Steve praises ‘true teamwork’ of special Torbay hub that shielded almost 7,000 people from virus

Special praise has been heaped on the people behind a ‘hub’ set up to help some of the most vulnerable residents in Torbay during the pandemic.

The Torbay Shielding Hub was created in March in response to the Cornavirus.

It was established Torbay Council, the South Devon NHS Foundation Trust and the local voluntary sector all working together to show ‘true teamwork’. Based at Torquay Town Hall, it supported people who had been designated by the NHS as ‘extremely vulnerable’ and who were required to shield at home as the outbreak began.

Over the period of lockdown, the hub offered support to a total of 6,868 extremely vulnerable residents.

Torbay Council chief executive Steve Parrock praised the hub for the work it has done.

He said: “The call centre made 18,417 successful calls to enable the support, fulfilling many specific requirements that our community has had over the ongoing pandemic.

“Not least of these has been the provision of 831 food parcels that were procured and delivered along with associated information on diet and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.”

He added: “The Shielding Hub has been an exemplar of what true teamwork can achieve across multiple organisations under extremely challenging circumstances.

“Our staff have been a key part of this success and I would like to give them a massive thank you. Their efforts have been appreciated and valued by many people across the Bay.”

He singled out special praise for Matt Fairclough-Kay, Deborah Gidman and Zoe Dunn who ‘accepted the challenge to set up and manage the hub at very short notice.’

“They absolutely delivered,” said Mr Parrock.

The hub is being suspended for the time being.

Mr Parrock said: “As indicated by Government we are putting the hub on pause for the time being and I sincerely hope that we do not have to restart it again due to a local or national spike in Coronavirus cases.

“We have seen some increases elsewhere in the country and this is a reminder that we must all continue to play our part in tackling this virus.”