Cardiff – Supporting the young

Provision and support for young people provided by Cardiff Youth Services has been expanded in order to meet increased demand during COVID-19. The Council has reallocated staff to join the designated street based team, to engage with young people and listen to their views. Digital engagement between services and young people has increased and the Council has appointed a digital officer for this area. New ways to engage young people in conversation have been created, including innovative activities via social media platforms like competitions and Question and Answer sessions. Many young people have not been able to attend school, college or youth provision since March. You can read more here

Contact: Beverley Watson

Istanbul – Overview of measures

Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality has created a summary of the policy responses to the corona pandemic and the plans for recovery. You can download the document here. More information (in Turkish) is available here

Contact: Asena Selçuk

Madrid – 352 measures for recovery

Madrid’s City Council approved the ‘Pactos de la Villa’, an agreement listing 352 measures to revive the city after the pandemic. Measures include the reinforcement of social services, a telecare program, and the creation of a municipal social card and many more. Read more here and here (in Spanish)

Contact: Ana Buñuel

Bristol – Wellbeing campaign

Bristol is urging residents to make time to check in with one another following the launch of a new campaign. Developed by a partnership of local organisations, ‘Are you OK?’ aims to encourage people to focus on each other’s wellbeing and consider if others could be struggling or at risk as the lockdown begins to ease, with an initial focus on three areas: safeguarding of adults and children, domestic abuse and mental health. More information here.

Contact: Paul Davies

Malmo – Acting on violence against women

Campaign video: “Isolation can stop the virus, but it can increase violence – seak help before it happens”

As part of its pandemic response Malmo has instigated measures such as a 24-hour helpline and counselling centres; a campaign directed to young people in the age range of 13 – 21, suffering from honour related violence on Snapchat; a follow up campaign on Facebook directed to girls and women aged 15 – 44; and sharing information at local bus stops about where perpetrators could go if they wanted help with changing their behaviour. Read more here and here

Contact: Margot Olsson

Madrid – Strengthening social services

Madrid City Council has allocated €5 million to strengthen social services with 264 personnel. The Temporary Employment Plan (PET) includes 118 social workers (a 22% increase over the total) and 41 administrative assistants (33% more). PET has a duration of six months, extendable up to three years. In addition, the employment plan approved this week adds 20 vacancies for social services assistant, which have already been filled by new officials. Read more (in Spanish) here.

Contact: Ana Buñuel

Beşiktaş – Anti-stress campaign

Beşiktaş Municipality has launched an anti-stress campaign to help people as restrictions are lifted. As part of the project, an anti-stress committee was established with psychologists at Beşiktaş Public Health Digital Management Center. Citizens will be able to meet with clinical psychologists at the events to be held in the public parks, online, or in private by appointment. Stress-relief activities such as yoga will be held at the local parks and other public places while keeping social distance. Musicians will also begin to play at many places in the district. More information (in Turkish) here.

Speaking to the Clinical Psychologist İbrahim Eke about the benefits of the ‘Anti-Stress Campaign’ for Beşiktaş, Mayor Rıza Akpolat asked Eke about the questions of neighbours and the work to be done.

Contact: foreignaffairs@besiktas.bel.tr

Rotterdam – Investing in the future

Rotterdam is investing €2.4 million in schoolchildren and €20 million in homeless services. The money for schoolchildren will help provide 6,000 children from disadvantaged families and areas with extra classes and courses this summer so that they don’t fall behind. The homeless services receiving investment include support for independent housing, chonselling, advice and providing better living conditions. This move follows the provision of 150 homeless shelters, with social distancing measures in place, since the beginning of the outbreak. More information (in Dutch) here.

Contact: Murat Altunbas

Vienna – 1000 new municipal apartments

Mayor Michael Ludwig and City Councillor Gaal, responsible for housing. © C.Jobst/PID

The City of Vienna has announced to build 7 new municipal housing sites with 1,000 apartments in the coming years. “The effects of the pandemic are a particularly clear reminder of the importance of social housing policy for the well-being of the Viennese population”, as Mayor Michael Ludwig stated. Following the long and successful Viennese tradition of social and affordable housing, providing for more municipal housing is a guarantee for safe housing and high quality of life at affordable prices. The new buildings will be spread all over Vienna, the projects are to create a high-quality and affordable offer in attractive residential environments. The start of construction is planned for 2022.

