Residents unite as virtual network Torbay Help Hub reaches 15,000 people

Councillor Jack Dart, founder of Torbay Help Hub

Councillor Jack Dart, founder of Torbay Help Hub - Credit: Archant

More than 15,000 people are now linked together as part of a virtual network supporting residents in Torbay.

That is more than 10 per cent of the entire Bay population who are members of the Facebook group Torbay Help Hub, set up a few weeks ago by Cllr Jack Dart.

Statistics show there are now 15,400 active users, all posting to provide help and support to fellow residents during the coronovirus lockdown.

There have been an average of 231 posts per day, and a daily average of 2,360 comments.

Cllr Dart said: 'It's all in the name of community spirit, support and helping others during this awful time.'

He said he was wasn't surprised at the level of support but he was shocked how quickly people came on board.

He said: 'Initially the intention was to get a couple of thousand members and I wasn't expecting it to grow so quickly.

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'There are lots of people who genuinely want to help others in a crisis.

'It's been heart-warming and great to see and has grown above and beyond what I thought. In a time of need, people have stepped up.'

The most popular day is Thursday with an average of 14,700 people active in the group on this day.

The busiest time on Thursday is between 8pm and 9pm.

The second top post is a shared photo by Susan Peters of a 101-year-old sharing his isolation birthday.

Third is a post from Annie Brown, an NHS nurse who penned an emotional message for the applause a week or so ago.

Of the towns represented, Torquay is leading with 8,025 members. Paignton is second with 3,884, Brixham third with 925, Newton Abbot with a solid 832, Exeter with a strong distant showing of 136 and finally, Totnes with a whopping 126.

Members reach from as far as Falmouth in Cornwall to Inverness in Scotland.

There are a few international members too from Spain, the US, Canada and Australia.

It has reached 89,000 people in the last 3 weeks, has had 12,000 engagements and sends about 100 people a week to the website.

The linked website is averaging 1,000 to 2,000 visits a day.