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DVVA & Volunteer COVID-19 Response

In the last 3 weeks we have been delighted with the response to our call out to support our community during the Covid-19 Pandemic. With an initial interest of over 600 people to take up roles to support shopping, driving and befriending (and a further 500 having responded to the Scotland Cares campaign via Volunteer Scotland  ) we are now concentrating on placing volunteers with organisations across the city including Feeling Strong and Taught By Muhammad. As well as this we are placing volunteers locally at the eight Community Support Centres set up across the city.

Anita Jamieson, Volunteer and Organisational Development Manager said: “We know that this time can be unsettling for people and it can feel like it’s not clear what we can do to help. From delivering groceries to a vulnerable person or having a chat over the phone we know that volunteers can make a massive difference and we’ve been delighted to see how many Dundonians want to get involved.

We’re keen for new volunteers to know that they are working as part of a team. When we had a vulnerable person call in looking for support for shopping – with help from our Dial-OP Operator Hub Volunteer coordinator; he put in an order for Click and Collect. We then arranged for a Community Response Volunteer to collect and deliver it to his door – a very happy customer.

Often enquires are complex and need a joined up approach. One very frail lady had had a new freezer delivered but the company had failed to take away her old one and fit the new one. Her old freezer was broken and the food had defrosted, so needed to be thrown out. We arranged for uplift of the old freezer and for her new one to be fitted. We also arranged a food delivery to tide her over and put her in touch with local Timebank volunteers for future shopping needs. As well as this we discussed volunteer telephone befriending services she could access.

This elderly woman was so delighted she told us she ‘clapped for Dial-Op and its volunteers on Thursday night!’”

 

Through our information line we have consistently received a high number of enquiries related to food insecurity:

43% in relation to Shopping/Food Supplies

27% in relation to Prescription Collection

20% in relation to Befriending and Older People’s Support

 

Across the city we have coordinated with charity and community organisations to pivot there delivery models and galvanise their work by placing volunteers who are supporting food and medication deliveries across Dundee.

 

Eric Knox, Chief Executive of Dundee Volunteer and Voluntary Action added: “There has been a huge amount of work done to keep people safe in a very short time and this is has been achieved by everyone pulling together.

“The Third Sector providers are continuing to work hard to deliver food and other supplies to vulnerable people across Dundee.  The new measures will assist greatly in achieving the co-ordination and getting help to the most vulnerable people in our communities.”

 

It’s clear that the consequence of social distancing has an impact on our usual routine so it has been essential that services such as our Healthy Minds Network Drop-ins have moved online so that participants continue to feel connected and supported. For those that may be digitally excluded we have ensured an increase in our capacity to man phone lines to be a port of call for those looking for support and information.

Dial-OP & GO is here to support the Sector, partners and community members during these challenging times. Our commitment remains to:

  • operate as an information resource on support locally available and
  • ensure the most vulnerable in our communities don’t feel disconnected and isolated.

Through the Information Line, Dial-OP holds an internal up to date list of local organisations and agencies that can help during this uncertain time. If you have any questions or concerns, please phone the Dial-OP Helpline regarding any enquiry about current services relating to your wellbeing including shopping, food provision, collecting prescriptions, befriending and morning calls, etc.

The call handlers will provide organisations and the general public with the most up to date information and will signpost or arrange onward referral to the relevant services.  You can email dialop@dvva.scot or call 01382 305757, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.