Continue reading “Vienna – 1000 new municipal apartments”

Kungsbacka – Digital doers help you stay connected

To enable all citizens to use digital tools for social contacts during the corona pandemic, the Swedish city of Kungsbacka has initiated a support service: people can book a ‘digital doer’ to assist them at home on how to make a video call, download an e-book or enjoy a live streamed concert or digital museum tour. The service is available for people aged 70 years or older and others who belong to a risk group and have difficulties using online tools. They can also borrow a tablet from the digital doers. Information about the offer is given via an outreach programme of the municipality and through a senior citizens network. You can read more here (in Swedish)

Contact: Astrid Bayard

Cardiff – Time to say thanks to volunteers

Volunteers across Cardiff are being celebrated this week, including the 1,200 strong Together for Cardiff force which was set up by the city council at the onset of the COVID-19 emergency. Working with council staff, the volunteers helped preparing and delivering more than 5,000 emergency food and essentials parcels for people experiencing difficulties getting supplies during the outbreak because they are self-isolating or because of the financial impact of the crisis. You can read more here

Contact: Beverley Watson

Sofia – Thank you to volunteers and donors

The mayor of Sofia, Yordanka Fandakova, has acknowledged the help received from people and institutions during the corona lockdown. She mentions that a total of €211,000 has been donated in the form of food, medicine, protective masks and clothing, medical equipment and disinfectants. More than 140 people in Sofia have received warm food daily. Furthermore, 238 citizens joined as volunteers. You can read more on the mayor’s Facebook page (in Bulgarian)

Contact: Sevdalina Voynova

Dusseldorf – Study of children and corona

The University Hospital of Dusseldorf in cooperation with the Youth and the Health Department will conduct a clinical model study testing 5,000 children and childcare workers in June, when Kindergartens are reopened after the corona lockdown. The results of the voluntary tests shall inform the research concerning the dissimination of the coronavirus through children. It is the most extensive study of its kind in Germany. You can read more here (in German)

Contact: Stefanie Nietfeld

Dusseldorf – Sweets after Ramadan

Muslims celebrating ‘Eid al-Fitr’, the religious festival of breaking the fast at the end of the month of Ramadan, did get bags with tasty sweets brought to their homes last weekend in Dusseldorf. The initiative ‘Refugees welcome in Düsseldorf’ had donated 50 bags to muslim refugees in corona quarantine.

Contact: Stefanie Nietfeld

EU budget and recovery – Reclaiming the future for cities

Cities were hit hardest by the corona pandemic – Dario Nardella, mayor of Florence and vice-president of Eurocities, declares a state of social and economic emergency for his city and many others across Europe. In an article published on Euractiv, he argues that cities are key for a sustainable recovery in Europe.

“Cities need direct and rapid access to national and European funding – otherwise we will collapse,” Dario Nardella writes in view of the new EU budget and post COVID-19 recovery fund presented today, Wednesday, by the European Commission. “In exchange, cities have a lot to offer. We can inspire national and European politics to build back better, to create a sustainable recovery.”

You can read the full article here

Madrid – Easy moving for people with disabilities

Madrid is running a campaign to raise awareness among public transport users about the importance of following daily gestures such as respecting seat priority for people with disabilities, people with reduced mobility, pregnant women or the elderly. These gestures will make mobility easier and more pleasant for these groups who are particularly impacted by deconfinement measures. Read more here (in Spanish)

Contact: Ana Buñuel

Espoo – Digital youth work

The youth centre activities of the Finnish city of Espoo went online during the corona lockdown. Young people are meeting on digital platforms like Discord to chat or play games, they share images via Instagram and organise online events like cooking together. With more than 400 young people participating, Espoo wants to continue the digital youth work in autumn when the youth centres are open again. You can read more here

Contact: Annika Forstén

Gdansk – Overview of measures

Throughout the pandemic, Gdansk has taken a number of measures to ensure that all people had access to information and support, not forgetting the most vulnerable members of society, and, among other things, that children’s education can continue with a minimum of disruption. Please find a partial overview of some of the actions that Gdansk has taken here.

Contact: Joanna Krupadziorow

Vienna – Overview of measures for safe and inclusive recovery

Vienna has taken an approach of cautious exit and inclusive recovery as the country is slowly going back to ‘normal’. The updated overview highlights measures with regard to a smooth and safe running of city services, from childcare and schools to health and social services, support for the local economy and unemployed citizens and much more. It also contains a survey that shows that the city’s crisis management was positively received by the population. You can download the document here.

