Canton Zug, 20.03.2020

Central office for neighbourhood assistance

‘Coming together’ literally is currently not recommended on this time of the corona virus. Metaphorically speaking, however, it is important that the communities of Zug and neighbourhood aid organisations pull together. The social leaders conference of the municipalities of Zug (Sovoko = Sozialvorsteherkonferenz) has therefore set up a central coordination centre for neighbourhood assistance. It has been in operation since Wednesday.

Persons who belong to the risk group due to their age or previous illnesses should stay at home. They will therefore be reliant on the help of healthy people. The coordination office enables purchases to be made for them, for example, or to have medication delivered. Support in everyday life or in leisure activities is also provided.

All eleven communities in Zug are teaming up for this. Kiss Cham and Zug, Benevol, Pro Senectute and other social organisations are also involved. Sovoko provides the leadership. "We have created a central contact point because it offers great opportunities," explains Thomas Bonati from the Sovoko office. The opportunity, for example, to use existing information from neighbourhood aid, and not have to start from scratch. "In addition," Bonati explains, "the referral of people looking for help and those providing help is possible in a supra-communal way. Albeit with an administrative effort.”

This administrative operation will be carried out by employees of Cham's Youth and Community Work (Jugend- und Gemeinwesenarbeit) with the support of the Kiss Cham office and other employees. The central coordination point has been set up in the Ennetsee community: in the community centre at Hünenbergstrasse 3. “In addition to the central contact point, key people in the communities are also defined. Thanks to the connection to the community, they are even closer to the people”, explains Thomas Bonati. He reports that many hours were invested at the beginning of the week to get the project going. "The pace at which everything has to be organised is certainly a challenge." Mobilising the many parties involved and bringing the data from the different communities together also required a good deal of effort. "But it's worth it," he’s convinced. Because there is a need for help - especially for older people. But there is also a willingness to help. “Of course, it’s very valuable that help is offered on social media. Working together with us, those seeking help should benefit from the quality of the coordination,” explains Bonati. Quality of coordination means that the helpers are not assigned tasks that they are not yet capable of. A high school student would therefore not be assigned to tackle a elderly lady’s household. But he/she could buy groceries. "The offer will be adapted to the needs," says Bonati. He assumes that demand will increase in the near future. “In addition, needs can change. It is important to remain flexible and open to changes in this special situation”, he sums up.

The population can thereby play a major role in this. "Their commitment is important," he emphasizes. Nobody should feel embarrassed to ask for help. If you have any questions, you can always contact the social services of the respective municipality or the central offices.

If you want to help or need help, you can register at www.cham.ch/nachbarschaftshilfe. The central office can always be reached Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on 041 723 89 60.

Risk groups need help because of the corona virus. Volunteers and help seekers are now being coordinated in the canton of Zug.

The effects of the virus is also being felt in the taxi industry - because this service is currently being used much less. That’s why the providers are switching roles, including Taxi Keizer AG. "Our idea is to go shopping for the people," says Sven Sattler. Customers can leave their shopping lists up to 10 a.m., and the goods will be delivered around 6 p.m. They are still preparing everything at the moment. "But the need is certainly there," Sattler is convinced. There is interest especially in older people, he explains. More precise details will be communicated as soon as they have been worked out.

Pharmacies are expanding home delivery services
According to Martin Affentranger, the president of the Zug Pharmacies Association, there are currently many senior citizens visiting the pharmacies. They want to get their medication out of fear that the pharmacies will close. "That makes no sense, because the pharmacies are not closed," says Affentranger, "and it is also dangerous, because they could thereby be infected by other people." He points out that the pharmacies in Zug are expanding their home delivery services. Drug orders should therefore be sent to his pharmacy by email. Some younger people with stubborn coughs are still going to the pharmacy. Martin Affentranger makes it clear: "You could thereby infect others, and should therefore urgently stay at home." The managing director of the Anklin pharmacy in Cham also advises them to place orders by e-mail and to obtain advice by telephone.