With the Isle of Wight’s residential and home-care sector faced with unprecedented challenges and needs in the Covid-19 crisis, Island volunteers with the help of a national charity have come together and launched an appeal to support those in care and their carers.
The charity initiative will source and supply needed items to help shield the Island’s vulnerable and their carers from the virus threat.
The campaign, Wight Mask Ask, is launched by the registered charity, Embracing Age. It also involves its Island initiative, Care Home Friends, which mobilises an army of trained volunteers to come alongside and build friendship with care home residents.
“Care home residents, and those receiving home care are among the most vulnerable people on the Isle of Wight. Dedicated carers across the Island are putting their lives on the line, caring for their elderly residents and they require adequate personal protective equipment, like masks. Those in care also need to be shielded from infection as the spread of coronavirus in a care home can have devastating consequences and this is where we want to help,” says Embracing Age founder Tina English.
Over 10,000 residents on the Island are over 80 years old and many are in need of home and residential care with nearly 2,000 islanders registered as living with dementia. Joyce Pinfield, trustee of the National Carers Association told the BBC that the care sector in the country has been totally neglected and those in care treated as second class citizens.
Working with Island volunteers the charity is actively assessing actual needs on the Island.
“The care sector has been ambushed by this virus and now needs huge and rapidly escalating amounts of PPE”, says Tina English adding, “We will bulk buy masks and other protective equipment to distribute to care providers in need across the Isle of Wight. We will request a donation from those receiving items to cover costs where they are able so we can replenish stocks. For those not able to do this, it will be given for free”
To find out more and how you can help the Wight Mask Ask campaign visit wightmaskask.com