Contact: Michaela Kauer or stay up to date at @Stadt_Wien

Poznan – Masks for seniors by seniors

The City of Poznan, along with foundations and non-governmental organisations, has started the ‘Seniorro Masks’ campaign, where seniors sew protective masks for seniors. The material is provided together with instructions and patterns. Volunteers work together applying physical distancing and using face protection themselves. Masks are treated before distribution. Read more here (in Polish)

Contact: Anna Aleksandrzak

Helsinki – Talking it out

Helsinki offers a free low-threshold service, Mieppi, as a support to people during challenging times. During the crisis the service went online, and nurses and psychologists provided their support via phone or conference calls. Mieppi offers up to five meetings to people from 13 years of age and older. As a low-threshold service, Mieppi believes that early support and aid can help find ways of coping. Talking and being heard achieves the main goal of creating a human connection that will help overcome difficult times. Read more here

Contact: Outi Forsström

Istanbul – Bill on the hook

A campaign based on the system of ‘askida fatura’ or ‘suspended bill’ has raised over €2 million, which is enough to help more than 124,500 households pay their water and gas bills. Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality matches people who cannot afford to pay their bills with those willing to cover the cost of these bills out of an act of solidarity in difficult times. Read more here

Contact: Raci Karaca

Guimaraes – Nursing homes open for visitors again

Old people living in nursing homes in Guimaraes, Portugal, can receive visitors again from next week, following the lockdown due the corona pandemic. The municipality is providing masks and other protective material and has established special regulation. In a first stage, each resident should have only one visitor, once a week, and the visits must not exceed 90 minutes. You can read more here (in Portuguese)

Contact: Crisalia Alves

Angers – Traffic wardens go shopping for the elderly

During the corona containment period, the communal centre for social action (CCAS) in Angers has been offering a home shopping service to help the most vulnerable people, such as the elderly or those with low incomes. The service is available for every household in need once or twice a week, and is carried out not only by social workers but also by traffic wardens. You can read more here (in French)

Contact: Bruno Gourdon

Izmir – Pay your neighbour’s water bill

People in Izmir who cannot pay their water bills due to economic problems resulting from the corona crisis can get help by others who anonymously pay for them. Following the example of Istanbul and Ankara, the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality has implemented the system of ‘askida fatura’, ‘suspended bill’. That is the name of a Turkish tradition, practiced in bakeries: a customer buys one loaf of bread but pays for two, so someone in need can come in and eat later. Now this principle is used for water bills, via ‘BizIzmir’, the digital platform for municipal services.

Continue reading “Izmir – Pay your neighbour’s water bill”

Madrid – Vouchers to support food solidarity

The municipal markets will start to sell vouchers to give the consumers the opportunity to support the action made by district associations to provide food to those in need. The Economy, Innovation and Employment Area has doubled the amount of subsidies for the expansion of municipal markets, as well as their digitalization, which has been fundamental in recent months and has allowed them to meet the demand of the people of Madrid from their homes, increasing market sales in this sense by more than 400%. Read more here (in Spanish)

Contact: Ana Buñuel

Budapest – Chimney sweepers deliver food

© FŐKÉTÜSZ (Metropolitan Chimney Sweeping company) / City of Budapest

Budapest’s chimney sweepers are carrying out social duties since the suspension of chimney checks due to the pandemic. Chimney sweepers are delivering food and medicine for vulnerable and elderly residents. More information here.

Contact: Adrienn Magyar

Budapest – Sheltering the homeless

Budapest has increased the capacity of its social institutions by creating further space for 500 people. However, further development is needed to meet self-isolation and social distancing requirements. Therefore, one of the wings of the City Hall building – later to be used as the Budapest Gallery – is being renovated to serve as a temporary shelter for the homeless who would like to voluntarily enter into quarantine. More information here.

Contact: Adrienn Magyar

Haarlem – Shopping service for vulnerable people

A shopping service has been established on the initiative and collaboration between an association, a foundation and a supermarket in Haarlem. The service is aimed at people over the age of 65 and people who are less mobile or have health problems who cannot get their groceries themselves during the corona period. Visit the initiative’s website here

Contact: Valentina Schippers

Vienna – Extensions for social benefits

The director of the department, Agnes Berlakovich – (C) City of Vienna

The city social affairs department ensured its services to its 133,000 users during the crisis by extending the duration of expiring social benefits. People could easily extend their benefits from the security of their homes as Vienna put in place an automatic procedure and postponed controls. This allowed everyone in need to get their social allowances and stay financially stable. The team made sure relevant information reached all concerned people. The department will reopen soon following hygiene and distancing rules. Read more here (in German)

Continue reading “Vienna – Extensions for social benefits”

Glasgow – Online training for community groups

Glasgow like other peer cities is acutely aware of the impact that COVID-19 has had on the city’s community groups that many in the local communities rely upon. To help these groups during the public health emergency, the Glasgow Council on Voluntary Services is offering a range of free training workshops and surgeries designed to support staff, volunteers and organisations.

The workshops have been developed, planned and will be delivered in partnership with the city-wide Glasgow Capacity Building Group including  Glasgow City Council,  Volunteer Glasgow, Jobs and Business Glasgow and Glasgow Life. Surgeries will cover topics such as funding, staff furlough, homeworking and lone working, redundancy and restructure.

