Bordeaux – Fresh fruits and veggies for all

Bordeaux has launched a new trial project helping members of a dozen social grocery stores to buy fresh fruit and vegetables by having the city pay the difference between cost price and store price. The city also supports the Food Bank and various other organisations to give access to good quality food to those in need for free. The city and its partners have collected around €300,000 to finance food distribution actions.

Continue reading “Bordeaux – Fresh fruits and veggies for all”

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

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

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

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

Beşiktaş – New educative channel

The Beşiktaş Academy has started offering online classes launching its new Youtube channel. This initiative from the Beşiktaş Municipality has been helping students prepare for high school and university education and also supporting the personal development of our citizens aged 7-90 through culture and art courses. This service will not only enable students who are preparing for their exams to continue studying their lessons but also give citizens the option to learn at any age. Visit the Youtube channel here

Contact: foreignaffairs@besiktas.bel.tr

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

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.

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Ljubljana – Overview of measures

Ljubljana is increasing its offer to all age groups; from working with volunteers to keep the elderly company and offering free counselling via telephone; to digital services for the young and
telemedicine by telephone or other telecommunication means introduced for all.

Further measures adopted by the city include providing additional space for the homeless and working with volunteers from Ljubljana’s firefighter association and members of Ljubljana’s mountain rescue association and civil protection on public communication. Read more here

Contact: Polona Novak

Dusseldorf – Masks for all

Mayor Thomas Geisel handing out masks © City of Dusseldorf/Melanie Zanin

Since wearing a mask in public transportation and shops is compulsory now, city staff of Dusseldorf and volunteers are distributing masks on different places in the city. For the elderly, 50,000 hygiene kits including masks have been prepared and can be ordered for home delivery. Additional 15,000 masks have been donated for refugees. With online videos, the city shows how to sew your own mask. You can read more here and here (in German)

Contact: Stefanie Nietfeld

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

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

Florence – Civic crowdfunding

Florence has joined forces with local stakeholders and active citizenship to launch a crowdfunding initiative. Collected funds will help finance projects in areas such as welfare, education and culture. Four projects have already been selected through the platform. These have financed the purchase of medical equipment for a retirement home, a dedicated food delivery system for people in financial difficulty, and the purchase of tablets for students to guarantee access to online education. Read more here (in Italian)

Contact: Alessandra Barbieri

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



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

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

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

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)

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”

Cardiff – Elderly keep exercising

Cardiff Council’s Exercise Referral Team is helping some of the city’s older residents with medical conditions ranging from cardiac conditions to high blood pressure to get the exercise they need. The team has provided more than 1000 clients with tailored home exercise programmes and weekly video routines. Clients report that the videos help them with their mental and emotional health too.

Contact: Beverley Watson

Madrid – Sports for the elderly

The City Council launches #SiempreContigo, a service that provides recommendations to the older population to carry out controlled physical activity and check their condition during home confinement. The service is carried out by coaches who call the person to track their emotional and physical condition. Read more (in Spanish) here

Contact: Ana Buñuel

Zaragoza – Support for young, old and victims of gender violence

Zaragoza is combating the mental health issues that can emerge among infants and youths from confinement with a team of specialized youth professionals from the municipal services. The service is free and can be reached by phone and e-mail. Read more (in Spanish) here.

The city is also offering support to over-65s with a daily cooked meal to be delivered to their homes in collaboration with non-profit La Caridad. Those interested can register by phone.

Zaragoza is also assisting victims of gender violence through its services at ‘La Casa de la Mujer’ along with a 24-hour emergency telephone number and a campaign so that the neighbors get involved in cases of gender violence, and bring them to the attention of the authorities. More information (in Spanish) here.

Contact: Lorena Calvo

Toulouse – Food to the isolated

Toulouse is distributing food to isolated elderly and disabled persons. The food kits are delivered every Wednesday by teams of civil servants from the municipality, and contain bread, tin cans, hard cheese, fruits, compote and biscuits.

