Stuart Hyde QPM, who leads the Ilkley Coronavirus Response Group (ICRG) said in the latest virtual meeting last Thursday:
“As we celebrate Volunteers Week, we recognise the commitment of so many volunteers during the Coronavirus crisis. Volunteers week is an annual celebration of the contribution of all those volunteering across the UK.
Although the coronavirus pandemic has put a stop to many of the usual ways in which people volunteer, we have seen that organisations such as CABAD, Ilkley Good Neighbours and Churches Together have mobilised volunteers to help support residents and the local community. We have also seen many people, who have never volunteered before, come forward to help through the scrubs project or give their time shopping or befriending those in need.
Throughout the crisis Ilkley’s community and partnership-based approach has worked extremely well to ensure that all members of our community have been looked after during these challenging times, and the group is now looking to explore how we can to do this post-lockdown.”
The group brings together district and local councillors, medical and social care representatives and organisations from the voluntary sector in the town. The group’s aim is to work co-operatively across the town in the face of the Coronavirus crisis.
Representatives from the voluntary sector reported that neighbourhood groups continue to work together locally to ensure that vulnerable people are receiving support. This includes the Ilkley care home entertainment initiative which is going very well. Working with Les Goldman from the Two Rivers Band the team works to match requests for music from local care and residential homes with musicians, who then visit and perform following social distancing guidelines.
The meeting also heard about Make Music Day UK on Sunday 21st June when local musicians involved in the scheme will try to play at as many care homes as possible that day.
Helen Rhodes, from Ilkley BID gave a report on the support being offered to local businesses, including the w ork being undertaken through BID on Social Distancing as shops begin to re-open in June. The BID team are working to identify street ‘hotspots’ for queuing, look at the advice given from Highways, as well as researching which stores and businesses plan to become operational again.
The BID has also been working with The Ilkley Business Forum and recently gave a presentation covering the advice on grants via BMDC and #TogetherBradfordCan campaign and the ‘ Ilkley to you’ campaign. David Shaw, who gave the report on behalf of the Ilkley Business Forum also highlighted the launch by Ilkley Town Football Club of an initiative called ’Shop Local’ to help local businesses post Covid-19. It’s a service to help market and provide an e-commerce platform to all local business owners.
The meeting heard that the Scrubs sewing project has now sewn and delivered over 500 sets of scrubs to local GPs, community mental health teams and hospices, as well as GPs further afield who have been unable to source scrubs. Having reached such an amazing total the sewing team will be taking a break from sewing scrubs, and focussing on producing face coverings.
Over 1000 face coverings have now been sewn and delivered to Tesco’s, Booth and Ilkley Good Neighbours for distribution. The target for the group is 5000 and meeting heard from Dr Caroline Rayment reinforcing the government advice to ‘if you can, wear a face covering in enclosed public spaces, such as shops or public transport, where social distancing isn’t possible and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.’ Dr Rayment explain how facing coverings are important because if you are infected but have not yet developed symptoms, it may provide some protection for others you come into close contact with.
The meeting heard how the Ilkley Coronavirus website was continuing to provide information and access to funding for local charities sand groups adversely affected by the pandemic.