Contact: Joe Brady

Viladecans – Psychological care community

The municipality has establish an online community based on videocalls to allow those who feel lonely to share their feelings and receive support from others. This is just one among a number of initiatives to tackle the spread of the pandemic have been implemented since the lockdown began seven weeks ago. Read them all here

Contact: Alba Martínez García

Athens – ‘Helping you at home’

‘Helping you at home’ is an initiative involving most of the personnel of the social services, targeting the most vulnerable groups to provide them with groceries, medication and material help. The project has three pillars: the helpline, the research unit and the field group. They all work together to assess the applicants’ situations and provide help as efficiently as possible. Read a more detailed explanation here

Contact: Dimitris Konstantopoulos

Leeds – Support for rough sleepers and homeless

Together with the Leeds Street Support Delivery Team and partners out on the streets in the day and night, outreach work is continuing across the city directly engaging with those in need. The city council is continuing to offer people that are sleeping rough or homeless a variety of help which includes access to permanent and overnight accommodation provided by charities, free food and tailored specialised assistance for those with addiction or other health needs.

The city is also supporting two initiatives called Covid-19 Protect and Covid-19 Care which aim to further support those without permanent accommodation during the crisis. The City is working with housing providers to identify suitable locations for people to self-isolate in should they start showing symptoms. And if further care is needed additional facilities have been identified and made available.

Contact: Titus Carey

Leeds – United to help those in need

Leeds City Council has joined forces with third sector organisations to deliver vital services to people in need across the city via a network of volunteers and community hubs. Anyone needing help or support during the Covid-19 emergency can call a helpline where they will then be matched with one of the thousands of local volunteers.

The Community Care Volunteer Programme has seen over 8,000 volunteers offer their support to help the vulnerable in Leeds. Volunteers can sign-up to offer practical support such as shopping deliveries, preparing meals, dog walking, making check-in phone calls or as an informal volunteer within their own neighbourhood in more general ways.

Contact: Titus Carey

Ljubljana – Domestic violence awareness

Ljubljana is is countering a rise in domestic violence, serious injuries and femicide. The city co-finances NGOs dealing with violence, but these organisations, which provide accommodation and counselling programmes, are currently overburdened. Counsellors are using telephone and video links to remain in contact with victims and violent offenders included in the programme. The city is working with these NGOs to offer two new 24-hour hotlines to deal with increased calls at night and over the weekend.

To raise awareness, the city has published instructions on what steps to take in the event of violence, with contact information for NGOs on the city website and a municipal newsletter that is distributed to all households in Ljubljana. The city is also broadcasting messages with the hotline numbers of NGOs on LCD screens in Lekarna Ljubljana outlets and the Ljubljana Community Health Centre. LPP (Ljubljana public transport) will also be invited to show this information once restrictions on public transport are eased. More information (in Slovinian) here.

Contact: Polona Novak

Besiktas – Doctors online

Beşiktaş Municipality has moved its medical consultation services online. Psychological guidance, nutritionist, family counselling and physiotherapy services which the municipality provides take place through the platform ‘Online live-video medical advice service’ within the office hours.

These services help locals facing physical and psychological issues, either already existing or brought on or exacerbated by confinement during the coronavirus pandemic.

More information (in Turkish) here.

Contact: foreignaffairs@besiktas.bel.tr

Ljubljana – Home care

Ljubljana’s Home Care Institution is providing home care services during the COVID-19 epidemic, including help to the elderly, chronically ill and people with disabilities with their everyday core activities, chores and establishing or maintaining social connections. Field caretakers visit the most vulnerable people who urgently need help and cannot receive it from their families or have no relatives, and take care of the most urgent daily activities, such as maintaining personal hygiene and feeding.

Continue reading “Ljubljana – Home care”

Reykjavik – Overview of measures

The city of Reykjavik, Iceland, has compiled a summary of measures taken in the coronavirus crisis. The document describes the different phases in response to the pandemic and how “aggressive testing, tracing and quarantining” has slowed the spreading of the virus. Iceland has introduced a tracing app which has been downloaded by one third of the population. Restrictions are eased since beginning of May. You can download the document here

Contact: Hilmar Hildar Magnúsarson

Cardiff – Young carers’ support

Cardiff is supporting young carers who have to look after a relative with a disability, illness, mental health condition or drug or alcohol problem. Young carers can reach out through WhatsApp group chats, and they can access daily updates and activities to engage with their relatives at home. These include live video chats, workshops and educational videos, as well as information about other support services. Read more here

Contact: Beverley Watson

Athens – Shelter for 400 homeless

To protect the vulnerable group of homeless people in the corona pandemic, Athens has created a shelter with more than 400 beds. The three-buildings complex of seven floors was opened in April and is run by the City of Athens’ Reception and Solidarity Center. It offers accommodation in dormitories as immediate help and apartments for a longer stay, along with free meals and psychosocial support.

