Earlier this week I volunteered at the newly created Essential Supplies Hub in Barnet. Food and other essential supplies arrive daily, ready to be distributed to those that are self-isolating, or being shielded, or otherwise facing difficulty during this time. So far over 170 parcels have been delivered to residents and it is quite astounding to see the scale of the operation that has been turned around in such a short space of time.
The Leader of Barnet Council, Cllr Dan Thomas, volunteers to help distribute food to vulnerable residents
The Essential Supplies Hub is just one of the new ways our Community Help Hub is supporting our vulnerable residents. As well as many Barnet Council staff, that are working outside of their normal daily duties, nearly 200 Barnet residents have already signed up to volunteer. The council is working with Volunteering Barnet to place volunteers in roles supporting charities and faith groups across the borough. We are all pulling together to provide urgent support, companionship and other essential services.
Thank you to everyone who has given their time in any way so far, even small acts can have a huge impact. Visit our volunteer pages on Engage Barnet to find out how you can get involved. And, if you know anyone that requires urgent support, you can contact our dedicated telephone line on 0808 281 3210, which is open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Or visit the helpline contact pages for more ways to access help.
On a more difficult note, the pandemic sadly continues to take lives across our borough. I want to offer my sincere condolences to anyone who has lost a friend, or family member. We have been working with local partners, including faith leaders, and Public Health England to ensure that arrangements are in place to ensure funerals are undertaken while the COVID-19 situation is still ongoing.
Decisions around this aren’t made lightly but to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, funeral directors and faith leaders are being advised to restrict the number of mourners who attend funerals so a safe distance can be maintained between individuals. This is the type of guidance we wish we would never have to write but it is important we follow government advice. More details about this are available on our dedicated web pages and you can also call the community help hub for advice.
Finally, as the bank holiday approaches and many of us celebrate important religious festivals, we still must all observe social distancing rules. Please stay at home, and connect with friends and family virtually. This is vital to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.