The beneficiaries of the the scheme were identified and registered by a senior service hotline, and by a census established by the municipal services with the help of an associative network, social landlords and social workers at the psychiatric hospital. Read more (in French) here.

Contact: Isabelle Durou

Toulouse – Solidarity platform

Toulouse city and Toulouse Metropole have launched a new online platform, available to all citizens with internet access, which offers mutual assistance to take care of fragile people. Cities are able to publish both requests for help and/or areas in which they are able to help. An already existing service in the city in a 24/7 telephone service and an additional one for senior citizens only. Read more here and here

Contact: Isabelle Durou

Cardiff – Community volunteers

Cardiff residents have responded overwhelmingly to the call from Together For Cardiff which has been launched by Cardiff Council to unlock the volunteering potential across the city during the COVID-19 outbreak. The volunteering portal harnesses community spirit to match people who want to help, with those in need of assistance, in safe and properly-managed way. Read more here

Contact: Beverley Watson

Nice – A call to volunteers

Nice is calling for citizens to join the activities it performs daily to alleviate the difficulties brought on by coronavirus. These include home delivery of food shopping and medicine, recovery of certain foodstuffs from supermarkets, telephone contact with seniors, and walking pets. The city has launched an open call for anyone willing to join in these activities. Read more (in French) here.

Contact: Jérôme Sieurin

Turin – Solidarity network

As capital city of Piedmont, Italy, Turin is organising its measures in the corona crisis in close cooperation with the regional and national level. The Municipal Operational Centre is constantly in contact with the Crisis Unit of the Piedmont Region. Social services for the elderly are taking care of other people in need now, and a new system for the supply of free food has been created.

Continue reading “Turin – Solidarity network”

Sofia – Volunteer Platform

The Mayor of Sofia, Yordanka Fandakova (in the picture with volunteers), has called on the Bulgarian capital’s citizens to volunteer time and energy to help those at risk – the elderly, people with long-term health problems, socially isolated. For a week, over 100 residents joined as volunteers, serving over 3,000 citizens who need assistance with food deliveries, other shopping, providing medication or a friendly social call. Over 60 local businesses support the volunteer work with donating food and other products. You can read more here (in Bulgarian)

Contact: Sevdalina Voynova

Madrid – Taking out your rubbish

Madrid has joined a campaign that helps older people and those in need to bring out their rubbish. The YoTeAyudoConLaBasura initiative comes from the Rey Juan Carlos University. The city is giving the initiative the maximum possible visibility through social networks. This project seeks to help older people and those who need it in the daily work of disposing of their waste while the state of alarm decreed by the COVID-19 crisis lasts. More information (in Spanish) here.

Contact: Ana Buñuel

Zaragoza – Taking care of seniors (update)

Zaragoza City Council, Ibercaja Foundation and Ibercaja Bank have set up a fundraising platform collecting and managing donations from individuals and from the private sector. The funds will be used to help the elderly by providing food, psychological support, etc… As a first goal, Zaragoza wants to guarantee the home delivery of 500 daily meals. Read more here

Contact: Lorena Calvo

Barcelona – Social media app for the elderly

Barcelona is helping the elderly get the information they need on COVID-19 and get answers to their questions on the pandemic. The VinclesBCN Service, already used by 2,400 people aged 65+ to combat loneliness and foster social contacts, adapted to the pandemic by creating a new health channel. The channel is managed by a doctor and nurse, who answer the various questions through text or voice message and feed general health information related to COVID-19 into the different groups in the channel. Although not intended as an emergency phone number, the channel provides official, accurate support to one of the most vulnerable groups affected by COVID-19. Read more here

Contact: Marta Puchal

Madrid – ‘Adopt a grandfather’

Elderly people in Madrid who are isolated in confinement due to COVID-19 can call a free phone number and have a conversation with a volunteer. The project ‘Minutos en Compañía’ – ‘minutes in company’ – has been initiated by the Madrid City Council in collaboration with the organisation ‘Adopta un Abuelo’ – ‘Adopt a Grandparent’. More than 100 volunteers are taking the calls via a switchboard and an app on their mobile phones at home. Read more here (in Spanish)