Continue reading “Athens – Shelter for 400 homeless”

Osmangazi – Food and shelter for stray cats

The city of Osmangazi provides nutrition for stray animals in the city. While street cats in Turkey usually are fed and caressed by the people, this is possible only to a limited extend in the corona lockdown. Therefore the municipality deposits animal food at designated areas and collects sick and needy animals for further treatment.

Contact: Şenol Dülger

Kartal/Istanbul – Children’s Day

Kartal made sure its children could still celebrate this year’s National Sovereignty and Children’s Day and the 100th anniversary of the opening of Grand National Assembly of Turkey. The Kartal Children’s Council Special Session was moved online and Mayor Gökhan Yüksel met and listened to 20 children, representing their neighbourhoods. In addition, open deck busses took superheros and bands paying popular anthems and children songs on a tour of the district. The mayor payed a visit to the neighbourhood of 9-year-old twin sisters Nida and Eylül İlgöz to grant them their wish to celebrate together this day.

Contact: Hüseyin Güler

Dusseldorf – More hotel rooms for the homeless

Since those without shelter are especially exposed to a possible infection with the corona virus, the city of Dusseldorf has rented another hotel with 34 rooms for homeless people. It offers single and double rooms during the crisis as well as medical and social care. Including those rooms, the city has provided additional accomodation for more than 175 homeless people. You can read more here (in German)

Contact: Stefanie Nietfeld

Budapest – Waiting for you

“Budapest awaits!” is the message of a music and dance video, aimed at city residents and tourists. The film, created by the Budapest Festival and Tourism Center, shows the formerly cheerful and lively, but now empty city, waiting to see life returning to the streets and public spaces.

Budapest has also compiled a summary of measures the city has taken in the corona crisis. You can download the document here

Contact: Adrienn Magyar

Cluj-Napoca – Tackling the social impact

The city has compiled a detailed overview of the decisions and resources put in place to tackle the impacts that the crisis is having on the most vulnerable. This measures aim to preventing situations which could lead to social marginalisation as well as increasing the quality of life while promoting the social inclusion of vulnerable persons and groups within the community. Download the document here

Contact: Emilia Botezan

Madrid – Apartments for seniors

Madrid has opened a complex of apartments to host elderly people without COVID-19 symptoms who have lost their caregivers, which in many cases is also a loved one, or who do not benefit from the help of a caregiver. The new space can welcome up to 75 people, who will benefit from social and psychological support, and the assistance of a doctor and a nursing team. Read more here (in Spanish)

Contact: Ana Buñuel

Madrid – Fast track aid

Madrid has reduced procedures related to social aid to a minimum so it can meet the growing demand for municipal aid as quickly as possible. For example, justification for applications are accepted after having received the aid, and applicants who need recurring help will be able to apply for it with a single application. Read more here (in Spanish)

Contact: Ana Buñuel

Nantes – school lunches

Normally, families in Nantes pay between 0,84 and 4,62 € per day for the school canteen. Catering at home may cost more when the school canteens are closed during the COVID crisis. 7,459 families with low income will, in two weeks, receive €100 per child from Nantes’ Welfare Centre. Read more (in French) here.

Contact: Nicolas Joffraud

Nantes – housing solidarity

Nantes Metropole and the département Loire-Atlantique have established a housing solidarity fund of more than €2 million to help people to pay the rent of their housing. The fund is available to people with low or less income because of the coronavirus crisis.

More information (in French) here, or watch the video here.

Contact: Nicolas Joffraud

Glasgow – Students and retirees willing to help

Social Work students and retired social workers have responded to the city council’s call for help. They will be mainly assisting in the elderly residential homes of the city. Students will receive an intensive induction on most important matter currently affecting the crisis. This additional support will ease the pressure on the current social care system of the city. Read more here

Contact: Joe Brady

Espoo – Smartbot gives multilingual advice

Espoo is testing a smartbot, a learning artificial intelligence application, to answer questions in more than a hundred languages on the city website. The smartbot is available around the clock and can serve more than 100,000 users at the same time. The bot has been added to the helpline already offering guidance in 16 languages. Read more here and here

Contact: Annika Forstén

Edinburgh – Food distribution network

The city council, third sector organisation EVOC and the volunteering community have come together to provide vulnerable groups food in these difficult circumstances. 3000 areas are targeted at first and further actions will adapt to the citizens’ demand. Volunteers will receive training and schools are acting as logistic centers. Read more here

