Date issued: 20 March 2020
During these worrying and unprecedented times Colchester Borough Council (CBC) continues to work closely with local strategic partners, branded together as One Colchester. The council, Voluntary Sector, Police, Health, Education and Business Community along with many others make up the partnership and are committed to close collaboration in support of our communities.
The council delivers many critical services that must continue regardless and like our partners we are having to redesign and change how we operate daily, sharing resources to support our most vulnerable residents not only makes sense but is essential.
A CBC Community Response team has been mobilised, closely aligned to Community 360 (C360) and dedicated to providing support, advice and assistance to those who need it across the borough. Colchester's amazing communities have responded in force, volunteers, groups and activities springing up with local leaders to help those in need and the Council is supporting this social movement however it can.
Initial activities from the Community Response team include gathering information about all the support that is available to share, finding out what the problems are and helping to remove barriers, providing and sharing advice and information, working with businesses to store and provide essential equipment, and share information and deployment of volunteers.
Our Business community, despite all their own challenges are stepping up and helping in so many ways and the council is committed to supporting and keeping them up to date with advice and information as soon as things are shared from Government at www.colchester.gov.uk/coronavirus
Organisations or groups who need advice or support are encouraged to contact the Communities Response team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
C360 is already co-ordinating an extensive volunteer response, along with many local communities who are mobilising themselves into action.
If you would like to volunteer, please click on the link to complete an Essex Coronavirus Action volunteer form http://bit.ly/ecaformgroups
If you need volunteer help, please email email@example.com or call 012016 505250.
The council’s Digital Access Team is supporting residents who are self-isolating to get connected. Whether you need support setting up your online grocery shop, ordering your repeat prescriptions via the NHS app, or Skyping loved ones – they’re able to help. Residents can contact the team by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01206 282452.
There is also advice and support available on many websites, the key council one is colchester.gov.uk/coronavirus and C360 is community360.org.uk/covid-19 but many local communities have set up social media and Facebook pages, the main one being Essex Coronavirus Action group, which may also be of use. Residents can also volunteer on this site.
Councillor Michael Lilley, Colchester Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Communities, Wellbeing and Public Safety, said: We are, through our joined up Strategic partnership of One Colchester, changing some of our roles and redesigning services to ensure we continue to be ready to support those who need it during these unprecedented times.
“There is already some amazing work happening in our communities, which has naturally occurred by people’s genuine kindness and concern for others. The Communities Response Team will proactively work to link residents to local organisations and community groups so they can access the support they need.”
Cllr Mark Cory, Leader of Colchester Borough Council, said: “The response from our communities has been brilliant so far. Many people are offering help to support those in need. We have a long road ahead but I see people pulling together in a great way. The best way to help others remains keeping to strict social distancing, self-isolation and not panic buying in the shops.”