WE’RE HERE TO HELP. BETTER LATE THAN NEVER

 

By Lizzie Healey

West Dunbartonshire Council has launched a dedicated support service to help the area’s most vulnerable residents cope with the impacts of the Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.

Despite the fact that it has come so late in the day, almost as an afterthought, the crisis support service will be led by the Working4U team and backed by colleagues from across the Council who will be on hand seven days a week to provide practical assistance to those who need it.

The service, which is better late than never, will initially focus on those who are vulnerable or isolated and don’t have a local support network, such as relatives or friends, who can help. This will include those who are self-isolating or have medical conditions, the over 70s, and single parents.

Staff have already been contacting people who have been identified by the Scottish Government as required to stay at home and “shield” from the virus over the next 12 weeks.

The support is being offered in addition to the standard services available from the Council such as via home care and is designed to ensure those who may not be in receipt of assistance at present are not left in need.

The help will be tailored to each individual but could include collecting and delivering essential groceries or medicines or providing befriending to combat loneliness.

Councillor Caroline McAllister, the Council’s spokesperson for Communities, said: “This is a difficult time for everyone in our community but many of us have family and friends around us to lend a helping hand or just to listen. We want to ensure all of our residents can access that support.

“This service will assist those who are immobile, vulnerable or self-isolating and have nobody to call upon by providing help with shopping, collecting or delivering medicine, walking pets, or providing someone at the end of a phone to talk to. It is a few simple things that previously people may have taken for granted but it will be invaluable now in our communities.

“We’ve been able to establish this service within a really short space of time, a matter of days, and I want to thank Council staff for their continued efforts to support our residents.”

More information on the additional support on offer is available on the Coronavirus additional-support page.

To access the service, residents should complete the online form via the website.

Residents who do not have access to the internet can call the contact centre on 01389 738282 (press option 5). Lines are busy due to the high volume of calls from residents seeking assistance so please only phone if you are unable to access the internet.

  • Who is leading the Council in this battle against coronavirus? Where is Cllr Jonathan McColl? I think the public deserves to be told. Editor

3 comments

  1. “ Despite the fact that it has come so late in the day, almost as an afterthought, the crisis support service will be led by the Working4U team and backed by colleagues from across the Council who will be on hand seven days a week to provide practical assistance to those who need it.”

    Never a truer word spoken Cllr Caroline. Your comment about this service coming almost as an afterthought typifies the West Dunbartonshire Council’s appalling service standards. Failed on providing PPE to carers, exposing workers to risk, the council management has a lot to answer for.

    But the fat cat managers know that. More predisposed to lining their pockets and covering up bad practice, the hard working front line workers, such as care staff get squeezed, whilst the fat cat managers prosper.

    That the council officials and their media department refuse, and refuse absolutely to engage with online media like the Dumbarton Democrat, and are now refusing to respond to Freedom of Information requests, tells you really all all you need to know about this rotten authority.

    Beholden to no one, save their own vested self interest, isn’t it strange, so very strange that this Council, with a spate of deaths and widespread public concerns being raised about lack of PPE, has absolutely to say on the matter.

    But at least well done to Cllr McAllister for being honest and straight enough to acknowledge that things aren’t as they should be. There’s an honesty in admitting that and it sadly shows how little influence elected representatives actually have over senior officers.

    1. I have to make it clear that the words about this being better late than never and almost an afterthought were mine and mine alone, not Cllr McAllister.

  2. Thank you for the clarification Ed. In my concern about the time that it has taken to get this scheme off the ground I misread the article and wrongly attributed acknowledgement of the delay to Cllr McAllister.

    That there was on reflection of the piece no acknowledgement of concern about the time it took to implement this scheme only serves to reinforce the widespread public concern about too little too late.

    Moreover on a re-read, the statement that even as the scheme is being started it is being acknowledged that lines are busy due to the volume of residents seeking assistance suggests issues of inadequate capacity to handle call demand. Ah well, like shortages of face masks or other PPE, that’ll be all right then.

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