This winter, Kent County Council (KCC) is backing Kent Community Foundation’s Surviving Winter Campaign “Knock and Check” and asking residents in Kent to reignite the community spirit seen during the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic and do something small to help those most vulnerable during the cold winter months.
Knock & Check is simple – just take a look at the small actions which will make a difference in your community as well as the details of services which can offer a lifeline and knock and check on the elderly and most isolated in your local community whilst remembering to follow Government guidelines on social distancing to keep communities safe from COVID-19:
- keep a 2m distance, staying outdoors at all times
- wash your hands before and after a visit
- wear a face mask
Small actions that could make a big difference include:
- Knock on the door to say “hello”
- Offer to pick up some food or add something to your next online order
- Drop off a slice of cake or take a packet of biscuits
- Plate up an extra meal or drop off a frozen dish
- Post a note with your contact number and / or the details of helplines and support available
- Share books and magazines or recommend a good read
- Volunteer for one of our fantastic voluntary organisations in Kent and Medway
- Spread the word to family and friends
Lives can and will be saved this winter by us all working together to recognise and support those most at risk.
Josephine McCartney, Chief Executive, Kent Community Foundation, said: “As part of our annual Surviving Winter initiative, the Knock and Check campaign is asking people to call on their vulnerable neighbours and check they are OK.
“Perhaps you could offer to do some shopping, share magazines or books, or give them something you have baked and as we approach Christmas, and many lunch clubs for the elderly will not be able to offer their usual lunches, why not cook enough for an extra plate and take a Christmas lunch to your neighbour.
“If you can’t join us to ‘Knock and Check’ please consider donating to Kent Community Foundation so that we can ensure the money gets to the local good causes that will support your elderly neighbours this winter.
“We sincerely hope that the amazing community spirit we know exists in the county will lead everyone to get involved, by being neighbourly and carrying out small acts of kindness, together we can reduce the shocking number of avoidable deaths that occur each winter. Even if we save one life our campaign will have been successful.
“The elderly are often not aware of the help that is available and often do not want to ask. If you identify a problem our online ‘Knock and Check’ resource directory will help match the need with the resource.
“Your neighbour might need advice on registering as a vulnerable person with energy suppliers, joining befriending services, community projects, or clubs and societies or help booking an appointment with citizens advice or the local authority.
“So please knock on your neighbour’s door and check they are OK and let ‘Knock and Check’ become as popular as clapping on Thursday nights for the NHS did.”
Roger Gough, Leader of Kent County Council said: “We are very pleased to be supporting the Kent Community Foundation ‘Knock and Check’ campaign this winter.
“The 2018 KCC Select Committee on Social Isolation set out a number of recommendations and one of these was to raise awareness of social isolation and loneliness.
“We have seen great community spirit during COVID-19 with neighbours stepping up to help each other and this has been vital in keeping important social connections.
“We know that the winter months may feel very isolating for some, especially given the ongoing challenges of COVID-19 this year.
“A familiar face or offer of help could make a real difference to someone’s day and we encourage people to continue the acts of kindness demonstrated across the county during lockdown, over the months ahead”.
Clair Bell, KCC Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health said: “I would like to thank our communities, charities and voluntary services in Kent for the wonderful and selfless work they do in protecting and helping our elderly and vulnerable residents, particularly in light of the increased difficulties and challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As the weather gets colder, particularly during this month of lockdown, it is crucial that we check on and support our neighbours and communities to combat loneliness and avoid any unnecessary suffering and deaths.
“I am proud to be supporting this vital campaign and would like to encourage everyone to take part, however they can, and help Kent Community Foundation and KCC keep vulnerable people safe this winter.”
To find out more about the ‘Knock and Check’ campaign and to download the resource directory visit www.kentcf.org.uk/knockandcheck
Kent Community Foundation (KCF) is part of a national network of 46 Community Foundations committed to improving the lives of local people and communities, particularly the most vulnerable, isolated, and disadvantaged.
KCF also helps generous individuals, families, organisations, trusts, and foundations establish and administer their own charitable funds to support the causes that mean the most to them in Kent and Medway.
Established in May 2001, KCF has distributed over £35 million in grants and now provides financial support to hundreds of charities and deserving causes throughout the county each year – particularly small, local charities, where a modest sum of money can make a significant impact.