Offers of help lead community response to Coronavirus

March 26 2020

COMMUNITY-LED offers of help have sprung up across Bristol as communities pull together to help each other through the Coronavirus self-isolation crisis.
From Bishopston to Redland, Cotham to St Andrews, there are volunteers signing up to help and connecting with their neighbours by putting offers of support through letterboxes.
Messenger apps such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are being conscripted to connect whole streets worried about how to survive self-isolation and loneliness. Young and old are uniting to help those without and those needing help and support at their time of need.
The Local Government Association says that while the vast majority of concerned residents offering to help the elderly and vulnerable in their neighbourhood are genuine, well-wishers will have the most impact by turning their focus to helping their immediate neighbours or neighbours they already know, making donations to food banks, or appealing to established services in their councils, the NHS or local charities.
Anyone who is stuck without food or medical supplies, or is lonely as a result of their self-isolation and does not have any friends and family or neighbours that they know in the area, should in the first instance contact their council. Bristol City Council has a website with all the information related to the Coronavirus outbreak, including health advice, the council’s response to the outbreak, changes to service and how you can volunteer to help other people. See: www.bristol.gov.uk/crime-emergencies/coronavirus-covid-19-what-you-need-to-know
Bristol libraries and museums have closed temporarily until 1 May 2020. Library fines will be waived so library customers do not need to worry about overdue items or renewals and can safely ignore any reminders which might be issued. Libraries will not be open to accept returned books – please do not leave them on the doorstep as they could be stolen or damaged with no one there to collect them.
Bristol Archives will also be closed, but virtual services will be maintained. Full details can be found at www.bristolmuseums.org.uk/
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “We must act in the interests of public safety first and foremost, which is why we are introducing these temporary closures in response to the latest Government guidance. We recognise the importance and value of these public services to communities, but they are also social spaces with a high level of interaction.”

HOW YOU CAN HELP

ACORN are running a volunteering scheme, partnering at-risk people with those who are healthy and want to help. You can sign up to volunteer or donate at www.acorntheunion.org.uk/corona/. If you need help you can also contact them.

Bristol City Council is putting into place a system in partnership with Can Do Bristol and Quartet to help volunteer and raise funds. They will update www.candobristol.co.uk/ with volunteering opportunities where help is needed.

North Bristol Foodbank are looking for extra volunteers to help with sorting food in Southmead. Local collection points for food donations include St Alban’s Church in Westbury Park and Cairns Road Baptist Church, BS6. See: https://northbristol.foodbank.org.uk/2020/03/20/volunteeringduringcoronavirus/

FareShare South West are planning emergency action to get food on a large scale to the most vulnerable in Bristol - from the isolated elderly, to families living on the breadline, to homeless people facing closure of all support services.
They are in URGENT NEED of support from low risk volunteers (ideally aged 20-40, in good health and no COVID-19 symptoms), donations to provide an emergency food supply, connections to local food companies. See: http://faresharesouthwest.org.uk/coronavirus-emergency-fund/

Local initiatives

www.facebook.com/PayItForwardGlosRd/
Help to support the small businesses on and around Gloucester Road during this time of crisis and uncertainty. The idea behind Pay it Forward is that businesses can presell something now to deliver after the crisis has passed.

www.crowdfunder.co.uk/support-bristols-independent-venues
Fundraiser for Bristol independent music venues. The Coronavirus outbreak has brought unprecedented uncertainty for even the most iconic of these settings.
Consider donating what you might have spent on gig tickets and nights out over the coming weeks.

www.supportbristolfood.co.uk
A listing of independent producers, suppliers, restaurants and retailers in Bristol with information about what is available to buy and how you can buy it from them. Buy food directly from producers including home delivery and ready made meals for delivery.

Pre-packaged food collection service
Wilsons Restaurant on Chandos Road, Redland, BS6 6PF www.wilsonsbristol.co.uk/ are operating a pre packaged food collection service twice weekly, Tuesdays and Fridays 5pm - 7pm. Prepared food will be available
to take home and reheat - they will continue to use their suppliers as well as produce from their farm and fresh bread and butter.
The service will be run on donations only so please use the honesty box to pay your donation or card machines. Wilsons would like to encourage NHS staff to use the collection service with no donation, stating: “we are indebted to you and all your incredible work.”
Wilsons have set up a fundraising page to help to pay their staff's wages during this difficult time: www.gofundme.com/f/wilsons-staff-fund?

Discounted take away

Lazy Dog pub, 112 Ashley Down Road, BS7 9JR are running a discounted take away food menu and the menus are posted daily on their Facebook page. Customers to call 0117 924 4809 with their order between 12-5pm, to then pick up their delivery of food between 5.30-8.30pm.

Cheap beer and cider from the Golden Lion
‘Don’t forget to stock up on ale and cider to takeaway. Bring a container and we’ll fill up Ale/Old Rosie for half price. That’s £2 a pint!!! Take it away, keep it in the fridge!’