Amazing community spirit in Watford will link outstanding volunteer response to those in need

Amazing community spirit in Watford will link outstanding volunteer response to those in need

Nearly 500 people have responded to a call to help provide support for those most in need across Watford by signing up to the recently launched ‘Watford Helps’ volunteering initiative.  This links volunteers with those across the town who have highlighted they need extra support during the coronavirus emergency.

Volunteers will be matched with those who need support based on their skills, time and willingness. Volunteers can also contribute remotely, meaning those who are not able to meet people or leave their homes can join the local effort. The council is currently working through each volunteering application received with our partner organisation, Watford & Three Rivers Trust (W3RT) and will contact anyone who has signed up as soon as possible to match them to where support is needed.

Anyone interested in ‘Watford Helps’ can sign up to the join via www.watford.gov.uk/COVID-Volunteers, or for those without access to the internet, by calling the Town Hall on 01923 278503 between Monday and Thursday from 8.45am to 5.15pm and on Fridays between 8.45am to 4.45pm.

The council’s volunteer hub will work closely with W3RT, to manage offers of help and coordinate efforts from the community and online groups across the town, which have sprung up in response to the pandemic. The aim is to get all those wanting to help in one place so that the town has a coordinated community response that can effectively support those in need during the coronavirus emergency.  At the same time, a joined up approach means the right measures can be put in place to both safeguard volunteers and those requiring support, who can be extremely vulnerable.

Whilst many of the most vulnerable in our town will be part of the government’s national shielding programme and will have received a letter directly from the NHS to signpost them to where they can access help, residents who require additional support or don’t fall within the government’s scheme, whether it be with shopping or just someone to talk to, are encouraged to register online at www.watford.gov.uk/covid-support or call the council on 01923 278503 between Monday and Thursday from 8.45am to 5.15pm and on Fridays between 8.45am to 4.45pm. Similarly, if you are worried about a family member, friend or neighbour and are unable to support them yourself, you can register a request for support for them using our online forms.

Elected Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor said “I am extremely proud of how our town is rising to the many challenges of the coronavirus emergency.  Everyone wants to play their part and do what they can to get us through this current crisis.  For some this will mean working on the frontline but for the 500 people who have signed up to volunteer, this means giving their time to ensure those in most need are not alone and to give them the comfort, knowing there are people who will stand beside them at this difficult time.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has already signed up to volunteer and would encourage you to get involved if you think you can. 

“If you live in Watford and think you are able to provide some help to someone in the area who really needs it, please fill in the form at www.watford.gov.uk/COVID-Volunteers. Your help could make a lot of difference to people living in our town.

“Even more importantly, if you or a friend or relative is looking for help, the good news is that it is available.  I want everyone in our town to know they are not alone and we are here if you need us.  Again, working with W3RT we have made signing up as easy as possible – just go to www.watford.gov.uk/covid-support or call 01923 278503 and you will be contacted as soon as possible about the support you need”.

For more information, visit www.watford.gov.uk/coronavirus