Contact: Karen Lloyd

Edinburgh – Triple shelter partnership

10,000 bed spaces to 730 unique individuals over the last 200 nights” is the outcome reached together by Edinburgh’s city council and Bethany Christian Trust. The volunteers and the Council staff receive now help from the Old Waverley Hotel, where they can have temporary accomodation while receiving support and advices. The hotel is also offering three meals a day for those in need thanks to many anonymous volunteers. Read more here

Contact: Karen Lloyd

Bristol – Campaign to support community

Bristol is repurposing the campaign #WeAreBristol, launched in 2019 to challenge people to overcome their differences and focus on what they have in common. Now, during and after the Covid-19 crisis, the campaign is being used and expanded to increase community collaboration and resilience.

This includes the setting up the ‘We are Bristol’ Coronavirus hotline for citizens of Bristol, available seven days a week, helping local citizens to obtain food, medicine, dog walking support, or speak to a ‘trusted’ person to prevent loneliness. Through the hotline, the Community Support Response team allocate volunteers and organisations to those in need. Alongside this, the latest WeAreBristol #StaySafe#Stayathome film released at Easter also helps citizens feel connected at a time when they might be feeling anxious or vulnerable.

Contact Bristol International Affairs: international@bristol.gov.uk

Lublin – Measures for foreign residents

Lublin is supporting foreign residents by making practical information available, looking out for underage non-national students, and centralising services. Measures include:

  • A website in English https://lublin.eu/en/and Ukrainian (largest migrant community) https://lublin.eu/ua/ with the latest updates on the situation in Poland and Lubelskie, as well as current regulations or restrictions in force and links to social assistance, education, culture and sports, NGOs working for foreigners, and so on. More information here;
  • A hashtag, #stayathome, linked to an English-language database to offer services given by local businesses to Lublin residents more easily during Covid-19. More information here.
  • And special attention to underage foreign students. More information here.

Lublin is also sharing its experiences related to the functioning of local government during pandemic with partner cities and a wider spectrum of municipalities in Ukraine.

Contact: Roman Jaborkhel

Florence – Digital solutions

Florence is using a digital approach to adjusting to the covid landscape.

The city has organised the following initiatives:

  • Web Portal for the promotion of open and home delivery shops – www.lebotteghedifirenze.it – more than 500 shops registered since lockdown
  • Asking for an economic contribution in tickets to buy food for people having businesses affected by the lockdown www.firenzebuonispesa.it – more than 5,000 inquiries in three days, more than €2 million in contributions offered to affected residents
  • Use of 2100 public WiFi hotspots for monitoring presences in outdoor squares and parks during lockdown
  • Use of traffic sensors for monitoring vehicles flow during lockdown
  • Use of GIS data and open data to optimise house-by-house delivery to citizens of protective masks.

Contact: Alessandra Barbieri

Beşiktaş – Online solidarity

Beşiktaş has joined ‘blessing box’ programme that can turn online shopping into donations. The programme allows residents to demonstrate solidarity while shopping online by creating a shopping basket to be sent to their neighbours in need, which the municipality then delivers. It is possible to donate all kinds of products, such as foods, hygiene products, pet food etc.

After purchasing the products residents want to donate from any online shopping sites, it is sufficient to enter the address of the municipality as delivery address and Beşiktaş Belediyesi as recipient name. Thus, the delivery will be brought to the food bank and will be delivered to the people in need by the Blessing Box Solidarity Programme teams. Citizens will be able to check whether their delivery has reached its destination. Read more (in Turkish) here.

Contact: foreignaffairs@besiktas.bel.tr

Munich – Homeless services

Munich is providing accommodation for homeless people who, because of their age or the existence of a previous condition, are particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus. Its social services department has also set up quarantine accommodation that houses households that have been quarantined. A separate quarantine object for vulnerable target groups (women at risk of domestic violence, old people, people with pre-existing conditions, etc.) is also planned. Two homes for homeless women have agreed to accept women from the women’s shelters as needed to help shelter women in the face of the expected increase in domestic violence due to exit restrictions.

Continue reading “Munich – Homeless services”

Munich – Care for the vulnerable

Munich’s social department is subsidising food tables with a total of over 30 dispensaries for food and hot meals. The Münchner Tafel is open Monday to Saturday from 1.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. on the grounds of the Grossmarkthalle (West Gate). The social department is working on maintaining the social infrastructure together with the agencies or charities as well as its own employees. Read more (in German) here.

Contact: portal.soz@muenchen.de

Beşiktaş – Gender equality

Beşiktaş mayor Mr. Rıza Akpolat has started an awareness campaign on gender mainstreaming through social media with the hashtag #EşitlikEvdeBaşlar (Gender equality begins at home) and invited all citizens to support the campaign and share responsibilities.

