H&F Council Seek To Mobilise Volunteer Army

Fit and able residents urged to join community action network to help the vulnerable

Stephen Cowan, leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Council

Hammersmith and Fulham Council is looking to mobilise volunteers who can help vulnerable people during the coronavirus outbreak.

Council leader Stephen Cowan released a statement today calling on fit and able residents to join the H&F CAN (community action network).

Mr Cowan said: “We are lucky to have so many kind people living and working in our borough and are looking to capture all the goodwill and potential for more volunteers across our community.”

His statement continued: “There is already an extensive network of people and organisations who volunteer. People who run food banks, homeless shelters, youth clubs, community centres, residents’ groups, and much more. We are working with different community organisations across our borough to set up H&F CAN – a resilience network.”

He said H&F CAN will:

  • Coordinate a borough-wide volunteer operation
  • Provide an easy way to make donations and support vulnerable people
  • Respond to and support residents most in need

As of March 18 there were 23 confirmed cases of COVD-19 in Hammersmith and Fulham. The neighbouring borough of Kensington and Chelsea had 49 cases.

Last week a patient was reported to have died from the virus at Charing Cross Hospital.

Mr Cowan also said: “There are many people in our borough who are extremely vulnerable. I can reassure you that we have been mapping who they are and have an extensive plan to help them. We will always do everything we can to support our most vulnerable residents.”

The council has also taken several actions amid the coronavirus crisis, including:

  • Appointed a new officer as director of COVID-19 response, who will coordinate how the council will build up its “capacity and capabilities” so that it can respond to issues as they arise
  • Created a Borough Emergency Control Centre which will coordinate services and respond “effectively and with speed”
  • Cancelled all council meetings until late April
  • Trained and re-allocated staff to focus on “supporting people in our community, and maintaining our ability to provide essential services”

To find out how you can volunteer in the borough, please visit this link.

Owen Sheppard - Local Democracy Reporter

March 18, 2020