Monday, 23 March 2020

Town & Parish Councils and the Community Response in the East Riding of Yorkshire to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

To All Town & Parish Councils in the East Riding of Yorkshire Work is now
well underway within East Riding of Yorkshire Council to determine how we
can together best support our vulnerable residents during this challenging
time as we all respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.  We are treating this
matter as one of our highest priorities.  We are going to tackle this by
working alongside the HEY Smile Foundation, a charity which works closely
with the private, public and voluntary sectors.  Plans are in place to set
up a contact centre which will take calls and receive emails from vulnerable
or at risk residents who most need our help and who cannot source that help
from friends, family or others.  This will be in place by the middle of week
commencing 23 March.  This centre will receive and record the requests for
help and will triage those requests and source the best solution.
I know that your council is also working hard on this and will want to do
everything you can to support residents living within your boundaries.  We
are very much aware of the great work and community spirit that has been
established over the last few weeks across the East Riding by town and
parish councils, community groups and residents in response to the pandemic.
We would like to sincerely thank you for your all your efforts.
 It is really humbling to see what communities have achieved and the support
structures that have been put into place in such a short period of time.
The support systems that have been set up in your community will be integral
to this work.  It would be very helpful to have the best possible
understanding of what community and other groups there are out there across
the East Riding willing to help those residents who most need it and who
cannot source that help from friends, family or others.
It would be very helpful if you, as town and parish councils, could
encourage any community or voluntary groups, along with those groups set up
on social media channels, to register their details on www.beecan.org .
 This website is hosted by the HEY Smile Foundation and the aim is to build
up a detailed database of organisations that can work alongside us and build
our resilience when helping those in need.  Guidance on how to register can
be found in this video - https://youtu.be/q2Xy2Yd0TFs .  If there are any
difficulties with registering, please email Andy Barber at the HEY Smile
Foundation on ab@heysmilefoundation.org and he will resolve the matter.
Once the contact centre is ready to go, details will be widely publicised
via numerous channels.  As Town and Parish Councils, I know you want to
continue to play a key role in this effort over the coming weeks. I will
write to you again next week with a further update on this work.  I will be
in a position then to give you more specific details about how this will
work.  In the meantime, I would like to thank you for your on-going support
and efforts.
Darren Stevens
Director of Corporate Resources, East Riding of Yorkshire Council

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