Liverpool Mayor issues rallying cry to mobilise a ‘community army’

As the UK continues to battle the growing coronavirus crisis Joe Anderson wants businesses and residents to help Liverpool’s most vulnerable residents. Tony McDonough reports

Joe Anderson
Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson wants to create a ‘community army’

 

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson is asking the city’s businesses and residents to mobilise a “community army” to help those most affected by the coronavirus crisis.

People across the UK are in the midst of the biggest disruption to their everyday lives since the Second World War II and there is a fear that it is the most vulnerable members of our society who will suffer most as the virus continues to spread.

Mr Anderson has instructed the city council to set up two hotlines – one to recruit a volunteer army, the other to identify and help the city’s most vulnerable. He is also calling on the city’s businesses community and voluntary organisations to register their support to assist communities overcome the pandemic over the coming weeks and months.

The two telephone hotlines are now live, just as the Mayor begins chairing Liverpool’s Health and Wellbeing Board which will discuss the city’s latest plans to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.

The volunteer hotline is 0151 233 3068. Key tasks identified will be for people to help deliver medication to those in self-isolation, or check in with neighbours. This phone line can also be used to volunteer for Liverpool Foodbanks who require volunteers across the city. 

The support hotline is 0151 233 3066. This has been established for anyone to call who feels they need support with a range of basic tasks because they don’t have a support network – friends and family – in place. Both hotlines will be manned from 8am to 6pm, seven days a week.

Mayor Anderson said: Liverpool is famous for its community spirit, and we will need to call on it now – more than ever before. Life for everyone is changing in a way few could ever have imagined. Only by working together will we steer our way through this.

The council has been implementing our own well-rehearsed contingency plans to cope with a pandemic, and is already using its network of contacts to mobilise so we can protect the most vulnerable. But it is not enough. We simply don’t have the volume of staff to fully respond to this crisis.

“If you are healthy and fit, and are not living with someone with Covid-19 – Liverpool needs you. There is a vast number of roles for people to perform over the coming weeks and months – and we need to begin the process of assessing the needs and deploying those who can help.

It goes without saying – these are unprecedented times. It is impossible to overstate the seriousness of the situation, but I know this city will emerge on the other side all the stronger for it. Our unity and spirit are famous the world over – and we are going to need every ounce of it to get through the coming months.”

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