Can we better join support and needs in response to COVID-19?
The lockdown implemented across many countries, including Wales, to control the Coronavirus pandemic, has meant that many people faced being potentially cut off from access to food, medicines, and sources of essential social support. This is particularly the case for those more vulnerable in society and those more socially isolated.
This has been accompanied by a ground swell of community support from others wanting to help, with a doubling in volunteers registering with Third Sector Support Wales since March 2020. Supporting their local communities either through coming together, co-ordinating efforts via social media, or with the alignment of existing grass roots organisations to a COVID-Response.
Yet, these and public sector organisations urgently need to better understand where to place limited resources to support those in greatest need.
To address this challenge, a collaboration between the Research & Evaluation Division in Public Health Wales, the MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit at the University of Bristol and the Alan Turing Institute, has mapped information on vulnerability (including data on circulating COVID-19 cases and the number of people at higher risk) and levels of citizen-led community support (identified through social media sources, self-organising communities and third sector organisations) across Wales.
The COVID Response Map Wales has been designed to help identify areas where there are more people who may be more vulnerable to COVID-19, where there is potentially less community support. Whilst the map does not capture all community support, nor does it imply that all vulnerable groups are in need of support, it can help inform the public, community groups and public sector on which areas might benefit from extra support. It also provides the links to local community groups identified helping to raise awareness of the support available locally.
Better understanding the community led support can help to target the limited national and regional resources supporting vulnerable individuals and households during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- We would like to hear about your views on how this can be more useful, or other community mobilisation data sources which could be included. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are a community group and want to be included please register your group with COVID-19 Mutual Aid.
- The code used to create the map has been released openly on GitHub so that it can be reproduced. Full information on the sources of data on vulnerability and community support are documented on the Open Science Framework and the map will be updated as new information becomes available.
- If your enquiry is relating to the Novel Coronavirus outbreak please visit Public Health Wales webpage for more information https://phw.nhs.wales/topics/latest-information-on-novel-coronavirus-covid-19/