Sheffield's voluntary sector pull together to help those most in need during coronavirus crisis
Voluntary Action Sheffield has created a new network of over 30 different charities in the region, to support those hit hardest by Covid-19.
Charities across the city have been working together to coordinate food deliveries and provide practical and emotional support to people who are struggling as a result of the coronavirus.
It comes after the Prime Minister announced a nationwide lock down a month ago, leaving vulnerable people to depend on remote food deliveries.
More than 1,000 people have signed up to become a Voluntary Action Sheffield, (VAS) volunteer and help the community battle the coronavirus.
The charity has set up an online portal to help grass roots community organisations – such as Weston Park Cancer Charity and Pitsmoor Adventure Playground – access their database of volunteers directly.
Chief Executive of VAS, Maddy Desforges said: “It’s a sign of the strength of Sheffield that people are keen to offer support through these difficult circumstances and help out in their community.
“The voluntary sector often know people in the community, they’ve got relationships and they support people day to day. Through this network we are harnessing that capacity and that local knowledge, and we’re also making sure there is a two-way conversation with the institutions coordinating our emergency response at a city and city region level.”
Charities across Sheffield have adapted their services in line with social distancing guidelines, making phone calls and using the internet in order to support those who most need it.
Finance and Funding Manager at Pitsmoor Adventure Playground, Fran Belbin said: “By working in partnership with other community organisations, our local community hubs are providing services including shopping, food bank referrals, friendly phone calls to people who are isolated and advice on keeping safe, benefits and employment rights.
“Through our local knowledge we are able to target services and messages to the people who need them most."
Sheffield residents in need of support during the coronavirus pandemic, are encouraged to visit the Sheffield COVID Support Map to access support from nearby mutual aid organisations.