Help is at hand for West Midlands residents seeking support from their local communities or wanting to learn new skills during the Covid-19 outbreak.
The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has launched two websites to help local people during this public health emergency.
Residents in Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton can click on an interactive map at the WMCA Community Support Hub for information about charity, faith and voluntary services in their area.
This means they can access a range of local services, which include food banks, help for elderly people, support for the homeless, befriending groups, mental health support and youth groups.
In addition, the WMCA has launched a separate website to help local individuals and businesses develop new skills and increase their resilience while they are working from home.
At the WMCA’s Covid-19 support site, local people can access free practical courses and materials on topics ranging from online and mobile banking for individuals, to marketing for businesses.
Other resources include training in digital skills development, childcare and education, and leadership and employability skills.
The hub also offers health and wellbeing advice to help people adjust to working at home.
Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said: “The coronavirus outbreak means we must all live and work in a very different way, and the WMCA is working with partners in public health, local and central government, charities and businesses to maintain essential services and to keep our residents safe.
“Through this challenging time, however, it is heart-warming to see how our communities are stepping in to help. Our faith groups, local charities and third sector organisations are already using their networks to help local people on the ground.
“I’d urge local people who think they might need support to visit our new website and see who in their local area could help them – and any community groups who would like to be included to contact us through the site, which we are updating constantly.
“Staying at home can also mean residents have opportunities to learn new skills online, and I hope as many people as possible will take advantage of the free training available through our support hub.”
Residents can access the new community support hub at https://beta.wmca.org.uk/the-mayor/community-support-hub/ and links to the online learning resources at https://beta.wmca.org.uk/what-we-do/productivity-and-skills/online-resources/