A call has gone out for volunteers to help isolated and vulnerable people in the Corwen area as the coronavirus pandemic spreads.
The appeal has come from South Denbighshire Community Partnership (SDCP), a locally-based and grant-funded community charity for the people of the Edeyrnion district.
SDCP, which provides a range of community services ranging from meals on wheels to renewable energy projects, has had over 20 people come forward in the first 24 hours of the appeal.
The outbreak has already forced the closure of its regular Cawl A Chan lunch club for older people and its programme of activities at its headquarters at the Canolfan Ni centre in Corwen.
Now SDCP is stepping up its efforts to reach out to people in Corwen and the surrounding villages of Glyndyfrdwy, Carrog, Cynwyd, Llandrillo, Gwyddelwern, Betws Gwerful Goch, Melin Y Wig and Bryneglwys.
Community Engagement Officer Sally Lloyd Davies said: “We are facing an unprecedented situation across the world and the threat is very much present here in the Edeyrnion area.
“Canolfan Ni will remain open and our priority now will be to implement a community response and provide additional support for the vulnerable and in-need members of the Edeyrnion Community.
“We are appealing for volunteers to come forward and the response so far has been brilliant but we need many more and we will act as co-ordinators for the help and support that is needed.
“We intend to set up a crowdfunding page on the internet for cash donations because people are going to run short of money and we also need food and other commodities.
“People are likely to be really struggling if this continues as it is expected to do and if the schools are closed then it will put families under even more pressure.
“This is an area where there is a great deal of rural poverty with older people often living in isolated areas where it is difficult for them to access services and this must be very frightening for them as they are most at risk from this outbreak.”
SDCP has been in contact with Denbighshire County Council and with Corwen Town Council and the local community councils and has also adjusted its volunteer application form to recognize the threat of the COVID-19 virus.
They also plan to mobilise their teams of volunteers to collect shopping and prescriptions for vulnerable and isolated people and to distribute food and other donations to those identified in need across the area.
Sally added: “We need donations to the food bank as well as that is likely to be under more pressure and with fewer people attending our lunch clubs they will also need to make more use of our meals on wheels service to provide them with hot and nutritious food.
“We even need volunteers to come in and answer the phones because we expect more demand there as well as we only operate with a small team.
“Our idea is to establish out headquarters at Canolfan Ni here in Corwen as a central hub in the area and organise satellite hubs in the surrounding villages working with these communities.
“We need to be able to check that people living alone in isolated parts of the area are well and not in need and that’s going to take plenty of manpower, the more the merrier.
“We are distributing leaflets to every household in Edeyrnion and have set up an organising committee which includes retired district nurses and other professionals.
“The response has been fantastic so far but we still need more people to come forward to help us.”
For updated information on SDCP’s response go to https://www.facebook.com/sdcpartnership and for those in need of support contact SDCP on 01490 266004.