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COVID Support Map: VAS launches interactive map to support community response to coronavirus

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Voluntary Action Sheffield (VAS) have published an interactive map with details of the support offered by "street level groups and community hubs" in response to coronavirus, as well as opportunities for individuals to volunteer their time for the cause.

The Sheffield COVID Support Map is live now and will be continually updated in the coming days and weeks to reflect the city's wide-ranging community response to the crisis.

The map features the numerous self-initiated Mutual Aid groups which have sprung into action over the past two weeks to make sure that critical health information is shared widely and that people who are self-isolating get the support they need.

Many of the community hubs listed on the map are charities or faith groups, which are providing advice over the phone, co-ordinating volunteers, supporting food logistics, and trying to offer opportunities for social interactions which don't put people at risk.

While encouraging anyone who is able to support their vulnerable neighbours, VAS noted the following important points:

  • Keep up to date with the latest NHS coronavirus advice.
  • COVID Mutual Aid is run entirely by volunteers, not medical professionals. Mutual Aid groups should not go into your home or provide personal care. Other agencies are doing this.
  • Avoid exchanges of physical money. Keep it to essentials. Don't expect or ask people to pay for support. Use electronic transfers where possible.
  • Be aware of fraudsters. Avoid and report any cold callers in your area.
  • Mutual Aid groups are well suited to offering running errands, connecting people locally with information, and providing emotional comfort and social contact.
  • Prioritise safety. The community response is about preventing the spread of coronavirus and providing support for the most vulnerable. If you believe the support being offered compromises this principle, do not engage.
Sam Walby
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