IN response to the overwhelming offers of support during the COVID-19 pandemic, Hywel Dda University Health Board’s local authority partners and the third sector are working together to ensure this exceptional community spirit helps the most vulnerable and supports local NHS and social care services.

Volunteers and support from local businesses and organisations will play a crucial role in the fight against COVID-19 across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.

How you can volunteer for and support your local NHS:

If you want to help your local NHS during the COVID-19 pandemic please contact Hywel Dda University Health Board by calling 0300 303 8322 or email COVIDenquiries.hdd@wales.nhs.uk (open 7am – 9pm, seven days a week). The NHS is asking for volunteers to carry out simple but important tasks such as transporting equipment, food and medication and supporting services and staff in hospitals.

To keep staff and the patients we care for safe it is essential that we must manage all items offered appropriately and safely. If you think you have resources, goods or services that we could use please also get in touch. All offers of support must be directed to the Health Board on 0300 303 8322 or email COVIDenquiries.hdd@wales.nhs.ukand we must insist that people do not visit our hospitals to drop off gifts or donations.

Remember – the single most important action we can all take in fighting coronavirus is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.

Volunteer to help your local social care services, the third sector and local communities:

If you can help to support social care services and those who are vulnerable and isolated in your community through activities such as collecting medication and shopping or providing telephone support to those who have lost their usual forms of emotional and social contact use the following details to register to help in your area:

o Carmarthenshire: please register at Volunteering Wales https://carmarthenshire.volunteering-wales.net/vk/volunteers/index.htm

Contact Carmarthenshire Association of Voluntary Services (CAVS) on 01267 245555 or email admin@cavs.org.uk

o Ceredigion: please register at Volunteering Wales https://volunteering-wales.net/vk/volunteers/index-covid.html or contact Ceredigion Association of Voluntary Organisations (CAVO) on 01570 423232 or e-mail gen@cavo.org.uk

o Pembrokeshire: please get in touch with the Community Coordination Hub by phoning 01437 776301 or emailing communitycovid19@pembrokeshire.gov.uk. You can also register as a volunteer on the Volunteering Wales website at https://volunteering-wales.net

It is important that you only volunteer to carry out tasks that involve leaving your home if you fulfil ALL of the conditions below:

· You are well and have no symptoms – a continuous cough and/or a high temperature – and neither does anybody in your household

· You are under 70

· You are not pregnant

· You do not have any long-term health conditions that make you vulnerable to coronavirus

If you need help and support:

If you are a business or an individual in need of any advice, help or support you can contact your local helpline:

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o Carmarthenshire – please call 0300 0300 333 2222 or visit https://www.carmarthenshire.gov.wales/home/council-services/social-care-health/support-at-home/#.Xo2qg0F7nIU

o Ceredigion – please contact Ceredigion County Council CLIC on 01545 570881 or e-mail clic@ceredigion.gov.uk

o Pembrokeshire – you can contact the Community Coordination Hub by phoning 01437 776301 or emailing communitycovid19@pembrokeshire.gov.uk

Maria Battle, Chair of Hywel Dda University Health Board, said: “The NHS has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support at a time when our frontline staff are working around the clock to prepare and care for patients during this challenging time.

“On behalf of NHS staff across Hywel Dda area I’d like to pass on our thanks but also remind people that the single most important action we can all take in fighting coronavirus is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.”

Councillor Jane Tremlett, Chair of the West Wales Regional Partnership Board said: “The offers of support, compassion and kindness demonstrated across our area at such unprecedented times is overwhelming.

“This is why it is important to make it as easy as possible for people to contact us when they need help or let us know if they can make a difference during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“In the current difficult circumstances it is heartening to see partners across the region coming together to make sure that people who need help get it and offers of support are properly coordinated.”

Local authority quotes:

Ceredigion:

Eifion Evans, Chief Executive of Ceredigion County Council said: “The offers of support, compassion and kindness demonstrated across our area at such unprecedented times is overwhelming.

“This is why it is important to make it as easy as possible for people to contact us when they need help or let us know if they can make a difference during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Pembrokeshire

Pembrokeshire County Council Leader Councillor David Simpson praised those who have worked tirelessly to get the PCC Community Coordination Hub up and running.

“This has been an incredible effort from everyone involved during a fast moving and ever changing situation and I thank each and every one of them” said Cllr Simpson.

“To see community groups springing up to help in their own locality and our officers and partners working with them to coordinate a response is truly heartening.

“The coronavirus pandemic is the biggest challenge many of us have ever faced. But by working together we can ease the burden on some of those facing the biggest difficulties.”

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