More than 1,300 volunteers have joined Hammersmith & Fulham’s Community Aid Network to support the borough’s vulnerable residents through the coronavirus pandemic.
The extraordinary response to the call-up offers a vital lifeline for families and seniors who are short of food, require medicines to be picked up, or are suffering from isolation and loneliness.
Set up by the council, H&F CAN will work with the voluntary sector, charities, and the mutual aid networks that developed in every ward of the borough.
By Friday evening, a total of 1,388 volunteers had signed up to help pack food, deliver to the door, run errands including shopping and dog walking, or buddy up with isolated residents who are suffering with loneliness.
Over the weekend a first tranche of H&F CAN volunteers will sort a lorry-load of food to be parcelled up for the borough’s NHS-designated Shielded residents, who are most at risk from coronavirus.
On Monday the H&F CAN freephone hotline, which will be staffed seven days a week 9am to 7pm, and an email address will go live. Posters advertising H&F CAN will appear across the borough.
H&F Council Deputy Leader Cllr Sue Fennimore said: “We have been overwhelmed by the wonderful response from people wanting to help their neighbours and fellow residents. This shows the power of a community coming together, harnessing our humanity to assist those most in need at the time of their greatest need.
“By working in tandem with the third sector and all the amazing mutual aid groups that have sprung up across H&F over the last couple of weeks, we can act together to support all our residents. On behalf of the council, I would like to thank and pay tribute to everyone who has signed up to create the magnificent H&F army of volunteers.”
If you can’t volunteer please contribute to the UNITED in Hammersmith & Fulham Community Coronavirus Response Appeal.