Appeal for more volunteers to join fight against Covid-19

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A ‘volunteer army’ has been put together, with almost 3,000 coming forward so far, to help vulnerable Islanders get the services they need.

As well as 2,800 people, 170 businesses have also signed up. So far 160 people have also used the Connect Me scheme, which is a simple form for people to use to ask for help if they need it.

As the virus begins to bite harder more volunteers will be needed, according to Malcolm Ferey, who is spearheading the Community Taskforce.

He said: ‘It is so heartening to see how many Islanders have come forward to volunteer to help others during this challenging time and it is a testament to the community spirit.

‘Volunteers are already delivering critical services. We know the coronavirus and the issues it brings won’t go away next week or even next month, so we need to be prepared to deliver sustainable support as long as it is needed.

‘We are aware some of the volunteers will become unwell themselves, and as willing as they are they will be unable to go out and help others.

‘At the moment the offer we have is far in excess of the need, which is good. As things unfold this dynamic will change and we are constantly looking at it. No battle plan ever survives first contact with the enemy.

‘We are checking and so far there are no gaps in voluntary effort, everyone is getting the assistance they need and we do have the volunteer army ready to be unleashed.’

At a press conference yesterday to update the Island on the voluntary effort, Deputy Judy Martin said 12,000 calls had been made to the Covid-19 hotline, and she added: ‘You are showing the best Jersey community spirit, Thank you for your kindness and selflessness and a massive thank you from me.’

Mr Ferey and St Helier Constable Simon Crowcroft also revealed work was going on to identify isolated people in the community who had no family and might be frightened at this time.

Mr Crowcroft said: ‘Parishes all have networks they are working on at the moment to make contact with parishioners and those who do not have access to the internet.’

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