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East Dulwich Emergency Group --- need help or want to help?


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Last week's snow had a few of us thinking about ways to cope with the next round, ranging from helping out the elderly or mobility-impaired with errand-running when it's icy to rallying forces to shovel the neighborhood before it turns into an ice rink. http://www.eastdulwichforum.co.uk/forum/read.php?5,580870

Anyone have thoughts on the best way of organising either effort, or want to join in?

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Hi, happy to help with this where I can. I've just posted my shovel on Streetbank.com Have a look and see if you think it would help with this idea. I'm also wondering if a combination of text and twitter could be used to alert volunteers to the needs of people who could use some help and for those wanting a bit of assistance to ask for it. I'm thinking mobile phones since they are the comms devices that are closest to us, literally and metaphorically in some cases. It would mean sharing your number and being willing to respond to a request/ask for help according to the needs and availability discussed earlier. I see that I can create groups on my Blackberry so that would seem to be an easy way to organise the EDEG contacts. I know that facility won't necessarily be available on all phones. I'm not technologically literate enough to think all of this through but it strikes me it might be an easy way to start getting people in touch.
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To form a Help link it must be run by trusted people who the members have formed the opinion that they are worthy to be trusted with their personal details.

One person the Coordinator should have a detailed knowledge of the area having used all the roads in ED, and seen the buildings there, and is available at most times.

A list of the members who are willing to give help should be kept off line this would only be members User name & Post code.

A form of help that that person is willing to offer. Have they any skills to do a quick but safe mend?

The times that it is available. ( some work at night ).

A person wanting help would have to give their house number and Post code this would enable the helper to go on Google Maps and see that house and assess the type of house and the layout.

Look at a hypothetical message for help.

Please can you help me? I live at number 3 Dulwich Rise Gardens, my electric fuse has blown I am very cold Sorry to call you but I am 86 and cant get to the fuse box. My phone number is XXXXXXXXXX.

Action taken by Volunteer recipient ; Types 3 Dulwich Rise Gardens into Google Maps Search,

Full address comes up as Dulwich Rise Gardens Southwark, London SE22 8LS, cant be seen on road map as it is not on main road, go to satellite mode the house can be seen down passageway through a high iron gate between two houses no?s 190 & 192 Lordship Lane, the style of house is built about 1890 so electric meter will be just inside front door, meter of old type that uses a wire fuse. Post copy of request and findings of this to the nearest Volunteer, ask for reply to be assured that help is on the way.

When Problem is solved the request message with callers address be removed from Message Board, but held in records. As Samuel4 attended now resolved; 12. 30 pm 8.12 2010.

Until the Volounteers group can be set up it is possible to look at the persons who have said they are availabe in their messages to go to Private messages at top of the page and select that person and send your message.

Or if you are volounteering I could start by making a list, if told the service offered.

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Having read all of the Dulwich Helpline information I personally do not think that their help is what the East Dulwich Forum members had in mind, they are long term help and the voulunteers have to be vetted as they spend many hours in peoples homes.

All persons that are involved are vetted and a period of two weeks notice must be given prior to some of the requests.

As I recall it was suggested eleven months ago that an emergency help group could be formed to offer help to a close neighbour in the bad weather and snow, to clear a path or get urgent shopping, or in another unexpected emergency to respond immediatly, Not to have a permanent group available at all times.

It is now nearly a year that this was voiced and no definate action has been taken to form a group.

Would it be appropreiate to ask interested persons to put forward their names to act in a group to create it, and what position would suit them. If nobody does offer their services then those who voulunteered to clear snow or do shopping should join one of the already existing groups.

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I am happy to help - my job is with people so I am already CRB checked. I do work full time but would be happy to cover my end of Barry Road.

Basically I think if all volunteers could give a central person their location i.e. Landells road between Goodrich and Lordship Lane and if they are up for snow shovelling, emergency shopping, checking people are ok. That some form of central number can be circlulated for emergency contacts and this advertised in some way - either by local press, Age Concern ( rather AGE UK), Dulwich Helpline, posters in Libraries, churches, community centre etc. person needing help to ring central number, co ordinator check location, check data base of volunteers living nearby, and makes contact.

Community Wardens are also asked to check up on vulnerable people.

This sounds as though this type of scheme could get money from the Big Society Grants available.

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I'd be happy to help too. I've been vetted for the magistracy so I'm guessing that includes a CRB. I've no expertise with electrical/gas/plumbing breakdowns, but am handy with a shovel and a shopping basket.

Last week I saw an old lady seemingly trapped in her top floor flat crying for help - it's so sad that this sort of thing continues to happen in our age of 'communication' and 'localism'.

I hope this doesn't get too over complicated with H&S challenges. I know they are essential to maintain the safety of those we're trying to help, but awful if it stopped us helping anyone at all.

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