Derby City Council has joined together with partners to create a new Derby Covid Community Response Hub to help those most vulnerable during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Council, together with Community Action Derby, Derby Homes, the University of Derby, and linking into Derby Covid-19 Mutual Aid Facebook group to coordinate help and support for people who live alone or who are self-isolating with partners or relatives during this national crisis.

One aim of the group is to match up potential volunteers with those people most affected by the current crisis, so if you don’t know of anyone in need where you live then get in touch and we’ll direct you to someone who needs your help.

The group will be encouraging potential volunteers to be a good neighbour and focus on people who need support, however big or small, in their immediate local neighbourhood. This includes those who may need help with shopping, prescriptions and other small tasks and will reduce the need for potential volunteers to travel to other areas of the city reducing the possible spread of infection.  If you can help out in your immediate local neighbourhood please do!

You could use this as an opportunity to get to know that person you only wave at occasionally and if there is a silver lining to the current situation then perhaps it can be the creation of tighter-knit, friendly communities that look out for each other.

Volunteers, and those who need help can contact DerbyDirect on 01332 640000 from Tuesday 24th March. The line will open between 9.00am and 6.00pm, Monday to Saturday. Deaf people can text 07774333412, and there’s also a dedicated email address that can be contacted; covidsupport@communityactionderby.org.uk

Cllr Chris Poulter, Leader of Derby City Council, said:

We’ve already seen a great response from the public at this critical time, and we need that to continue – combining resources and helping our most vulnerable.

There are a lot of people in our communities who are in great need of our support to stay safe and get through the coming period of time. Please check up on your neighbours, isolating and get in touch with the group if you’d like to help.

Kim Harper, CEO at Community Action Derby, said:

The role of Community Action is to support our communities and particularly volunteers in Derby. We have had a huge response to calls for help locally and have worked hard with partners to ensure that there is a coordinated network of volunteers in place to support vulnerable individuals during these extraordinary times. We are incredibly grateful to our statutory and community partners for the speed at which they have responded to ensure that this essential support is in place.