Urgent appeal for Torbay Covid-19 crisis volunteers

Senior man stays home because of Corona virus. He stands by the window and looks out at the garden.

The Torbay Community Helpline is looking for volunteer specialist mental health befrienders - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

An appeal has gone out to find volunteers to help with the next stage of the coronavirus crisis.

The Torbay Community Helpline is asking for specialist mental health befrienders – people with counselling or specialist experience - to get in touch as calls from people that are struggling continue to rise.

Torbay Community Helpline

Torbay Community Helpline - Credit: Submitted

And the St John Ambulance are also looking for people to drive others to vaccination centres, people to chaperone those that are nervous and people to act as marshalls and maintain social distancing.

Vaccinations for extremely vulnerable over 80 year olds referred by their doctors started last week at the Riviera Centre in Torquay.

Because the vaccines from Pfizer have to be kept in strictly controlled temperature conditions, they will only be administered at the Riviera International Conference Centre, they cannot be done in people’s homes.

St John Ambulance staff are helping administer the vaccinations, but more volunteers are needed to help marshall people in and out as well as provide support services.

“At last there is light at the end of the year that was 2020, and we need help for one last push, “ said a spokesperson for the Torbay Community Helpline.

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“St John are doing great work, but will need help from volunteers.

“We know from before when more than 1000 people came forward to volunteer, that we will get the help that we need. Hopefully, this represents one last push in to 2021.” 

If you can help with befriending,  please contact the Torbay Community Helpline on 01803 446022, which for the next two weeks (commencing December 21st)  is from 10 am to 2pm Monday to Thursday. 

If you can help with the rollout of the vaccinations, please email NHS-Vaccinations@sja.org.uk or call 0333 0154411.