Volunteers needed across the board as new battle begins

Torbay Weekly

An urgent plea has gone out for volunteers across the board to come forward and help in the new fight against Covid.

The Torbay Community Coronavirus Helpline (now Torbay Community Helpline) was launched just a week before the first Lockdown was ordered 21 months ago.

Its mission was to help some of our most needy and vulnerable residents through the toughest times of their lives. The people of Torbay answered the call in droves and without a moment’s hesitation.

Now we must do it all again.

Vaccination Marshals at the Riviera Centre in Torquay have been working their socks off since vaccinations began almost a year ago. They are now in urgent need of cover over Christmas and New Year, as the drive to provide more boosters as protection against the Omicron variant has led to record numbers of vaccination walk-ins and bookings, with online booking systems crashing due to the high demand.

Contact the Torbay Community Helpline as soon as possible – call 01803 446022, or use the online form, found at bit.ly/torbayhelpline - if you can help. A few hours training will be required on the week commencing December 20, so you will need to be available that week.

Volunteer drivers are needed. The Torbay Community Helpline is again looking for volunteers who can help with deliveries and transport, so get in touch if you can help.

Ourbus Torbay, a scheme with volunteer bus drivers who operate 16-seater vehicles, are looking for any help from those with a clean license, that includes a D1 category, and are happy to chat with their passengers. For more details, call Kelly Bedoyan on 07816 407495, or email kellybedoyan@torbaycdt.org.uk.

Being a helpline, call handlers are the first point of contact for hundreds of important cases of help requests, offers of help and alike. The team do a fantastic job answering a wide range of questions and being a first point of contact for many in their most desperate hours – hence the helpline’s tagline is “One call, that’s all”.  Volunteers are needed to work alongside the  team to take these calls. To volunteer as a call-handler call 01803 446022.

Volunteers are also needed for Telephone Befriender team, a group who are willing to listen to a fellow resident, are open for a chat, and feel prepared to check in with those they’re befriending to see if all’s okay as little or as much as required.

With all the volunteer roles, support is on hand from staff at the Torbay Community Helpline, Torbay Community Development Trust and its partners, along with training and regular contact.

Torbay Community Helpline will be operating on reduced hours over Christmas and New Year’s. On Christmas Eve the lines will close at 1pm, staying closed between December 25 and 28 and Jan-1 and 3. The lines will be open 10am to 1pm December 29 to 31, and returning to normal hours from 10am on Jan 4.