Community Shield: getting food supplies to our most vulnerable residents
Community Shield is the national effort to provide food and supplies to the country's most vulnerable residents during the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis.
In Essex, Community Shield is run by the Essex Resilience Forum, a group of all the public sector organisations in the county.
Community Shield has initially identified two groups of people that most need support:
· The most vulnerable to coronavirus due to age and serious pre-existing health conditions. These people have already been identified and contacted through the NHS or social care providers.
· People who are who are also considered vulnerable because they are over the age of 70, are pregnant, or have underlying health conditions, and they do not have friends or family to support them.
In Essex, food supplies started to arrive for onward distribution to residents at the weekend (28/29 March). The food packages are being dispatched from three distribution hubs in Witham, Southend and Thurrock.
A wider group of people in Essex are also vulnerable to coronavirus because they are over the age of 70, are pregnant, or have underlying health conditions. These are people who may not have the support of friends or family or neighbours. It is our aim and role to provide them with food deliveries if they need them.
The Essex Welfare Service (EWS) is administering the support systems for these residents. The EWS is using the services of Provide, who run health and social care services.
People will be asked to register with the EWS if they need assistance getting food or medicine. They will be contacted by the NHS/GP surgeries this week (w/c Monday 30 March).
If you have NOT been contacted by your GP surgery and you need the food supplies, you can contact the EWS by:
· visiting the Essex Welfare Service website
· telephoning 0300 303 9988 (Monday to Friday, 8am - 7pm; Saturday and Sunday 10am - 2pm).
The Essex Resilience Forum is working with supermarkets, delivery companies and other organisations to develop supply lines.
District councils, like Uttlesford, may also use local community hubs and the support of volunteers to run their operations.
This would be organised through the new Uttlesford Community Response helpline. If you want to sign up to help as a volunteer in Uttlesford, call 03333 408 218 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updates about Community Shield will be posted on the Essex County Council website, and via Essex County Council and Uttlesford District Council's social media channels.
The latest government advice on coronavirus is available on the Public Health England (PHE) website, and further information about preventing, recognising or dealing with the virus is available on the NHS website.
30 March 2020