Contact: Ana Buñuel

Ljubljana – Volunteering for the elderly

Ljubljana has connected with a network of local volunteers who want to make everyday life easier for the elderly. The people involved are workers and volunteers from the Home Care Institute (Zavod za oskrbo na domu) and Ljubljana’s cultural public institutes (e.g. theatres, galleries). From Monday to Friday, the volunteer project manager is using the Home Care Institute Ljubljana’s phone number to collect the contact information of those who wish to be called by volunteers. The volunteers talk to the elderly about their jobs and about how the city’s cultural institutes work, as well as about normal everyday things, in order to help the elderly overcome their feelings of loneliness.

Contact: Polona Novak

Ljubljana – Bus drivers volunteer to deliver food

Ljubljana has organized home food delivery for children from at risk families and elderly citizens. Drivers of city buses are volunteering to perform the deliveries. Over 100 people have volunteered at the Ljubljana Public Transport (Ljubljanski potniški promet) public company.
Bus drivers have also started helping with urgent non-scheduled transport of people, organized by the Slovenian Red Cross. The transport is intended for people who urgently need access to essential services or errands.

Contact: Polona Novak

Tallinn – Hackathon for services

Tallinn is working together with local start-ups and communities to offer basic services for people in isolation. On Friday, March 13, 2020, Estonian startup foundation Garage48 launched an online hackathon to figure out ways to help communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the solutions is the web-based platform COVID-Help that connects volunteers from local communities with the most vulnerable members of those communities.

Today there are more than 2000 volunteers connected to this platform who offer practical help, like doing shopping for those in quarantine or just calling and talking to lonely elderly people and thus taking some of the stress off local social workers.

Contact: Kerttu Märtin

Dusseldorf – Education, support and sport

Dusseldorf is turning to the internet and telephone to education, sport and support. A new hotline for the elderly and other high risk populations is available for getting help and advice. Read more (in German) here. A new e-learning platform provided by the city allows teachers to provide their pupils with learning material and online classes. Read more (in German) here. And the municipal department of sport, which usually offers free outdoor classes in Dusseldorf’s parks, has launched online workouts that people can enjoy from home. Read more (in German) here.

Contact: Stefanie Nietfeld

Barcelona – Health channel for the elderly

The VinclesBCN Service is adapting to COVID-19 and creating a health channel to answer questions from its 2,400 elderly users, who live alone. The health channel includes 21 COVID-19 information groups into which the users have been divided, through which the health team will pass on information that may be of interest to them concerning the pandemic.

With VinclesBCN, users can manage their social relationships by using a simple application installed on a tablet or smartphone. The profile of VinclesBcn users is a person over 65 years old, who is a registered resident of Barcelona and feels lonely. The 40 Social Services centers in the city are the main referrers, although the health service also refers people to the service.

More information here.

Contact: Marta Puchal

Bratislava – Phoneline to help your neighbour

Bratislava has created a support network targeting the needs of the elderly living alone. This works through a phone line via which the elderly can address operators with inquiries or help requests. Many seniors were personally informed about the beginning of its operation via SMS. Local volunteers are also raising awareness of the service by distributing an information leaflet created by the municipality door-to-door.

This network is meant to compliment the city’s social campaign ‘Help your neighbour’, encouraging healthy adults to help older people in their community with shopping and other needs while strictly respecting enhanced hygienic measures.

 Read more here (in Slovak).

Contact: Petra Dzurovcinova

Pendik – Police goes shopping for the elderly

In the Turkish city of Pendik, the municipal police goes shopping for people aged 65 and older who have to stay at home due to the coronavirus. Residents can ring the police and the goods will be delivered to their homes. The service is also available for people with disabilities and chronic diseases, and people who need homecare. Read more here (in Turkish)

Contact: Oğuz Karakaya