THE One Reading Community Hub action line is now live – a place where people in need of help are connected with volunteers, organisations and services who can support them during the Covid-19 outbreak.
If you are someone in very urgent need of help, then check the Government websites and the Council website for information first. If you cannot get the help you need to stay safe and healthy, then the action line is there for you.
If you are a person, business or organisation that wants to offer support to voluntary organisations across Reading who are out on the ground helping people, please ring and the hub will pass your details on.
The number to call is 0808 1894325. The phoneline is open 9am-5pm and 5 days a week. Residents, volunteers, businesses and organisations can also get in contact with the One Reading Community Hub online at www.reading.gov.uk/coronavirussupport
As the service is only just up and running today, we would ask people to bear with us as the team works to become fully operational. People are asked to only ring if their need is urgent and there is no other option.
The One Reading Community Hub will collect information and connect them with the right service or organisation in Reading to provide support, making full use of the town’s wide network of community and voluntary groups.
In terms of volunteers, there is a particular need for people with public service experience and who have counselling skills. It is also helpful if volunteers have a car, but the hub will register anyone who can offer help.
The public is being urged to only contact the hub if they have urgent welfare needs which a family member or trusted friend cannot help them with. This is so that resources can be directed to the people that need it most at this challenging time. All offers of help and support are welcome from individuals, businesses and other organisations. The hub cannot provide health advice and will direct customers to NHS 111.
The One Reading Community Hub is a partnership between Reading Borough Council, Reading Voluntary Action and Reading’s wide and varied voluntary and community sector.
Reading Borough Council Leader Jason Brock said:
“The challenge of tackling the spread and impact of the Covid-19 virus is greater than anything we have seen in many generations, but Reading is well placed to rise to that challenge.
“We need to quickly connect vulnerable people in need with the many volunteers, groups and organisations across the town who are ready and waiting to offer help and support. That is particularly important at this critical time.
“I would urge people in genuine need – and without other options – not to hesitate to call the One Reading Community Hub phoneline, or contact it online, where staff will collate information and link people in need of help to individuals, organisations or services which can support them. The hub is also the place where people and organisations can offer their time. We already know Reading is responding magnificently in terms of volunteers.
“This is about ensuring the help on offer is easy to access, meets people’s needs and is safe. Reading’s vibrant voluntary sector has mobilised, as has its business community. Now is the time to match them with people who need their help.”
The launch of the One Reading Community Hub phoneline forms one part of Reading Borough Council’s overall response to the Coronavirus outbreak in Reading.
At a specially convened Policy Committee meeting tonight (Mar 24), to be held via remote conference call, the Council will discuss its proposed Strategic Framework to support vulnerable residents in the town and protect its local economy in the wake of the Coronavirus crisis. The Policy Committee Report and Framework can be found at: https://democracy.reading.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?MId=3350&x=1
The Council’s Strategic Framework is split into three priority headings:
- Support and protect vulnerable children and adults by ensuring the social care system continues to function effectively
- Support the people who are most vulnerable and isolated in our communities
- Support businesses and the local economy, and secure Reading’s economic recovery
Councillor Brock said:
“The Council has acted swiftly and decisively since the Government announced social distancing measures last week. Staff have responded so impressively to the immediate challenges posed by the pandemic, working in different ways to continue to deliver the vital services which our residents require. My thanks goes to all of them.
“We are clear in what we need to do to play our part in leading the response in Reading and we have the staff, the skills, the infrastructure, the partners and – most importantly – the will to do it. The proposed framework will help shape priorities and resources over difficult the weeks and months to come.”