WOKINGHAM BOROUGH STEPS UP TO HELP THE COMMUNITY IN THIS TIME OF NEED
They say emergencies bring the best out in people. And the people of Wokingham borough are really showing their mettle.
The Wokingham Borough Community Response (WBCR) is a one-stop shop if you need help during this crisis and don’t have friends, family or trusted neighbours who can help.
The help provided can come in the form of food and other essential supplies, medication pick-ups, a friendly chat for the lonely, as well as the more typical help that Citizens Advice has always provided to those in need such as for benefits, housing, and employment advice. It doesn’t matter why you need us, we are here for you.
How to access support: Contact Citizens Advice Wokingham by ringing 0300 330 1189 (if prompted enter 0118 978 7258), emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or visiting their website at www.citizensadvicewokingham.org.uk/coronavirus. A volunteer will make a quick assessment of what help is needed and make the appropriate referrals.
Once you’ve contacted us, you will automatically be registered for ongoing support — this is the start of an ongoing relationship, not just a one-off. The only exception to this is with referrals to the foodbank, which require a new call into Citizens Advice Wokingham.
Food, toiletries and cleaning supplies – First Days are delivering three types of parcels: (1) fresh food, (2) store cupboard food, and (3) toiletries and cleaning supplies.
Prescriptions – Wokingham Volunteer Centre are able to pick up and deliver prescriptions.
A friendly chat – Link Visiting Scheme has volunteers who will ring residents who are socially isolated or lonely for a friendly chat, generally two or three times a week, but sometimes every day. Usually it is elderly people using this service, but loneliness has no age criteria, especially during a crisis.
Other help – Citizens Advice Wokingham can provide advice on things such as benefits, housing and employment. The Wokingham Food Bank is delivering food parcels to those in financial need.
If you are running low on food or need help collecting your prescription, please don’t leave it until the last minute. Flagging up your needs a little in advance gives the volunteer system a chance to process.
Who is doing what
Citizens Advice Wokingham are the “front door” for people across the borough to access support from local charities working with the council to provide the Wokingham Borough Community Response. First Days are running the food distribution hub at St Crispins Leisure Centre; Wokingham Volunteer Centre are providing volunteers to pick up and deliver prescriptions; Link Visiting Scheme are providing friendly chats for those who are lonely; Involve Community Services are supporting local neighbourhood support groups in their Covid-19 response; Age UK Berkshire are supporting people to get home from hospital; and the Wokingham Food Bank is providing food parcels to those in financial need.
Wokingham Borough Council is organising the umbrella effort that is the community response, as well as providing council staff to the voluntary organisations as and when they need additional support. The council adult social care and children’s services teams are also providing support to vulnerable, isolated and shielding residents.