joint commitment to provide the additional support needed. The group’s first meeting will take place tomorrow (March 18th) where the most effective way to provide that support across Reading’s communities will be discussed.
Voluntary groups will be invited to apply for a share of money from a new Council funding pot of up to £100,000, in order to reach out to people in need of help and to provide extra support to vulnerable members of the community in Reading.
Groups can find support, resources and ways to volunteer via Reading Voluntary Action’s own website: http://rva.org.uk/coronavirus-community-action/ Information will be updated further over the days to come. People can sign up for RVA news at: https://us2.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=785c6f1e37840e6e22d8e1548&id=d83bc1b111
Council Leader Jason Brock said:
“The latest guidance from Government is based on the advice of medical professionals, and I would urge people to follow that advice.
“It is of course a difficult time, but I know families and close friends in Reading are already reaching out to relatives and offering their help and support where it is needed. The Council would urge people who need help to contact people they know and trust and not to be too proud to ask for support, whether that is picking up some shopping or something as simple as a regular chat over the phone. We would also ask people to show some degree of caution if they seek support from people they do not know and check with Reading Citizen’s Advice if in doubt (http://rcab.org.uk/).
“In the meantime, the Council will make extra funds available and move to help co-ordinate voluntary sector groups across Reading, who I am certain will rise to this challenge. Reading’s 3rd sector is unrivalled in terms of both its size and experience and we intend to support it to allow communities to make full use of it in the weeks and months ahead.”
For more information on voluntary organisations across Reading go to http://servicesguide.reading.gov.uk