Volunteers helping young people to stay safe in Leicestershire are turning their hands to protecting vulnerable people affected by the Coronavirus – thanks to an emergency grant.
Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner Lord Willy Bach has agreed to provide just shy of £10,000 to the Street Mediators project to enable its volunteers to deliver emergency food parcels to people isolated or infected by Covid-19.
The service, operated by charity E2, ordinarily sees experienced youth workers patrolling Leicestershire’s communities to steer young people towards positive activities and to raise awareness of the dangers of carrying knives.
Now that the country is in lockdown to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, the workers have temporarily relaunched as “Street Coordinators” and are delivering support to people in Beaumont Leys.
So far the volunteers have delivered around 300 emergency food parcels in just two days and will be able to expand help thanks to the PCC’s grant.
Willy Bach said: “It’s imperative we protect vulnerable people affected by this dreadful virus, many of whom live alone and have no other source of help.
“It makes perfect sense to use the expert resources already in place in our communities to protect local people and I’m very grateful to E2 for switching their focus in these desperately uncertain times.
“Street Mediators are already DBS checked and are used to engaging with our communities. They also have the right equipment and safeguarding procedures in place to protect their own teams and offer reassurance to local people.
“Leicestershire needs everybody to play its part in beating this global pandemic. For most of us, this means simply staying at home and heeding the government’s instructions about non-contact.
“As Commissioner, I also have a duty to protect the vulnerable for whom there is nowhere or no-one else to turn which is why I’m pleased to support this service.”
Martin Buchanan, Chief Executive of E2, said: “It is in unprecedented times like these that we really see who supports our communities and stands by us when the chips are down.
“Lord Willy Bach, the Police and Crime Commissioner and his team, including the Violence Reduction Network, have demonstrated that they are standing with us shoulder to shoulder to support some of the most vulnerable people in our area. This emergency fund will enable our team to support local residents, identify urgent needs and deliver important information to those that need it the most. It is reassuring to know that Lord Bach and his team have been able to respond in super quick time to address the urgent needs of local residents.”
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Posted on Friday 27th March 2020