Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner Lord Willy Bach has provided funding worth £10k to help a charity deliver emergency food parcels and vital support to the elderly during the Covid-19 health emergency.
The PCC has provided the emergency grant to Age UK Leicester Shire & Rutland to help towards the cost of the charity’s support services during the pandemic which include a new coronavirus helpline which is receiving 175 calls per day, home care visits to isolated residents, essential food and toiletries care packages for the vulnerable, hot food delivery services and the expansion of its telephone befriending service.
It is the second such grant in less than a week after the PCC agreed emergency funding to E2 to temporarily transform its Street Mediators youth engagement project into a food parcel service for vulnerable people in Beaumont Leys.
Age UK Leicester Shire & Rutland is receiving an unprecedented number of calls from older people who are self-isolating but have no support network to help them cope with the crisis and are unable to pick up food, prescription medication and other basic essentials.
With pharmacies and supermarkets overwhelmed with demand for delivery services, many vulnerable people have nowhere else to turn.
Age UK Leicester Shire & Rutland has already mobilised as much direct support as possible and anticipates demand to intensify further as more people self-isolate, especially those living with long-term medical conditions for whom regular contact with the outside world is a lifeline.
Willy Bach said: “We must all work together to support the vulnerable in our communities through this global pandemic and I will do everything I can to ease the burden on overstretched services which are helping to keep people safe.
“Age UK Leicester Shire & Rutland have already hit the ground running, mobilising volunteers to deliver practical support and assistance to people cut off from any normal means of support and maintaining vital food and toiletry supplies. I thank them wholeheartedly for their efforts and hope this funding will help them reach more vulnerable people.
“Protecting the vulnerable remains a top priority as we respond to this health emergency. My team is currently working with partners and other services we commission to divert resources to help the community response to Covid-19 and ensure anyone who needs help receives it.”
Tony Donovan, Executive Director of Age UK Leicester Shire & Rutland, added: “This support from the Police & Crime Commissioner will make a significant impact on our resources to support the most frail, vulnerable and isolated who are struggling the most to cope in the current lock-down.
“We are receiving unprecedented numbers of calls for help with emergency food rations, shopping and collection of prescriptions as well as just some reassurance to reduce their fear and anxiety about how they will continue to survive as the crisis progresses. We are so very grateful to Lord Willie Bach’s office for this generous and very timely donation.”
The charity is calling on the public to support its crisis response to keep older people safe and well; donations can be made at www.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/leicscovidcare. They are also calling for support from local businesses for donations of food, toiletries and cleaning products; please contact Nikky Miles on 07967 030401 if you can help.
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair - 07702 541401
Posted on Thursday 2nd April 2020