COVID-19 Community Response Updates
(updated 29th March 3:48pm)
Just under one week on from the government telling us to Stay At Home – Protect the NHS – Save Lives, so much has happened in Ilfracombe.
We now have a solid foundation for our volunteers, provided by 100+ area coordinators working in 11 areas across the town.
The support for the most vulnerable members of our society is fully underway with almost all of the town being leafleted with coordinators’ contact details, 150 volunteers in place, shopping being delivered, medication being collected, befriending calls being made and even a kindly donated TV being installed.
We have even made the BBC national news with the Town Council and One Ilfracombe teams putting together a plan of action from scratch, that also featured a vocal soundtrack from the Ilfracombe legend that is Roy Goodwin!
However, now is not the time to be complacent and we must all make the effort to adhere to the official advice from the government and the NHS.
The latest official information and advice for Ilfracombe can be found on the Town Council website.
It is almost inevitable that our teams of volunteers and coordinators are going to face an extremely difficult challenge and as such we would like to remind everyone in Ilfracombe that the services that these teams are providing is ONLY FOR THE VERY VULNERABLE AND ELDERLY WHO DO NOT HAVE ANY FORM OF SUPPORT NETWORK.
If you have family or friends that are well and able we are urging you to use them, if you do not then the teams will not be able to cope.
We would also like to remind all our volunteers to read the Coronavirus Community Volunteer Resource page on the Town Council website.
In addition to this, all residents are reminded that whilst there are many well meaning Ilfracombe residents offering to do people’s shopping, everyone is reminded not to give any form of debit or credit card to strangers nor to give out any cash before receiving goods.
We would like to say a massive THANK YOU to the amazing people of Ilfracombe who have rallied to the cause and in the wise words of our Town Crier “Stay safe my friends, you know it makes sense”
(updated 26th March 4:23pm)
As of today approx 4/5ths of all the properties in Ilfracombe have received one of our flyers which contains the contact details for up to 3 of the volunteer coordinators.
Systems are now in place so the coordinators can call upon the volunteers in their areas to assist the vulnerable members of our community.
This system is working well thanks to the hard work of all our volunteers.
The front page of this website has also been updated to ensure that evryone has access to the very latest advice and information from the NHS and the government. It also includes a list of FAQs and useful advice for our volunteers so that they can always provide the best support in the community.
We are also working with our partner agencies to roll out the system we have in place in Ilfracombe across North Devon.
We are awaiting advice on how we will integrate with those individuals who are part of the 1.5 million being afforded “Shielding” support by the government and how we can work alongside those who have volunteered as part of the NHS Volunteering initiative.
(updated 23rd March 2:11pm)
Following on from our Friday update the wonderful volunteer coordinators continue to establish themselves within their areas of the town.
5000 leaflets have been, or are in the process of being, delivered.
An additional 5000 will be available very shortly. Details for the collection of these will follow in due course.
These leaflets contain the contact details of up to three coordinators for those vulnerable members of the community, without any support network, who need additional assistance or support.
The nine local area specific Facebook groups covering the Ilfracombe coordinating and volunteer efforts are proving their worth as we continue to work within these groups on a daily basis offering information, guidance and support whilst fine tuning the systems in place to ensure that the needs of the vulnerable and our volunteers are catered for.
There will be a wider call for additional volunteers to join the community effort in the next 24/48 hours however we still require coordinators to come forward in the following areas:
• Whittingham Road
• Queens Avenue
• Worth Road
• Chandlers Way & the surrounding area
In relation to the announcement made by the PM over the weekend, regarding the 1.5 million members of the public who are to receive additional “shielding” support, once the details of these care packages are known we will be working with local government and our partner organisations to provide assistance where necessary.
We have also established a way ahead with our 3 local pharmacies in relation to prescription delivery.
• ALL individuals are to contact pharmacies directly to arrange all their prescription needs.
• All current personal arrangements for the collect of prescriptions remain in place.
• If individuals have no support network and are unable to collect their prescriptions, protocols are now in place to address this issue.
