Whittington Parish Council intend to set up a structure to enable essential supplies and human contact / support, (of a suitable nature), to reach vulnerable people in isolation, whether by linking with Council and Emergency Services arrangements, or locally within the Parish.
It is important that security of information obtained is maintained in order that the identification of the vulnerable to those who may exploit this for criminal purposes is avoided. Thus, Data Protection principles should be followed as best as possible.
1) Divide up the Parish into Sectors. Allot Sectors in the first instance to Councillors, with a view to adding ‘sector volunteers’ asap.
a) Whittington Village: Whittington ‘village’/Whittington Walk / Whittington on Pershore Road side / ‘St Peters Whittington’
Councillors: Burrows, Knights, Macleod, Brooker, Stepniewski
Councillors: Bayliss, Potter (with assistance from others as required)
2) Identify people willing to assist on a voluntary basis in each sector and obtain contact details. Set up a secure central database of helpers (with their permission), with a single administrator (Councillor Brooker)
3) Identify and make contact with vulnerable people in order that they are aware of support offered and know how to make contact to obtain it. Whilst there is local knowledge of the potentially vulnerable and support has already been offered in places, it is potentially patchy. A comprehensive coverage of the vulnerable will require assistance from authority and the public.
Linking to Authority
The Parish Council have registered with the County Council as an organisation that can provide assistance and have received acknowledgement. Initially we will await direction whilst attending locally to any issues of support required that are brought to our attention
Publicising the initiative
Potential methods of publicising (we will await Council direction initially).
- Notices on our noticeboards
- Leaflet drop
- Facebook / Social Media
- Local Radio (BBC Hereford & Worcester)
- Linking to Wychavon Council & CALC (done 20.3.20)
- Whatsapp group for Councillor (done)
- Skype / Zoom communications between Councillors asap to enable ‘live’ discussion (done) and, when the legislation changes, to allow future Parish Council meetings to be held remotely.
- E mail distribution lists for Councillors & volunteers (as required)
- Social Media: It is proposed to use the Parish Council Facebook Page as the central social media point of contact and information exchange. We can point people to this from other FB pages. Those not on Facebook can be supplied with information as required by those on it. We will set up a separate Coronovirus page on the Parish Council website with official information links and add pertinent items as they arise. We will direct people from the website to the FB page. This will be restricted to those living on the Parish or having vulnerable residents for which they have concerns. The Facebook Page can be protected via questions and Administrator judgement. Restriction is required to prevent overload.
Whittington Village Hall, whilst currently closed pending rebuild, is still usable and can be re-opened if required. This could be used for instance as a supplies delivery and distribution point if required.
There is no doubt that criminals will try and exploit this situation, indeed it is already happening with online fraud. Of particular concern would be publicly identifying the elderly and vulnerable and sanctioning ‘strangers’ knocking their doors. This must be borne in mind in any arrangements made.
We need to be aware of this possibility, and not just for the elderly. If it becomes an issue there will be various ‘non-contact’ options to explore. We can develop this further as necessary