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East London council and partners launches a community network to support vulnerable people during COVID-19 outbreak

BD CANTags Adults , Business , Children , Council , Family , Residents

Barking and Dagenham council and local social sector launches a coordinated project to support vulnerable people and harness local goodwill during global coronavirus pandemic.

A project called BD CAN – which stands for Barking and Dagenham Citizens Alliance Network, has officially launched in the borough today (23 March 2020) to help co-ordinate community support for local people affected by coronavirus, but it’ll be bigger than that – it will also be one of the key places to go for anyone who wants to help others during the pandemic. 

We know that lots of Barking and Dagenham residents are already supporting their friends, family and neighbours as people try to adjust to worrying and uncertain circumstances. To make sure no one is left unsupported, BD CAN is providing a key contact point for anyone in the borough who needs help or knows someone who does. All residents need to do is contact BD CAN and the person needing help will be put in touch with a trusted local voluntary organisation already working in the borough who can provide help. BD CAN also provides a way for anyone wanting to help out in some way, to offer their support to someone else.

Our borough is known for its community spirit and our residents rally round each other when there’s a crisis or emergency. 

“We just wanted to make sure everyone has support if they need it – so this is really aimed at people who aren’t fortunate enough to have good family, friends and neighbours around them who can help. 

Over the coming weeks and months there will be people in Barking and Dagenham needing extra help and support. They may need practical things, like a bit of shopping, or just to connect with others while they self-isolate – and a friendly phone call can make all the difference. Together with local community and faith organisations in the borough we as a community will make sure the right help gets to the right people.

The council are asking people to get in touch if they, or someone they know who are self-isolating and alone, or struggling to get to the shops for essentials and might need:

•    Help picking up medicine 
•    Some food shopping 
•    A friendly phone call 
•    Or something else 

Residents can get in touch with BD CAN on 020 8215 3000 or bdcan@lbbd.gov.uk – and they will be connected to someone who can support them.

If residents want to offer help, the partners and council wants to hear from them as well. People will soon start to see local organisations already working in the neighbourhood supporting residents in this way and they will be able to join them. The priority is getting help out to those that need it, but as things develop, the partners will get people involved as soon as they can.

If people want to register their interest to join the support effort, then they can do so online at www.lbbd.gov.uk/volunteering

Leader of the Council, Cllr Darren Rodwell said: “Our borough is known for its community spirit and our residents rally round each other when there’s a crisis or emergency. 

“We just wanted to make sure everyone has support if they need it – so this is really aimed at people who aren’t fortunate enough to have good family, friends and neighbours around them who can help. 

“A scheme like this one, is vital during this time of uncertainty. I know the people of Barking and Dagenham are fantastic at coming together and helping those who need it most and in the spirit of ‘One borough, one community, no one left behind’, we will get through this.”

Councillor Saima Ashraf, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Community Leadership and Engagement said: “In such uncertain times, it’s even more important now for our community to rally together and help those who need it most.

“BD CAN is a great initiative that will help with bringing people together and I know, with all the great community organisations and partnering with BD Collective, we will come through this a stronger borough.”

Avril McIntrye, Chair of BD Collective said: “As Chair of the BD Collective, a network of over 150 organisations across Barking & Dagenham, we are putting our full support behind BD CAN.  It’s been amazing to see how quickly the plan has been developed as community and faith groups have come together to prepare for the borough-wide support strategy to help those isolated and vulnerable.”

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