Message goes out: 'You're not home alone' this Christmas

Torbay Weekly

Torbay - You are not alone this Christmas. We are here for you

That was the message sent out loud and clear across the English Riviera this week as Christmas and New Year celebrations began.

For some people, including the vulnerable and isolated, the festive period can be a lonely time.

Jack Dart, the Torbay councillor who set up the Torbay Help Hub Facebook group when the pandemic first started, said it appeared that more and more people were currently seeking help and somebody to talk to.

He said there were a number of reasons including the uncertainty surrounding the threat of the new Omicron Covid variant, further restrictions and businesses and jobs being hit and lost.

Calls for help, with some people suffering mental health issues, were coming in around the clock.

But Jack said: “It’s important that over the Christmas period people in Torbay know there is help out there. We want you to know that you’re not alone this Christmas, and there is help out there. Please don’t ever feel as though you can’t ask us for help, as that’s what we are here for, and we always deal with your enquiries confidentially.”

The Torbay Help Hub Facebook group is now home to over 20,000 locals who, through their posts in the group, have helped thousands of friends and neighbours get quick access to help for their needs and problems. It is here - https://www.facebook.com/groups/TorbayHelpHub

The website - TorbayHelpHub.com - services hundreds of people per week, and is a one stop shop for links to services in Torbay that can help with food parcels, advice, mental health support and more.

The Torbay Community Helpline, run by the Torbay Community Development Trust, will be operating on reduced hours between December 24 and January 3, with normal hours resuming on January 4.

Jack added: “We're also on the lookout for anyone with experience supporting those with mental health/emotional needs, to join our team of volunteers as Specialist Befrienders - someone who can be a friendly ear to chat with and listen to people around Torbay over the phone, from home.”

For help or to volunteer, call the helpline on 01803 446022, or use the online form: http://bit.ly/torbayhelpline

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