Keeping our distance and staying connected
Many of our members are asking how they can help out. Here’s some actions to get going with and we’d ask you to share the ‘looking after each other’ message with as many people as possible so that the whole of Otley is covered with a nice cosy blanket of neighbourly care.
Organised action You should all be getting your leaflets through about the town-wide response, handling volunteers and requests for help. Get in touch with Otley Action for Older People (over 60s – 01943 463 965), Otley Courthouse (under 60s – 01943 467 466), and Otley Foodbank/Churches Together (referrals from the organisations on the leaflet), supported by Otley Town Council, as they gear up for increasing demand and offers of help.
Leeds City Council are making similar arrangements with their Leeds Community Cares plans.
Looking after each other Alongside this, to follow up on our message at the weekend, it’s important that we’re all watching out for our neighbours and offering simple help and support where needed…importantly in a very safe way.
The offer of help in itself can provide a great deal of relief for people.
If you haven’t already, PLEASE get together (in a socially distanced way!) with others in your street and make sure everyone is being looked out for.
Our research has settled on three key resources for how to do this safely and we continue to keep our eyes open for what else is emerging.
The following document from Leeds City Council provides guidance on safety for all concerned when helping out, including key messages about ensuring people only deal with people they know and not entering people’s homes: https://doinggoodleeds.org.uk/news/2020/03/20/being-a-good-neighbour-202003201456/
The second is the website https://covidmutualaid.org/ which provides resources for getting a local group off the ground which can be as simple as posting a leaflet (templates and SAFE LEAFLET HANDLING! instructions included https://covidmutualaid.org/resources/), setting up a Facebook/WhatsApp Group and making sure people keep asking how everyone is getting on.
Finally to reinforce the message about looking out for each other, the Friends Against Scams campaign here https://www.nationaltradingstandards.uk/news/beware-of-covid19-scams/ reinforces the need for vigilance and people only dealing with trusted organisations like Otley Courthouse, Otley Action for Older People and people they know.
Other organised action We are also in discussions with a number of organisations about other projects that may require volunteers and will keep you up to date.
Many thanks Andy Boyle Otley 2030 & Otley Energy