Coronavirus group hears 360 people have enrolled to volunteer


The Ilkley Coronavirus Response Group hosted their weekly virtual meeting on Thursday 9 April 2020, bringing 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.

Reports from all the agencies confirmed how well the area arrangements are working to support the local community. It was felt that the priority is now are to ensure things continue to run smoothly, ensure consistency of approach, reduce duplication and make the journey for anyone requiring help as straightforward as possible.

360 people have enrolled to volunteer and are now able to support their local communities with practical help such as shopping and telephone befriending, as well as with leaflet distribution and the scrub sewing project.

Representatives from the voluntary sector reported that there are now 21 neighbour groups working together locally to ensure that vulnerable people are receiving support. There was also an update from Equality Together, helping support people with disabilities to Live Independently – Live Safe and Well at Home. A message from Jill Griffiths Operations Managers said:

“Anyone with equipment difficulties during this period do let me know by calling 01274 594173 or 01274 592474. If it is something which they can purchase reasonably I may be able to direct them to which companies are still delivering or help order on their behalf. I am, in desperate situations, still delivering rental equipment where it can’t be provided by statutory sources.

We have extended our contact times and added other ways to communicate. If anyone just wants to chat either on live-chat or on the phone that is fine, and we are arranging regular well-being calls for anyone who would like us to do so from our peer support volunteers. Visit www.equalitytogether.org.uk for more information.”

The meeting heard how the gofundme (https://www.gofundme.com/f/ilkley-food-bank) page set up by Churches Together Ilkley (CTI) last week for Ilkley Food Bank has raised £2785.

Rev Roberta Topham explained how the team working is with chaplains in Airedale Hospital, as local clergy cannot visit the sick. The Anglican chaplain at Airedale hospital has also issued an appeal for any iPads or similar tablets that people were willing to donate to the chaplaincy, could make use of them to help enable virtual end-of-life care to take place. Anyone wanting to donate items should contact NAME

The team heard about plans for a website being developed with local community organisation to keep the community updated with news and information about the coronavirus crisis. It would also have the capacity to take donations via ‘JustGiving’ for those wanting to donate to support local projects such as the Ilkley Food Bank, Ilkley Good Neighbours or the sewing scrubs initiative.

GP/Surgery arrangements are continuing to work effectively using telephone and video appointments. A project working locally working through Medical Records means that those ‘shielded’ patients will receive a courtesy call from a Doctor and contact with all carers of elderly and dementia residents comes from a call from the social prescribing team. Medical students will also be contacting all elderly patients registered with local GP Practices.

The date of next video meeting is on Thursday 9 April.

Stuart Hyde said:


“Our community and partnership-based approach is working well and we have the engagement and cooperation of councillors, local health, business and charities all working to keep Ilkley as safe as possible

We are all reminded of the need to follow Government guidance. As importantly we all working together to share information and help everyone out at this critical time.

The Group has shown that even with severe isolation people can help others by calling, delivering food and necessities, looking out for each other, creating much needed clothing for our medical teams and following the guidance

We can all support these activities by staying indoors at home, protecting the NHS and saving lives. We should only leave the house for very limited purposes:


  • shopping for necessities, for example food and medicine, as infrequently as possible

  • one form of exercise a day - alone or with members of our household

  • any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person

  • travelling for work purposes, but only where we cannot work from home

If you are in Ilkley and need help, or you would like to volunteer, the telephone number is: 07375 803 693 or go online to: https://bit.ly/ilkleycorona

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