A new campaign will build on the recent success in helping vulnerable people off the streets, in which two large hotels opened as additional emergency accommodation and shipping container homes were used as isolation units for clients displaying coronavirus symptoms. The campaign asks people not to give their spare change to those begging on the street, but instead to signpost vulnerable people to the services that can deliver real change in their lives. Read more here
In order to ensure that information and support in the corona crisis can reach the most marginalised and vulnerable people, the city of Leeds is working with a network of community-based organisations to support ‘Communities of Interest’: groups of people who share an identity, for example people with a learning disability, or those who share an experience, such as the homeless community. Since the amount of information and guidance can be overwhelming and confusing, partner organisations act as a ‘link’ to support the flow of information. You can read more here
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)
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.
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
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
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)
‘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
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.
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
Vulnerable residents of Riga have the opportunity to receive allowance to ensure the guaranteed minimum of the income level and housing allowance to pay for housing expenses as well as allowance for health care and others. Read more updated measure here
In collaboration with the university of Thessaly, the municipality of Lamia is aiming to relieve pressure on hospitals by working directly with other patients who need urgent care, namely those with chronic lung disease and chronic musculoskeletal pain. Read more here
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
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.
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.
Thanks to a network of volunteers, the city will help people at a higher risk to contract the virus to have their shopping delivered at home. The service uses a phone number, which can also be used to ask for psychological support. Read more (in French) here
Bristol is keeping information flowing about coronavirus and the local response. Internally, this takes the shape of regular bulletins for staff, to make sure that everyone is on the same page; externally this takes the form of a free telephone hotline open seven days a week for vulnerable residents, video updates from the mayor (see them here), clear information in several languages (watch it here).
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.
The Madrid City Council has established public-private partnerships to provide families in need with prepaid cards to buy food and basic necessities in the corona crisis. CaixaBank, through its Social Action and in collaboration with Obra Social La Caixa, has made a grant of €200,000 available to the City Council to assist 2,000 families in a situation of vulnerability. And thanks to the contribution of €100,000 made by the department store group El Corte Inglés through the Ramón Areces Foundation, prepaid cards to 500 families at risk of exclusion and new equipment to the shelters for the homeless can be provided. Through these partnerships, the Madrid City Council is strengthening its Family Emergency Plan to alleviate the effects of the health crisis caused by the coronavirus on the most vulnerable. Read more here and here (in Spanish)
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
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
Madrid is working with Caixabank to deliver prepaid food cards to more than 2,000 vulnerable families, to the tune of €200,000. Read more (in Spanish) here. The city is also distributing more than 7,000 meals to vulnerable people daily. Read more (in Spanish) here.
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)
Bamberg is matching those especially vulnerable to COVID-19 with volunteers from their neighbourhood who can help them to run errands or walk the dog. The offer works by phone, and no internet access is required. Read more (in German) here.
The central kitchen of Nice has been mobilized since the start of confinement to feed those in need, including the children of health and essential service personnel. Currently, up to 2,000 meals are prepared every day by 60 municipal officers (compared to 102 usually) divided into three brigades. Hygiene standards, which are already strict in normal times in the kitchen, have been reinforced in the context of this exceptional situation to ensure the personnel present the guarantees necessary for their safety. Read more (in French) here.
Madrid is collaborating with the Food Bank, World Central Kitchen (WCK) and members of the Municipal Fire Department to distribute meals to 50 vulnerable families residing in homes of the alternative accommodation system of the Family Area. More information (in Spanish) here.
An increasing number of people in Milan is in need of food aid. From the seven food hubs that the city has created across the city, in the first week a total of 1,000 people were supplied. During the second week that number rose to 7,000 people, and it is expected that 15,000 people will be in need of food aid each week in the weeks to come. In order to ensure safety, especially in the transport and handling of food, the volunteers and other workers are provided with masks, gloves and a special training. A strict protocol has been put in place; you can download the guidelines here and read more here.
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
The City Council of Madrid provides a healthy meal service at home for 500 children in nursery schools from zero to three years. It is aimed at children who have scholarships and families with socioeconomic difficulties. Read more here (in Spanish)