Barnsley Community Responders giving a helping hand during COVID-19

Barnsley Community Responders are volunteers supporting Barnsley Council and Barnsley Community and Voluntary Services in delivering vital emergency assistance to individuals and families during COVID-19.

The volunteers play a vital role in supporting the many residents that may need support to cope with disruptions due to coronavirus. The council have a list of 67,000 people that has been carefully created using data to make sure that those who need assistance are recognised and contacted, so council resources and community volunteers are mobilised in the most effective way. Out of the people identified, 6,000 of those have been recognised by the NHS as those who should be shielded from the virus. An additional 2,000 have been recognised as being highly vulnerable by the council. 

All of those 67,000 residents can expect a letter from Barnsley Council’s Chief Executive, Sarah Norman, in the coming days detailing who they can contact if they need some help. Those 2,000 who are most at risk will also receive a phone call to help identify the support required.

Due to COVID-19, people will find themselves in challenging situations that they might not have been in before. The council is here to help if people need support; they are encouraged to get in touch. If you or someone you know is vulnerable and need help, you can complete our online form available at barnsley.gov.uk/covid-19-emergency-support. If you have no internet access, you can call 01226 774444 or freephone 0808 196 3531.

Once the council can establish what help people need, the area teams will be on hand to match residents with a volunteer who will be happy to help. These community responders can be identified as wearing a green lanyard with the words ‘Barnsley COVID-19 Emergency Community Responder’. They will be able to present a badge with their unique ID number written on which has been issued by the council and Barnsley CVS.

Volunteers are being trained and have handbooks that will help them to provide support.

Cllr Jenny Platts, Cabinet Spokesperson for Communities, said: “I am extremely proud of Barnsley’s response in helping those at risk during COVID-19 and people who might just need some extra support during these challenging times. If people require help, I can assure you that the council and our partners are committed to helping residents to stay safe at home. The response to people signing up to become volunteers has been outstanding, and our team of community responders really are a marvellous asset. I’d also like to thank the community and voluntary groups who continue to support residents. Together we are demonstrating how strong and resilient our communities are and our Barnsley spirit.” 

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