Holme Valley COVID Mutual Aid

Published: 01 April 2020

Update Day 21

Following the creation of the group online on Thursday 12th March, Holme Valley COVID Mutual Aid has had 1994 people join its Facebook page. The Facebook page has been used to send out important government information as well as useful links and ideas. Most importantly, it has broadcast local information about supplies and services that are ever-changing, including updates to school provision, local buses and shop opening times.

After a meeting of interested local people and volunteers on 16th March, the group adopted a name, agreed a purpose and identified a core team to drive this forward. A leaflet was designed and printed and that has now gone to most households in the Holme Valley. The group has created a website holmevalleymutualaid.co.uk with 3 email contact addresses to manage the work, and a hotline which is staffed from 8am-6pm seven days a week.

Anyone can ring this helpline 01484 212056 and please let others know about it

Work is underway to collaborate with Kirklees Council on the helpline they have created too, as well as the new NHS line that has just gone live.

Holme Valley COVID Mutual Aid has two main focuses for its work - help and support. On the “help” front, it now has details of close to 500 volunteers and has organised them into area teams with a local volunteer coordinator. This is a very resilient network and is able to support members of the community who are self-isolating with things like shopping and emotional support. Volunteers are also helping local pharmacists with the delivery of medication and are distributing protective equipment to local businesses to help them to keep trading.

In terms of support, the phone line has had over 200 calls. More requests have come in by email. The team has allocated volunteers to over 140 cases now. The team is working closely with the local Food Banks, - Holme Valley Foodbank and Full Life Church Food Bank, -  who are in great need of donations right now. The Mutual Aid group would be interested to hear of any other organisations locally that would like to get involved.

Liaison is on-going with wider stakeholders, including Council staff, local Kirklees councillors and neighbouring Mutual Aid style groups. The team is now working in partnership with Holmfirth Tech to extend the provision in the next few weeks. Similar partnership-working is developing with the neighbouring group in Meltham, and the Holme Valley team is sharing good practice with other emerging networks locally and nationally.

Holme Valley Parish Council has earmarked £20,000 of reserves in its budget as a Covid-19 Pandemic Emergency Response Fund that may be accessed by the Mutual Aid group with Council approval as circumstances require it.

Holme Valley Mutual Aid 1/4/2020