Hundreds register to support community
HUNDREDS of people a day are offering to volunteer their time to help Islanders during the coronavirus outbreak.
A taskforce of volunteers, set up in the wake of the pandemic, has been inundated with people putting their names forward to help their communities and parishes in any way they can.
The group is being led by Citizens Advice chief executive Malcolm Ferey, who has been overwhelmed with the number of people offering to help the Island get through this period, which has been described as the biggest challenge to Islanders since the Occupation.
Mr Ferey, who has stepped away from Citizens Advice to lead the community response, does not want this surge to put off other people who are keen to do their bit.
He said: ‘This is an ongoing challenge and we need to come together and be as prepared as possible.
‘We are getting hundreds of people every day coming forward and that is really, really heartening, as we know we need the volunteers for this. It is a battle that we have to win.
‘People are more than prepared to give their time, energy and expertise. All sorts of people need help in this situation and we will provide that help.’
Registering to volunteer can be done through the volunteer.je website, or by contacting your local parish hall.
Currently, volunteers are already out in the community helping various charities and parish efforts, and extra people are helping with deliveries and work at the new ‘super food bank’ that has been set up in St Helier.
For certain work, volunteers are having to have DBS background checks to make sure they are suitable and safe to carry out the jobs that are required.
All packages of food and other items being taken out to Islanders are being fully sanitised and disinfected and all safety measures are being adhered to, according to Mr Ferey.
He also said that there had been more volunteers registering than there are jobs to carry out, but that that did not mean people could not play their part.
He added: ‘There are some more sensitive jobs, such as delivering important goods and other things, and we are having to carry out checks on people.
‘It is to make sure that this is being done in a safe, sustainable and targeted way.
‘There are more people wanting to do things than tasks, but there are still a lot more tasks that are in the process of being set up, so if Islanders are thinking about volunteering, they should still put their name forward.
‘And if you can’t, then you can still do your bit by checking on a neighbour, or picking up the phone to speak to someone.
‘If you need help, call the central number: 445566. I am confident if we approach this right we can come through this as one community.’
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