With the threat posed by COVID-19, organisations and individuals have been mobilised across Erdington to support its elderly and vulnerable residents.
An Emergency Assets Register has been compiled which currently lists groups who are ready to take up the call for co-ordinating and delivering services to those in need.
These include setting up community foodbanks in local wards, distributing food and household supplies, collecting medical prescriptions and providing bespoke befriending support, advice and guidance.
The Register can be found by clicking the link HERE
Witton Lodge Community Association is working in conjunction with the Erdington COVID-19 Taskforce to rally local organisations and residents to support people in need across wider community.
Reaching vulnerable and elderly residents has never been more critical. The level of support, care and provision they need during these unprecedented times demands a co-ordinated and strategic response. By working together, we are more likely to achieve this.
The Erdington Taskforce brings together every organisation who can make a difference, mobilising an army of volunteers to ensure where there is need, those needs are met. You can access contact details for all Taskforce organisations by clicking on the group’s web directory HERE
As a community, Erdington has responded brilliantly to the problems created by the Coronavirus outbreak. With community organisations and groups, residents and businesses all pulling together to support one another.
The focus remains on reaching and supporting those who have been identified as being vulnerable and most at risk – the elderly and those living with medical conditions.
If you – or someone you know – are in need of urgent support the the information below is to enable you to get the quickest access to the help you need in order that you keep safe and your physical and emotional wellbeing is positively maintained.
But before engaging with any of the help on offer below we would ask you to consider three questions.
1. Could the help you need be provided by friends and family? The majority of informal support delivered across the city will be offered by people who already know each other The social distancing requirements allow for many different types of support to be provided by friends and family. This needs to be undertaken safely.
2. Could you get the help you need in the way you did before the Coronavirus outbreak? Although there has been significant disruption to many of the systems around the district please don’t assume your existing ways of getting help don’t work. If you accessed support from a particular place prior to the Coronavirus outbreak and you need similar support this is the first place to try and get help.
3. Could you pay for the what you need? Many of us have experienced disruption in our lives and now need support in order to access the goods and services we used to purchase in a shop. Whilst it is not appropriate for everyone many of the shops selling the essentials we need to get by are still open. You are still able to buy things over the internet. If you have access to the internet, but previously accessed goods and services through physical shops, now may be the time to learn how to do more of your shopping on-line. With everyone switching over to internet shopping you may find this challenging, but please try to utilise this way of accessing what you need if at all possible.
Last but not least, members of the Taskforce – including Witton Lodge Community Association – have come together to produce a music video, to raise the profile of the group and help reach more people with its provision and support services. Check out the video below – and don’t forget to singalong!!!
PERRY COMMON SUPPORT
A Community Response Team has been established in Perry Common and Wyrley Birch to help elderly and vulnerable residents living in these communities during the Coronavirus outbreak.
Witton Lodge Community Association, St Martins Church, Urban Devotion Birmingham, The Net Pentecostal Church and St Margaret Mary Church have joined forces to help residents who are in need of practical support, advice and guidance.
Services being offered include the purchase, delivery and distribution of food and hot-cooked meals, the supply of household goods and collection of medicine and prescriptions. Befriending services are also being provided to anyone who is isolated or concerned for their welfare.
If you would like to donate food or household supplies to support the work being carried out by the team, you can drop items off, Monday to Friday, from 11am to 3pm at Perry Common Community Hall, Urban Devotion Birmingham (Hope House), The Net Pentecostal Church and St Margaret Mary Church.
COVID19 MUTUAL AID
Mutual aid groups are collections of citizens who are offering help in response to the Corona virus outbreak. Groups are operating at a local level to support people who have been impacted by the virus or the social restrictions that are needed to keep everyone safe. This is not an organisational offer or a service, but a way of supporting individuals to provide help.
You may have had some information through the door to advise you on who to contact if you need help, but you can search also the website https://covidmutualaid.org/ for groups local to you.
Citizens providing support to each other at a time of crisis is critical to keeping Erdington going but please keep in mind that this is not a managed service. If you, or a loved one, is a vulnerable person please think carefully about the appropriateness of your ask from these groups.
If you are looking to support the local community you may wish to contact the groups and find out how to get involved. If you would like to set up something in your area, the website above is the best place to access tools to support you in doing so. If you are running a local group please register with this website so others can access your support, and you can be supported to make the most effective contribution.
Erdington Local Community Response –
Kingstanding Mutual Aid Group –
SUPPORT FROM CHARITIES
The Route 2 Wellbeing Birmingham Portal is a directory of Wellbeing services across Birmingham, provided by the local voluntary, community and social enterprise sector. In order to help people find essential support during this difficult time, we have added a range of services and activities under a new category ‘COVID-19 Support’. This support is either specific to helping people during the crisis, or services that are able to continue running in a different capacity.
The portal can be found at https://r2wbirmingham.info/
This includes over more than 100 services and activities being offered by a wide range of organisations and groups across Birmingham. The range of support being offered includes; food shopping, food banks, financial advice, mental health, befriending, carers support, drug and alcohol support, homelessness, general community support, mutual aid groups and more.
You can search through the category for support most relevant to you, either by entering a key word (e.g befriending) or by distance from a post code – where you can set your location on the main page.
