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News

Coronavirus – how you can help

Categories: East Sheen,East Sheen News,News

Last updated 24 March

The latest government guidance is:

Stay at home
Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home)
Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
Wash your hands as soon as you get home

More details here.

With the spread of coronavirus in the UK, more and more vulnerable people and families enter self-isolation. There are many ways you can help your fellow residents and several groups are welcoming new volunteers. The council’s Richmond Council for Voluntary Service (Richmond CVS) is coordinating the efforts.

If you want to help, sign up with Richmond upon Thames’ official volunteering database and specify that you want to support the COVID-19 response. Your details will then be passed to other relevant voluntary groups helping with the coronavirus response.

By registering with Richmond CVS, you will be partnered with key groups who will allocate you to volunteering tasks. These may include:

  • Shopping for food/supplies
  • Delivering food/supplies to vulnerable residents
  • Picking-up and delivering prescriptions
  • Having a friendly phone conversation with those at risk of loneliness when in isolation
  • Walking dogs for those self-isolating
  • Supporting with critical transport needs
  • Helping with digital skills coaching

Richmond CVS is working with local volunteer and neighbour organisations such as Age UK, FiSH and others. They require volunteers to undergo DBS checks and provide two references. This is an important step to protect the vulnerable in our community as there have been reports of Coronavirus scammers already. For information on ways to stay safe when volunteering please click here.

If you are a group in the borough who has been formed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact Richmond CVS to make sure you have the right processes in place to ensure the safety and wellbeing of those residents who are most vulnerable during this time.

Support your local businesses:

Please keep supporting your local businesses: most of them are now offering free home delivery. You can also purchase gift vouchers which you can use later – this is particularly helpful with their cash-flow. If you’re running a local business and would like to help with local deliveries or need help, please contact us. Are you a local business offering delivery? Get yourself listed on MP Sarah Olney’s website here which has a constantly updated list of businesses offering local delivery.

Support your local food bank:

Food banks around the country have experienced a drop in donations and some of them have difficulty getting some basic food items. Please support them with food donations or online. You can donate by card to your local food bank, the Richmond Food Bank at The Vineyard Community Centre here.

If you need help

If you or someone you know needs support to access medical/care services and food supplies, you can contact the council’s new Community Hub on 0208 871 6555 or covid19support@richmondandwandsworth.gov.uk. The helpline is for anyone in need of support or who has a question regarding coronavirus. However, it is particularly important for those who are elderly and/or vulnerable, to help them stay safe and well while they self-isolate at home.

How to protect yourself

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus. Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease. The current evidence is that most cases appear to be mild. 

What can you do to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus:

Stay home. Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds. Here is how to do it. Always wash your hands when you get home or into work. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitiser gel with an alcohol content of at least 60%. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze. Put used tissues in the bin immediately. Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus:

The symptoms of coronavirus are a cough, a high temperature and shortness of breath. But these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness. The symptoms are similar to other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu.

What to do if you think you might have coronavirus:

Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms. Stay at home for 7 days if you have either a high temperature or a new, continuous cough. If you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms. If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days. If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home.

If you think you have coronavirus or have been exposed to someone who has, stay home and use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do next. Stay home and avoid close contact with other people; don’t go to your GP or hospital. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you are anxious about coronavirus:

You might be worried about coronavirus and how it could affect your life. This may include being asked to stay at home or avoid other people. This might feel difficult or stressful. But there are lots of things you can try that could help your wellbeing. Find advice and helpful tips on the Mind website.

Further information:

Our MP, Sarah Olney has a list of local businesses offering local delivery on her website here.

Latest coronavirus information on GOV.UK.

All about coronavirus on the NHS website.

Further guidance for businesses.

Author: Bori Kiss

Bori has been a member of the ESV team for a few years now. She loves long walks in Richmond Park and coffee that's not too hot to drink.