The campaign has three central messages: 1. No women’s work, no men’s work; just housework. 2. Everyone can manage to clean the house. 3. Taking care of children is a common task of both parents. Read more (in Turkish) here.

Contact: foreignaffairs@besiktas.bel.tr

Munich – Care for the elderly

Munich is working with its social department and municipal libraries to deliver a shopping service for older residents and those with disabilities. The association “Münchner Freiwillige”, which is sponsored by the social department, also helps with shopping, as well as everyday challenges, such as caring for pets (going for a walk, etc.). Read more (in German) here.

Contact: portal.soz@muenchen.de



Bratislava – Homeless support

Bratislava has prepared a quarantine town with the support of professional, medical and social staff that will serve its population of 4,000 homeless people for the duration of the COVID19 crisis. The quarantine town has an initial capacity of 50 people; the planned maximum capacity will be 230 people. Homeless people in Bratislava will receive necessary care and services if they suspect they have been in contact with infected person or have symptoms of the disease.  This temporary facility is an important complement for ensuring the functioning of services and facilities for homeless people which are already in place in Bratislava.

Continue reading “Bratislava – Homeless support”

Madrid – Hotel for homeless with mild symptoms

Madrid city council, together with the regional government and the Red Cross, has arranged a hotel for 120 homeless people with mild coronavirus symptoms. Health professionals are monitoring their health. Rooms are equipped with tablets so that patients can reach the support team of social workers, psychologist and doctors. The initiative is part of the Homeless Emergency Plan of the city council. Read more here (in Spanish)

Contact: Ana Buñuel

Osmangazi – Food distribution

Following the confinement rules established in Osmangazi, Turkey, people above 65 years and below 20 years old are prohibited to go out, apart from emergencies. To provide people at home with food and other essential items, the municipality offers a delivery service. More than 30,000 families have ordered goods via email or telephone, while the authorities have proactively delivered basic goods to over 130,000 families. Read more here (in Turkish)

Contact: Şenol Dülger

Nicosia – Overview of measures

The city of Nicosia, Cyprus, has compiled a summary of the municipality’s measures in the corona crisis, from confinement regulations over ‘solidarity baskets’ for the elderly to creative activities for kids, painting their vision of ‘Nicosia 2030’ while at home. The document also provides contact names for further information. You can download it here

Contact: Charis Theocharous

Cardiff – Research for corona vaccine

A team of Cardiff University scientists has switched from researching cancer to work that could help to develop a vaccine for coronavirus. The team, usually working on reprogramming viruses to target and kill cancer, has put its expertise on research to work on a corona vaccine. The aim is to produce potential vaccines and pass these to immunologists for tests. You can read more here.

Contact: Beverley Watson

Cardiff – Help for victims of domestic violence

RISE Cardiff, delivering support to those experiencing or escaping domestic violence, has adapted its ways of working to be able to continue providing full support, including accommodation, to those in need while respecting Public Health guidance. The team is available 24/7 via phone, webchat or email. You can read more here.

Contact: Beverley Watson

Poznan – Shopping for seniors

Volunteers in the city of Poznan, Poland, go shopping for the elderly who have to stay at home during the COVID-19 confinement. Seniors over 60 years old who live alone and people with disabilities can get food, hygiene products and medicines through this service. The city has also established the ‘kindness line’ where elderly citizens of Poznan can call and talk about their concerns in the isolation. You can read more here and here (in Polish)

Contact: Anna Aleksandrzak

Bologna – Social tv promotes ‘The Flying Hummingbird’

Bologna has launched a social tv programme with stories of citizens in Bologna who are reacting to the COVID-19 emergency with resilience and courage. The aim of the project is to promote solidarity fundraising in favour of the most fragile people in Bologna and of three city public hospitals. You can read more here and follow the streaming on the dedicated Facebook page

Contact: Francesca Martinese

Genova – Overview of measures

The Italian city of Genova has compiled a summary of the city’s measures in response to the corona pandemic. The presentation describes a stepwise approach to care for people, jobs and services first, while preparing for reboot and resilient and sustainable growth after the crisis. You can download the document here

Contact: Corrado Ragucci

Vilnius – Tech savvy help

In Vilnius, volunteers are matched with tasks submitted by people in need through the Strong Together volunteer coordination website. Social media, websites and direct messaging also helped local entrepreneurs raise around €600,000 to help fund the crisis efforts. And while information is dropped at everyone’s door mobilising even drones, medical facilities benefit from free internet. Read more here

