Hundreds call Torbay Coronavirus Community Helpines offering help to neighbours

Jess Slade, participation development lead for TCDT

Jess Slade, participation development lead for TCDT - Credit: Archant

Hundreds of people have now signed up to help the most vulnerable in Torbay as coronavirus lockdown enters its third week

The Torbay Coronavirus Community Helplines

The Torbay Coronavirus Community Helplines - Credit: Archant

The Torbay Coronavirus Community Helplines have so received more than 600 offers of help from people prepared to step in when their neighbours food or essential medical supplies run out.

They are also on hand to run errands, top up the electricity and gas cards, to walk dogs or to make telephone calls to the self-isolated for a friendly chat and to reassure them that they are there not in this alone.

So far, community builders from the Torbay Community Development Trust have dealt with hundreds of serious or very urgent requests from people unable to leave their homes.

TCDT have been working alongside wellbeing coordinators from Age UK Torbay who are also still visiting the most vulnerable in Torquay and Brixham.

Brixham Does Care have also supported another 600 people either fetching essential supplies or on the phones and have another 60 volunteers on hand should the need arise.

Additionally around 40 micro volunteering schemes have been set up by neighbours looking out for each other at a street level, several of which are coordinated through a WhatsApp group.

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But the calls continue to come in via the helplines on 01803 446022 or 01803 857727 which are staffed from 8am to 8 pm, seven days a week and by Tuesday. the team that include staff from Healthwatch Torbay as well had taken around 4,000 calls

All the calls are then analysed with teams working to match volunteers with those in need of help, concentrating on people who live nearest to each other and so far 700 matches have been made.

Jess Slade, participation development lead for TCDT, said: 'The response has been amazing, we have volunteers working alongside staff from charities across the Bay. Everyone is pulling together, it is amazing. We have been able to put those in need in touch with those that can help, whether that is someone from our teams or someone living nearby.'