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Woman brings basket of shopping to elderly lady's door

Communities coming together

by Gemma Melling

Communities across Knowsley have risen to the challenge of supporting those in need during the Coronavirus crisis.

Every day we are seeing examples of locals reaching out to friends, neighbours and vulnerable people in our neighbourhoods to make sure they’re receiving the support they need.

Since its creation on 21 March Knowsley’s Community Support and Volunteer Line – which was set up to offer extra help to those facing hardship and harness volunteering support during the crisis – has received more than 3,000 calls, with the majority coming from individuals / businesses offering support or signing up to volunteer.

There’s been less demand from people asking for support, and feedback from the council’s ‘safe and well’ calls to residents has revealed that most people are receiving the help they need from their friends and neighbours with shopping and prescription needs.

Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods Cllr Shelley Powell said: “The helpline isn’t currently receiving the volume of calls which we might have expected from those seeking help – proof that people are “stepping up” in their own communities and going that extra mile to help their family, friends and neighbours.

“This is a great reflection of the resilience and warmth of Knowsley’s communities. The spirit and support being shown is quite remarkable – Knowsley Better Together is very clearly alive and well.

“We’ve also had an amazing response from businesses and people offering to volunteer their time or services to help others. From businesses making donations of food to the Foodbank to volunteers delivering shopping to people who are self-isolating – this willingness to help is making a real difference.”

And she made a call to anyone who does need support during the crisis, particularly those who are self-isolating without family support, to ring the helpline.

She added: “Please remember Knowsley’s Freephone Community Support and Volunteer Line is here to help and will continue to step in with the support of our volunteers, local businesses, partner agencies and council teams.

“So please keep a lookout for anyone who may need help – either let us know about them yourself or ask them to call us on 0800 073 0043 between 9am-5pm Monday to Friday and between 10am-2pm at weekends.”