Coronavirus is an unprecedented public health emergency. The Welsh Labour Government is leading the response in Wales, making sure we use every lever to slow the spread of Coronavirus and support our tireless NHS staff and key workers.
Welsh Labour councils are co-ordinating action locally with charities, ensuring that essential services still run and children still receive Free School Meals. In Parliament, Welsh Labour MPs have held the UK Government to account where it’s ignored the needs of Wales in responding to the crisis.
What can Welsh Labour members do?
Welsh Labour members can help support our communities and help organise locally. It is essential to follow official government advice and take steps to ensure that you are not passing on the infection to others around you.
Take care of yourself, your family, friends and neighbours as an immediate priority. Follow Public Health Wales and Welsh Government guidance, and look to your local council for updates. Here are some further ideas for how to organise in your community during this crisis:
Five ways Welsh Labour activists can support their communities and each other
1. Support the action is your local area
Start by going on your local council’s website where there should be regular updates and guidance for your area. Welsh Labour MPs and AMs offices will be well connected with community organisations. Working with Welsh Labour councillors, Police and Crime Commissioners and CLP Officers, they are well placed to let local members know how to help.
Members should support the work of Welsh Labour councillors in linking up with charities, statutory bodies and local Mutual Aid groups and share plans/advice on what councils have to provide support. Where there are no Welsh Labour representatives, members could play a crucial role across the community to strengthen community responses.
2. Connect Communities
During this crisis it is essential we connect communities to vital services. Check your local council website to find your volunteering hub and local services.
Hundreds of voluntary groups have sprung up all over the place to aid communication and support in local communities. Many Welsh Labour members, councillors, and candidates have already set these groups up as members of their own community. For example, in Bridgend, Sarah Murphy has worked with the director of local voluntary services to run a group that now has thousands of members helping each other out. The group’s focus is on sharing factual information and helping people in need.
3. Call Labour members using Dialogue
Welsh Labour is a party rooted in our communities and a powerful support network in tough times. We need to look out for each other and check in during times of isolation. Data protection laws mean we are unable to call community members using the electoral register. However, you can call your members to check in with them and let them know about the local organisations best placed to provide support. CLP officers with access to Member Centre can ring from their phones using the numbers on the system. Branch secretaries and County Councillors are also entitled to membership lists. For other members, calls will need to be made through the Dialogue app
4. Use ZOOM for informal Group Meetings
Create an account at www.zoom.us for free video calling to your friends and colleagues. There are a range of guides and video tutorials available on the site to get you going. Get in touch with us if you need any further advice.
Even with campaigning suspended we will continue the important Welsh Labour tradition of working together for our communities. You may have ideas on how we can do this. For example, online reading groups, political education sessions and film clubs. Be inventive and imaginative! There will also be Zooms organised by the party, and a range of other organisations. These are a great way to stay connected to others and reduce isolation.
5. Support your local Foodbanks
In the face of Tory austerity, the generosity of Welsh Labour members in supporting local food banks has been unmatched. Now at a time when Foodbanks are recording lower than normal donations but have more people than ever need help we must do what we can to support these vital local groups.
If you’re able to help organise foodbank collections then reach out to established organisations who will be coordinating volunteers in line with public health guidance. Visit the Trussell Trust website to find your nearest foodbank and donate.
Resources for members