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Coronavirus helpline launched as council leader calls on residents to help ‘save lives’

The council joins forces with mutual aid groups and calls for volunteers and donations

23 March, 2020

Council leader Richard Watts has called on residents to follow public health advice

COUNCIL leader Richard Watts has called on the borough to “do the right thing” and “save lives” by following public health advice – resist the urge to panic buy and support neighbours in need.

His call to action came as he launched a new helpline to coordinate coronavirus mutual aid efforts across the borough.

Under the banner of ‘We are Islington’, the helpline will offer support and advice to anyone struggling to cope with self-isolation, or anyone worried about a friend or a neighbour.

The launch was accompanied with a call for volunteers and donations.

The helpline ties together efforts from the council, the borough’s voluntary sector and grassroots mutual aid groups, and will offer help with getting food or medicine, accessing online group activities, legal advice or just a friendly phone conversation.

Read more:  Coronavirus in Islington: Updates on covid-19

Announcing the launch, Cllr Watts said: “We’re at the start of our biggest national crisis since the Second World War. To get through it we’re really going to have to pull together.

“We Are Islington can ensure that residents have access to the basics of food, medicine and someone to talk to if they are feeling lonely while they are isolated.

“Islington is a brilliant borough, and despite our challenges, we always pull together in tough times. So please, do the right thing, follow the public health advice, don’t buy more than you need to in the shops, and look out for those people in need.

“Just doing those few things will save lives over the next few months.”

The helpline launched on Saturday, March 21, and will be open every day from 9am until 5pm.

To use the service, call 020 7527 8222.

Businesses and people who want to offer their services should get in touch with Voluntary Action Islington by emailing volunteer@vai.org.ok or approaching a local grassroots group.

Donations should be made to the Islington Giving Crisis Fund, which can be found at https://donorbox.org/islington-giving-crisis-fund 

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