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Volunteers are coming forward to help those most in need of help

PUBLISHED: 12:57 24 March 2020 | UPDATED: 12:57 24 March 2020

Council leader Colin Smith says he is touched by the determination of the community to healp each other. Picture: Bromley Council

Council leader Colin Smith says he is touched by the determination of the community to healp each other. Picture: Bromley Council

Archant

Bromley Council has been inundated with calls from thousands of people wanting to volunteer to help those in less fortunate positions.

In response to this large number of good Samaritans coming forward, the council leader Colin Smith said: “The response from willing volunteers who have signed up in recent days to assist other local residents in their time of coming need as the Covid crisis and social isolation begin to close in has been absolutely astounding.

“With over 2,600 people now signed up to do their bit for the greater good in addition to numerous road and neighbourhood groups who have already formed and are committed to ‘looking after their own’, we are in a far, far better position than most.

“To those volunteers, in addition to saying thank you for your selflessness, could I just please reassure you that your skills sets such as being able to drive, and qualifications such as the ability to work with vulnerable adults and children have been busily sorted in recent days and you will be getting your call up papers soon.

“As many hands make light work for everyone else and there is likely to be lots of it to go around.”

He is calling on those not yet contacted to remain on call as staff continue to process everyone. The number of positive cases in Bromley has passed 75.

Cllr Smith said: “To anybody who the council doesn’t reach back out to immediately, could you please remain on standby, whilst continuing to make your contribution locally by keeping a look out for those living nearby in vulnerable Groups, always of course, by scrupulously following the government’s social distancing criteria.”

He also backed up calls for people to stop hoarding, saying: “I am sure that many of you will have been as utterly sickened as I have been in recent days by the selfish, greedy and thoroughly anti-social behaviour being displayed by far too many people in our local shops.

“If you are one of them, for goodness sake please, please get a grip, take a hard look at yourself in the mirror and desist from doing so again.

“Your behaviour is causing others less able than you significant avoidable misery, and in extremis you are directly threatening their health by causing them to visit more shops, at greater exposure to gather the necessary commodities they need to get by with their day to day lives. Supplies aren’t going to run out. So please stop hoarding.”

The National Crime Agency has warned organised crime groups will exploit the coronavirus outbreak to target vulnerable people.

Steve Rodhouse, NCA director general said: “We recognise that the Covid-19 outbreak may provide opportunities for criminals, and we are monitoring intelligence and crime trends to ensure that we, and the whole law enforcement system, can react as needed.”

Its cyber-crime investigators have already seen instances of coronavirus-themed malicious apps and websites, as well as email phishing attacks aimed at stealing personal and financial information.

The NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit is advising people to be extra vigilant when seeking out online information relating to the pandemic and to ensure they are following online safety advice which can be found on the National Cyber Security Centre website.

NHS Blood and Transplant said they need donors to keep coming, and a spokesman said: “Our sessions and donor centres are still open. Travel to blood donation sessions is essential to the NHS. Our stock levels are currently good but we need people to keep donating to make sure hospitals continue to receive the blood they need. Regular donation will help us to be well prepared to support the wider NHS for the impact of the coronavirus. We have seen an increase in calls from people asking if sessions are going ahead and people asking questions about coronavirus. “We’re putting in place extra safety measures.”

To sign up as a volunteer visit https://www.bromley.gov.uk/info/1113/volunteering/1410/volunteers_and_requests_for_assistance

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