Council champions good neighbours in the fight against Coronavirus

2 April 2020

Being a good neighbour is vital as communities pull together in the fight against COVID-19 in west Cheshire.

Cheshire West and Chester Council is offering residents and communities advice on how they can play their part simply and safely during the outbreak.

Cllr Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: "It sounds so simple but being a good neighbour, doing shopping and errands and keeping in touch with friends and family is a really important part of the community response to this disease, particularly as more people start to self-isolate.

"It's also important that none of us take on too much, and looking after people in your local area is something we can all do easily to play our part in the fight against Coronavirus.

"We all have to be mindful of everyone's safety and wellbeing at a time like this so we have put together some top tips to help."

Guidance includes focusing on helping people in your street where you can keep on top of the support you can offer and where people know and trust you, as well as sticking to what you are comfortable with and not being afraid to say no.

You can set up a good neighbour group by identifying people in your area who may also like to help and create an email or social media group so that you can communicate.

Advice to stay safe while helping during the outbreak includes the following tips.
  • Stay in when you are supposed to - if you need to self-isolate, make sure you only volunteer from the comfort of your home and follow the self-isolation guidance.
  • Social distance - when you are working with other people, follow the social distancing guidance and stay at least two metres apart.
  • Wash your hands - make sure you wash your hands for at least 20 seconds before and after coming into contact with other people.
  • Do not enter people's homes - leave any deliveries outside the house.
  • Keep an eye out for suspicious activity - some people are using COVID-19 as a way to scam others so, if you spot anything suspicious, please report it.
  • Do not handle money - if you do not know the person well, please do not either receive or give money for shopping or other things. Certainly do not give away your PIN or ask for a PIN or bank card. Encourage people you are supporting to place orders online or over the telephone.
  • Keep up-to-date with the latest advice from Public Health England and information on the Council website.
Residents have also been registering their support with the coordinated community response in west Cheshire, which is being managed by the Council and Cheshire West Voluntary Action (CWVA).

Around 1,500 residents have registered so far and the Council and CWVA is putting volunteers in touch with existing community groups and charities who need extra help during this time.

Cllr Gittins said: "The response from the community has been phenomenal - I can't thank our residents enough.

"This volunteer support will become only more essential as this crisis continues and being a good neighbour is a vital way people can play their part in the community response."

For more information and the latest advice visit: www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/neighbours.

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