Helsinki – Calling everyone over 80

The city of Helsinki has teamed up with local parishes and charity organisations for reaching out to the self-isolating elderly population. In the ‘Helsinki Helpline’ campaign, volunteers are calling the elderly by phone to ask if they need help – or just want to talk about how they are coping with the coronavirus lockdown. The ambition is to contact all 27,000 residents who are over 80. People over 70 years of age can also call for a chat or request help, as with shopping food or medicines. A retailer cooperative and a call center company are supporting the service as partners. You can read more here

Contact: Anu Riila

Kartal / Istanbul – Marching band for the morale

With music in the streets, the municipality of Kartal, a district of Istanbul, entertains and supports people at home during the corona crisis. A marching band played a series of concerts in ten neighbourhoods and was greeted with flags and applause. The municipality also developed a video programme for kindergarten kids. You can read more and find an overview of measures here (in Turkish and English)

Kadikoy – Healthy meals from famous chefs

Dilara Koçak @ Instagram

In the Turkish city of Kadikoy, people in need get morale support and healthy food during the corona crisis through the initiative ‘You stay safe’. Meals are prepared by the popular nutrition expert Dilara Koçak and cooked by famous chefs, with ingredients sponsored by restaurants and companies. The municipality delivers the meals. “Balanced nutrition, drinking enough water, good sleep are important for the immune system”, says Dilara Koçak. “In our menus, seasonal vegetables, fruits, balanced protein, enough fiber and cooking methods suitable for health were our priority. I wish it to be healing.” You can read more here (in Turkish) and download an overview of Kadikoy’s measures here

Contact: Duygu Tanrikulu

Madrid – Campaign against domestic violence

Madrid City Council has extended its campaign to prevent violence against women in the context of confinement due to the COVID-19 health crisis. The campaign ‘NoEstásSola’ (= you are not alone) is informing via tv, radio and digital media about where victims of violence can get support. You can read more here (in Spanish)

Contact: Ana Buñuel

Zagreb – Public kitchens

Zagreb is opening several new public kitchens to help the poorest members of society to enjoy a hot meal. This is a collaboration between the City of Zagreb Office for Social Welfare and People with Disabilities and the institution Good Home, which caters for the poorest citizens. It is also occurring in cooperation with the Archdiocese of Caritas, the Croatian Red Cross, the Zagreb Red Cross City Society and the Parish of Sv. Antun Padovansky.

Contact: international.relations@zagreb.hr

Bordeaux – Support for the most vulnerable

Bordeaux is supporting the most vulnerable in several ways, including telephone support and emergency in-person support at designated locations, including food distribution.

The usual support networks are facing major challenges. Volunteers are often older people, who can no longer volunteer due to safety concerns, while the lockdown restrictions make distribution very complex. In addition, unsold food from supermarkets can no longer be collected and redistributed, as it is impossible to maintain appropriate levels of hygiene when sorting through produce.

Continue reading “Bordeaux – Support for the most vulnerable”

Bordeaux – Support to the elderly

Bordeaux is expanding the range of support it offers to the elderly. New measures include:

  • The Senior Citizen Independence Service (0800 62 58 85) remains open every day to support over 1000 isolated people.
  • The meal delivery service for the most vulnerable senior citizens has been expanded (1,800 meals delivered to people’s homes by the council every day, compared to the usual figure of 600).
Continue reading “Bordeaux – Support to the elderly”

Madrid – Support hotline for grieving

Madrid is reaching out to those who have lost loved ones to the coronavirus pandemic to offer them free counseling via telephone. In this conversation, professionals will establish strategies for those affected to share their pain and will recommend that, through technology, they connect with their family and friends to remember the deceased person and thus alleviate grief in circumstances of isolation and loneliness. After a few days from the first call, subsequent evaluations will be carried out to reinforce the basic strategies to mitigate their pain. Read more (in Spanish) here.

Contact: Ana Buñuel

Bordeaux – Support hotlines

Bordeaux is now operating several hotlines for people differently affected by coronavirus. These include a mental health support hotline, COVIDPSY33, from 10.00-18.00 Monday to Friday; a specific phone service for those grieving the death of a loved one; and a phone line for healthcare professionals to receive support and advice.

Contact: Marie-Elisabeth Sapin

Zagreb – Hotlines for health

Zagreb has opened a free hotline available to citizens 24 hours a day, where all relevant coronavirus information can be obtained. The telephone numbers of the Andrija Štampar Teaching Institute of Public Health, one of the public health institutions funded by the City of Zagreb, on the danger of coronavirus infection, are also available to the citizens from 8.00-20.00h. A crisis psychological counseling hotline is also available. This is in parallel to a free hotline opened by the Croatian Red Cross for psychosocial support.

Contact: international.relations@zagreb.hr