Here at OIAM, we were determined to play our part and support our District’s response to Covid-19. In late March, we offered our services to help wherever needed, to see how best we could support the co-ordinated District response. We received this reply from Kim Shutler, Chair of Bradford CVS.
I am writing to you in my capacity as the Chair of the VCS Assembly and VCS Lead on our District Gold Command. In the light of these unprecedented challenges, we need to pull together more than ever and work in very different ways to support the people in our communities. We are very concerned that the high level of poverty and health inequalities in our District will mean that Bradford is hit even harder than other areas of the country.
I am working at the District Systems Emergency Planning level alongside key VCS leaders and senior officers from the local authority and health to mobilise around a number of key areas:
• The establishment of 5 Community Anchors (1 per Constituency) to act as coordination centres for the distribution of food and other essential supplies
• The establishment of a new volunteer infrastructure to allow us to collectively mobilise existing volunteers with new people volunteering, ensure that DBS checks are in place and people are allocated to work-streams and specific areas of need. This also links into another key work-stream, which is specifically around targeted support for our most vulnerable people.
• The identification and deployment of staff from statutory and VCS organisations who would be willing to work flexibly and across organisational/sector boundaries in support of our community – particularly those with DBS checks
• The establishment of a new telephone befriending services – initially staffed up by staff or volunteers (as above) and then through the checking and training of a new bank of volunteers
• Bringing together a range of existing and national resources and where needed linking in with other organisations (schools, charities, culture and sport) to create a social isolation response with a calendar of virtual events and activities aimed at all ages.
Underpinning all of this work is the key message that People Can and we are keen to drive a sense of civic pride and positivity which cuts across all boundaries in the face of adversity. I do hope that you might be able to support this work as a key organisation in our District.
Kim Shutler, Chair, Bradford District VCS Assembly
Further conversations led to OIAM being directly asked if we could utilise our expertise in supporting and managing volunteers on behalf of Bradford South. Specifically, we were being tasked with training volunteers, ensuring DBS checks were in place where required, and matching volunteers with the specific tasks required in the South Bradford area.
In these unprecedented, difficult and challenging times we now have a core team of 5, overseen by the Senior Leadership Team at One In A Million, playing a key role in co- ordinating volunteers. Individuals interested in volunteering have been applying online via http://peoplecanbradforddistrict.org.uk
All enquiries relating to South Bradford are then being forwarded to OIAM for a response. Below is an email to Danny Forrest (One In A Million employee), who is helping to manage this work:
Thank you for your fantastic response and support to co-ordinate volunteering within Bradford South.
This is very much appreciated and I will feed this in via my networks/position to the various command structures including District Gold.
Dr Soo Nevison, CEO, Community Action Bradford & District @weareCABAD
These were the stats as of 24th April:
235 people have been referred to OIAM Bradford South COVID-19 Response
235 people have been contacted by OIAM Bradford South COVID-19 Response
89 people have responded and completed relevant training
26 DBS checks have been completed
33 DBS checks pending
Note: In reality the total number of people contacted is more than quoted in these stats due to changing circumstances of database/spreadsheet at the beginning of this project. The actual number would be over 300.
33 people have been emailed the befriending job description
20 people have completed training
8 are waiting for a training course
1 person is in the middle of training
7 befrienders have been passed to Royds for befriending jobs
5 befrienders have been passed to Healthy Lifestyle for befriending jobs
Community Support Requests – Sandale Community Centre, St Christopher’s Church, Scholemoor Beacon, The Life Centre
22 people have offered to support community organisations
22 people have been contacted regarding community support requests
22 people have been referred to community centres
5 people have been deployed to community centre
11 people will be deployed pending DBS checks
Sewing Requests (make scrubs for local hospitals)
89 people contacted regarding sewing request
5 people have offered to support sewing request (awaiting details for deployment)
31 people have offered to fulfil driving/shopping requests
8 have been put through DBS process and earmarked for roles (waiting for deployment)
20 people will be ready to be deployed pending DBS checks
*All of these statistics are growing daily as our work at this time is responsive and on-going. Alongside the training of volunteers, we have helped support and establish the procedure for a new volunteer expense reclaim form in South Bradford, and are ensuring that a volunteer enquiry service is staffed between 9am and 7pm, Monday to Friday.
Q: From our CEO Wayne Jacobs
“From your point of view, how are the OIAM team doing, are you happy with everything?”
A: From Dr Soo Nevison, CEO, Community Action Bradford & District @weareCABAD
‘They are fab and doing a grand job’
On behalf of One In A Million I would like to thank Danny Forrest, Emma Bass, Amanda Harris, Katie Bailey and Katy Woodcock, our core team of staff delivering this work. They have responded magnificently to change: serving different leadership, demonstrating flexibility and competence in their work, whilst being compassionate and considerate to volunteers. I would also like to publicly thank all our workers who are supporting efforts in their locality throughout our district. Well done team!
One In A Million | CEO