“The best thing we all can do at this time is put a note through the doors of two homes where elderly neighbours, who know and recognise us, reside with simply your name & phone number on it and an offer to help.”
People will call on those they know, like and trust for help if they need or want it.
I have just been to a meeting of the RBWM Council and much of what I am going to write is my own common sense thinking that is not formal guidance from the council and so you need to decide for yourself how you proceed.
Residents are naturally going to be looking for guidance from those in leadership roles and so after listening to Duncan Sharkey, MD of the RBWM this morning and asking him for some specific guidance I have drawn the following conclusions.
Firstly, these are unique times and social media and news coverage can create a feeling of panic. That is not going to serve you or those around you so draw a breath and think logically, what feels right to you, believe in yourself and do what you can to help others.
If you walked up to a stranger in the street and offered help when they were just minding their own business then they might not welcome your advance. In the same way, assuming because someone is over 70 that they want help in a tad arrogant on our part. We need to wait for them to ask for help and they are likely to do that from someone they know, like and trust.
We hear of people getting flyers through the door and wondering if they can trust it. The best thing they can do, if unsure, is ask a neighbour who they do trust for guidance.
What we don’t want is people feeling isolated and disconnected from their neighbours. The community needs to pull together.
We don’t want to start getting into data protection issues as the law still applies and random acts of data gathering could cause problems.
We are likely to be looking for “Street Champions” who act as sign posts.
There are no badges, this is not an official role and there will be others in the community who are helping in their own way and they are entitled to do so. As a Street Champion you simply feedback to the centre about any households you are concerned about and we can then liaise with our Community Wardens and other community networks to ensure they know who to call if they need help.
There will be people who have already taken the initiative and we will be looking to liaise with them about how they are going about things to minimise duplication of effort.
I will be meeting with my fellow Councillors this afternoon at 3pm to work through how this will work best and will follow up with further guidance as we agree on our strategy for West Windsor.
Your local Councillor details below:
Amy Tisi – Clewer East
Carole Da Costa – Clewer & Dedworth West
Helen Price – Clewer & Dedworth East
Jon Davey – Clewer & Dedworth West
Karen Davies – Clewer East
Wisdom Da Costa – Clewer & Dedworth West