Council wants to build 'volunteer register' to help elderly

All in this together: Fairfield mayor Frank Carbone. Picture: Simon Bennett
All in this together: Fairfield mayor Frank Carbone. Picture: Simon Bennett

Fairfield Council are investigating building a register of local people who are willing to volunteer to help the more vulnerable people in the community.

Mayor Frank Carbone proposed the community of support idea in one of his mayoral minutes at Tuesday's council meeting in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

"A large number of our current community volunteers are older and in the vulnerable category themselves, so we need to build a new generation of volunteers who are available to assist in times of need," he said.

"These are unprecedented and unknown times. We need to do what we can to build our capacity to help our community, especially the elderly, in their time of need.

"I am proposing that council staff investigate ways of helping those elderly and vulnerable people who are not already receiving formal help. We want to connect these people with the appropriate local community organisations who can provide them with the assistance they need."

Mr Carbone said residents have a "crucial role" to play in slowing down the spread of COVID-19.

"Hygiene measures, social distancing, and staying home as much as possible, are just some of the ways we can actually make a difference," he said.

"Unfortunately this means that some of our most vulnerable residents are isolated from help and services.

"I encourage everyone, wherever possible, to say at home. However, if you know someone - a family member, neighbour or friend - who needs assistance in getting household essentials, please reach out and help in any way you can. Together we will get through this."

Mr Carbone said council will look at a range of measures to assist residents during the pandemic including not increasing rates and a rebate for residents who are "doing it tough."

"Council remains committed to providing access to the services that you need and will continue to keep the community updated. I thank everyone for their patience and cooperation in this challenging time," he said.