If you have received a communication from the NHS suggesting you need to ‘shelter’ for 12 weeks you are entitled to support from central government.
If you are unable to access food, but have not been asked to ‘shelter’ by the NHS you can self-refer to the Active Wellbeing Society. They are working with foodbanks and different food charities to get food out to people’s residences:
Finding help in my area
These contact points are another great way to offer your services as a volunteer at this time
Erdington – Witton Lodge Community Association
Perry Barr – Birmingham City Council Development & Support Unit
Sutton Coldfield – Age Concern Birmingham
0121 362 3650
Ladywood – Birmingham Settlement
|Maxine Reid, Community Action and Wellbeing Manager
Martin Holcombe, CEO
If you cannot get to what you need using any of the above routes please contact Witton Lodge Community Association on 0121 382 1930 who will support you in getting to the help you need.
ONLINE TRAINING AND SUPPORT
To counter the impact of the lockdown imposed as a result of the COVID19 pandemic Witton Lodge Community Association is now delivering its key support services online.
People who need help, advice and guidance around employment and health & wellbeing can now access a range of the Association’s services, tools and resources via platforms like Facebook, Zoom and Whatsapp.
To join a Zoom meeting simply click on the links embedded in the details below. If you would like to join a Whatsapp session, please call Nargas on 07539 206752 or Dellano on 07539 206727 to register your interest prior to the session taking place.
The latest timetable of support sessions is as follows:
Digital Skills Training: From 1-2pm via Whatsapp (and incorporating sessions on Zoom and Facebook Live)
Coronavirus Myth Buster: from 10-11am on Zoom
Volunteering opportunities information session: From 11.15am – 12.15pm on Zoom
Themed Sesssion: From 2-3pm on Zoom
Digital Community Support Training: From 10am to 12noon on Zoom
Job Club: From 11am to 12-noon on Zoom
Topical information session: From 2-3pm on Facebook Live
Employment support session: From 10-11am via Zoom
Social interaction group: From 11am-Noon via Whatsapp
Digital Community Support Training: From 2-3pm on Zoom
You can view the full-calendar by clicking on the link below
At Witton Lodge Community Association the focus is very clearly on supporting local residents in Perry Common and Wyrley Birch throughout the COVID19 outbreak. Provision and service delivery also extends to the wider Erdington community with work being done in partnership with other groups who are also supporting the elderly and vulnerable.
Urban Devotion Birmingham’s message during this time is ‘We’re Still Here’. Though we have had to suspend our face to face activities we are out in the community every day, distributing around 90 hot meals and food packages to families who need that extra support.
We’re continuing to connect with children, young people and families through instagram and facebook and are providing creative ideas and resources both online and through home deliveries. We’ve also launched Digital Chats – a mentoring and befriending service for children and young people across Erdington. Whether you just want a conversation or you need help with school work we’re here to help.
St Martin’s Church, Witton Lodge Road (and St Margaret’s Church, Jarvis Road (The Parish of Christ the King)
Sadly because of the Covid19 virus we have been ordered to close our church buildings but this does not mean the churches are not active.We are helping with Erdington’s response where we can; we are still here to help and support all those who need us by email, telephone and some social media platforms .
Instead of the many groups run by St Martin’s Social Care Project we have set up a WhatsApp Group. This is a Place of Welcome open for everyone to join in. ‘Colin’s Virtual Coffee Cafe’ helps people keep in touch, and make new friends, support each other, get help and generally lighten the load of isolation. If you would like to be part of a friendly, open and honest group please contact Debbie on 07545 477 519 and give her your mobile number.
Every Tuesday from 10-12pm we have a WhatsApp Quiz but people can use this platform to chat throughout the day, everyday, from breakfast to bedtime offering companionship and comfort and a good deal of fun.
We also have a Facebook Group attached to our Parish Facebook Page for families who use our family groups at St Margaret’s. You can also message us on facebook at www.facebook.com/Seetheking/
Sunday Services, weddings and baptisms are not possible under the present restrictions and funerals are only possible at the graveside or at crematoriums and then with a limit on mourners present. Revd. Ruth Souter continues to conduct these on request and is available to talk to and support those who cannot attend their loved ones funerals. Please contact her on 0121 373 9209 about this or indeed any support you need.
HEALTH AND WELLBEING
Counselling for COVID19
If you – or anyone you know – have been affected by the COVID19 crisis and live in Erdington Ward, we can offer free counselling sessions.
For further information please contact Fauzia/Debbie on 0121 382 1930.
For the latest Government and NHS advice around COVID19 please visit: www.gov.uk/coronavirus
The latest Government advice and guidance around Coronavirus has been translated into more than 40 different languages including Hindi, Punjabi, Bengali, Arabic, Urdu, Polish, Russian, Italian and Spanish. To access these documents click HERE
Videos offering the latest Coronavirus advice have been published in a range of different languages including Urdu, Bengali, Punjabi, Czech, Romanian, Polish, Arabic and Hindi. You can watch them HERE
Information leaflets and posters advising people on their responsibilities and behaviour during the Coronavirus outbreak have been produced in a variety of languages. Here, you can access instructions, in Punjabi, Benagli, Romanian, Polish and Hungarian.