Working in partnership with a range of community stakeholders – health services, businesses, faith groups, VCS organisations and volunteers – the council provided very effective and wide-ranging support to residents affected by the coronavirus pandemic. This has included: food parcels, support with shopping and prescriptions, befriending, debt and benefits advice and mental health support.
While the provision of essential and crisis support continues, our focus is now firmly on recovery. We expect that this process will be gradual and long-term and will need to address new and emerging issues along the way. This will include supporting those at risk of homelessness, suffering from domestic abuse and violence, facing job losses and financial hardship, as well isolation and mental health.
The Council’s work around recovery is overseen by the Hounslow Recovery Programme Board, and the four boards covering economy, community, environment, and social and wellbeing sitting underneath it. These boards are made up of Councillors, Council staff and a wide range of members from other organisations. Three themes of deprivation, equalities and social capital runs across them and each one leads on a variety of research and practical projects to support residents, businesses and local organisations.
The Community Recovery Board’s focus is
- the Council’s relationship with our communities and our approach to community engagement, involvement and communications;
- reviewing how the Council and partners work with the voluntary and community sector to meet the needs of Hounslow residents and diverse communities;
- developing the Community Hub including the range of support offered through the Council, voluntary sector and other partners.
The VCSE sector is a key partner is a successful Recovery programme. The Council’s Assistant Chief Executive, Mandy Skinner, and its Director of Communities, Elliott Brooks, will be attending the Hounslow Voice Network meeting on 29 July to understand the role that Hounslow’s VCSE sector can play in Recovery over the coming months and longer term.