Cllr Peter Mason, cabinet lead for Ealing Together, on how the council, voluntary groups, faith groups and charities are working together to support local people through Covid-19.
When the Covid-19 crisis first hit our borough, Ealing’s communities were quick to respond. Within days we saw mutual aid groups springing up all over Ealing, with local people volunteering to help friends and neighbours who needed help with shopping or a friendly voice on the phone during difficult times.
Our voluntary, community and faith groups have always been part of what makes Ealing such a great place to live, and many of them have scaled up their operations in a way that we didn’t initially think was possible.
As a council we wanted to help facilitate existing and new groups to support even more people during this public health crisis. We set up Ealing Together as a collaboration between local community and voluntary groups, Ealing Council and other public services and concerned residents that want to help. We’re also making funding and advice available so that everyone who needs help can access it.
Ealing Together has spoken to an incredible 6,000 people to ask if they need our help. We’ve delivered over 3,000 food parcels to those who need it, and dedicated council staff are still calling people on the government shielded list to ask how we can help.
We’ve been in awe of the number of people who want to help our community – there was such an outpouring of enthusiasm that Ealing Together had to temporarily pause volunteer recruitment when we hit 500. I’m pleased to say that recruitment is now open again, and you can find out more on the Ealing Together website.
We don’t know how long the Covid-19 crisis will go on for, or how long this lockdown will last. What we do know is that there are people who need our support now, and there will be challenges for our borough when life begins to return to normal. If you want to help support Ealing through the lockdown or the recovery, add your details to the pool of volunteers with Ealing Together.
Finally I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has given their time or expertise to help during this really challenging time. We couldn’t have done this without you.