#RAC Collective Aid Network celebrates its first operational month

Driven by Benidorm City Council, 500 volunteers participate
#RAC Collective Aid Network celebrates its first operational month.
#RAC Collective Aid Network celebrates its first operational month.

The free phones 900 701 322 and 900 10 12 15 have become a key element for the social management of this crisis

In order to channel the wave of solidarity of people in Benidorm in the face of the impact of the Covid19 disease pandemic, Benidorm City Council launched from the first moment of the implementation of the state of alarm, confinement and the cessation of many daily activities an operation coordinating volunteers to order and achieve the maximum number of objectives.

In this first month, there are many needs for help detected among the elderly population, the most at risk, or derived from problems of loneliness and mobility.

The mayor, Toni Pérez, thanked volunteers who are members of the network for "the degree of social commitment and self-sacrifice with which they carry out benefits" and highlighted "the social commitment of the population of Benidorm, which shows their resilience in the most difficult situations adverse ”.

Currently, the #RAC Collective Help Network has 500 volunteers and maintains 460 active cases of help from people who require them to carry out tasks ranging from the purchase of food and medicine to various tasks such as running errands, walking pets, lowering the trash or simply give them conversation over the phone to alleviate their loneliness.

#RAC network receives around fifty calls daily, between inquiries and requests for benefits. Some of them are not directly related to the services provided by the network, but are attended to and referred to the corresponding department or institution, generally Social Services, where professionals from the centers closest to each person's place of residence they can give them better attention and better follow-up on the individual situations reported, even once this coronavirus crisis is overcome; usually financial aid, food provision, or psychological care.

The two free helplines, which operate from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., are 900 701 322 and 900 10 12 15 and they have also received calls both from Benidorm and from other neighboring towns; even from other points of the Spanish geography.

The Network has expanded tasks as the days have passed and formulas have been worked to cover social needs. #RAC volunteers distribute food rations offered by restaurants in Benidorm (including vegan food) and collaborate with Cáritas in the distribution of food from some parishes. Along with Civil Protection personnel, #RAC volunteers assist homeless people housed in the space set up by the Benidorm City Council in the ‘Raúl Mesa’ pavilion.

The volunteers of the Collective Aid Network have also joined the distribution effort that involves the municipal program 'Menjadors a Casa', which serves more than a thousand minor beneficiaries of the dining scholarships B, C, D, E and F, a those that the City Council has incorporated minors with scholarship A who have not yet received vouchers from the Ministry of Education.

The #RAC also coordinates the toilet accommodation service in the rest apartments that are managed with the HOSBEC association and also inform about the family aid program, whose application submission period opens tomorrow.

At the end of the first month of this action, Toni Pérez thanked volunteers of the Collective Aid Network for their "dedication and solidarity from selfless participation and citizen commitment", announcing that the network will remain operational as long as it is necessary depending on the evolution of the situation of confinement of the population and of the state of alarm decreed and extended by the Government since last March 14.