(updated 20th March 10:01am)
Thanks to the wonderful people in our community we now have 125+ volunteer community coordinators and volunteers working across the town.
These volunteers have been broken down into groups to cover identified areas of the town where they are working as localised teams within individual Facebook Groups that we have created for this specific purpose.
The next step is for these teams to distribute 5000 (so far) leaflets within their areas. The contact details on these leaflets will then put into place the support mechanisms for the vulnerable and isolated members of our community.
Once this is complete we will be opening up these Facebook Groups to enable the wider community to pledge any offers of assistance.
This has been a huge undertaking for the small group of Council Officers and the One Ilfracombe team backed up with the full support of the Town Councillors and One Northern Devon.
Once again we would like to thank the people of Ilfracombe who have once again proved how community spirited they are.
This whole process has never been undertaken before so we will continue to learn and fine tune as we go along
(updated 18th March 2020 1930)
Following our targeted call out for volunteer coordinators yesterday we have had a wonderful response with another 51 coming forward to support the most vulnerable members of their community.
This brings our volunteer total to 101 in just 2 days!
The work on the protocols for coordinators and volunteers is now complete. As a reminder, these protocols are being put in place to provide assistance to the most vulnerable members of your community who do not have a support system in place.
The leaflets that are going to be delivered across the town should arrive tomorrow (Thurs 19th March)
Once we have the leaflets we will be in contact with the volunteers and issue the protocols and the areas to be covered.
Having been in contact with the local pharmacies we are also in the process of setting up a system for the delivery of prescriptions to support those without a support system in place.
We are still short of volunteers in the following areas of town.
If you are able to help please Facebook message Ilfracombe Town Council detailing the area where you live, your mobile/landline number and an e-mail address. If you have a DBS then that’s great but it’s not essential.
• Highfield Road (section off New Barnstaple Road)
• Castle Hill
• Portland Street
• Hillsborough Terrace
• Market Street
• Avenue Road
• Wilder Road (Tunnels to War Memorial)
• Granville Road
• Torrs Park
• Higher Torrs
• Larkstone Gardens
• Belmont Road
• Slade (Estate)
• Oxford Grove
• Horne Road
• Summers Crescent / Arcade Road
• Queens Avenue
(updated 17th March 2020 09:02am)
A call to volunteers, groups and businesses.
Following discussions around a safe, effective way to support the vulnerable and elderly who may be self-isolating we would like to hear from those who would be willing to act as a Community Co-ordinator for their street/area and help co-ordinate the help for those who need it in their immediate neighbourhood.
Ideally this will be someone who:
• Is happy to share their contact details with other helpers and those self-isolating in the area
• Is reasonably available for contact
• Has a current DBS check
• Has access to email/ ability to access Office or Google Drive documents
We would also like to hear from Community groups who are looking to volunteer services in some shape or form and any businesses that either offer a home delivery service, or are planning on offering this service.
❗️Please contact us via the Message facility on the Ilfracombe Town Council Facebook page with your email address, phone number and where in Ilfracombe you live❗️
Once we have had a chance to go through all of your messages we will form a map of Ilfracombe pinpointing the areas that are covered (and also seeing which areas aren’t).
We know everyone is keen to get helping but we also need to be realistic that this will take more than a day to get up and running properly, but please be assured that we are working as quickly as we can with partner agencies so that there is a clear, safe procedure for the volunteers.
If you are not on Facebook and would like to join the volunteering effort you can e-mail the Ilfracombe Centre at email@example.com
(updated 16th March 2020 10:00am)
With the ever increasing likelihood that a large number of our community will be asked to self-isolate following the COVID-19 outbreak, we would like to assure you that Ilfracombe Town Council and One Ilfracombe have been working alongside One Ilfracombe partners (healthcare, emergency services and local authorities) on a safe, co-ordinated approach as to how we support the more vulnerable people in our town.
Councillors and officers have been working through the weekend to start shaping this protocol and we have meetings scheduled tomorrow to finalise the details.
Please keep an eye on our social media channels and this page for further updates.