As Chair of the Covid ‘Community Taskforce’ I helped ensure that the most vulnerable Islanders were served by charitable and States services.
In the spring of 2020, when the pandemic began to take hold in Jersey, I took charge of establishing and running the Community Taskforce. With a select group of politicians, civil servants and leading lights from the voluntary sector, we were tasked with ensuring all Islanders had the support they needed. This meant coordinating the efforts of numerous (and humblingly wonderful) organisations and individuals including Parishes, charities, care-providers, businesses, honorary consuls, philanthropists, and volunteers, together with several key parts of the public sector such as Housing, Mental Health and Children’s Services. I am so proud of the way our community pulled together in the face of this crisis.
Highlights of this work included:
- Supporting ‘volunteer.je’ to sign up 3,360 Islanders as volunteers
- Setting up ‘ConnectMe’ to signpost Islanders to the help they needed (including food, medicines, emergency housing, mental health and even dog walking)
- Contacting the most vulnerable to check on their welfare
- Distributing leaflets and information to Islanders (in several languages) to keep them informed and give advice on finance, health and wellbeing
- Coordinating public services with the work of charities and donors, including the newly-established Bailiff’s Covid Fund, which raised over £1.2m from Islanders
The pandemic has disrupted our existence in ways we could not have imagined, destroying livelihoods and lives, and keeping loved-ones apart. However, if there are any positives to be taken from it, perhaps the most important is the way it demonstrated that Jersey really does believe that ‘we are all in it together’. It is my belief that there has been a paradigm shift in our Society which has made us appreciate what we have and the value of friends, family and our Community.