Coronavirus support group COVID-19 Mutual Aid UK sets up South Shields wings - how to help vulnerable people who are self-isolating near you
A newly-formed organisation is looking for volunteers to help those impacted by the outbreak of the coronavirus in South Tyneside – with branches set up in each area of the borough.
The South Tyneside arm of COVID-19 Mutual Aid UK is appealing for residents to them help reach those who are unable to leave their homes.
As of Thursday, March 19 there are more than 2,600 confirmed cases in the UK, 103 people have died and 65 have recovered.
On March 16, Prime Minister Boris Johnson advised people to stop non-essential contact with others and avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and other social venues in an attempt to slow the spread of coronavirus.
From the coming weekend vulnerable groups are expected to be told to self-isolate to reduce the risk of them becoming ill.
A COVID-19 Mutual Aid group has now been set up in each of the 18 council wards across South Tyneside.
Working alongside the council, volunteers will have access to a mobile phone, through which residents can contact them if they need help or support.
They will collect and deliver essential items to people’s homes and offer to undertake tasks such as dog-walking.
The groups also aim to help those who are struggling with their mental health by putting people in touch to chat on the phone.
“The overriding thing is getting everybody in the community to know that we are here for each other,” said South Tyneside coordinator, Zoe Scott.
“We are all in this together and we want to support everyone and let people know that they are not on their own.”
She added: “There will be no face-to-face contact and we don’t want anybody working alone. We also want everybody to be DBS checked.
“It’s about making sure people have what they need in a safe way.”
Each group needs people to help raise awareness and is also looking for sponsorship to support them in the coming months.
Volunteers are particularly needed in the following wards: Monkton, Boldon Colliery, Hebburn North, Horsley Hill and Primrose.
Contact [email protected] to be put in touch with your nearest group.