St Vincent de Paul Society (E&W) and Caritas Social Action Network have released a toolkit to help Catholic parishes and groups develop safe, local responses to people in need during the Covid-19 pandemic. The toolkit addresses the Christian call to step out in love to those excluded and at risk, throughout a time when the Government has asked people to stay at home as far as possible. It includes examples of how parishes can offer support, advice and guidance on safeguarding, communication, dealing with health and other risks, referring people on as needed and to volunteer with other initiatives. Help could include keeping in touch with a friendly chat on the phone, shopping for food and other essential items, dog walking, help with prayer and advice on how to get involved with other initiatives locally. It can be adapted to local circumstances.
Please give a thought to those who do not have access to the internet, nor the use of a mobile phone as they can feel quite cut off from society and perhaps unaware of the help that is on offer to them.
If a parish does not already have its own befriending group, local outreach group or equivalent (with strong procedures in place) then the temporary or full membership to the SVP is a safe, quick and effective response to the current crisis.
For individuals seeking to help, for more information about this please visit: www.svp.org.uk/svps-response-covid-19 to join with the efforts in your local area.
To download the SVP toolkit:
To donate to the work of the SVP: www.svp.org.uk/donate-now