Essex Based Community360, who has been supporting the most vulnerable during the pandemic has pledged to carry on helping those who need assistance across the county.
From 1st August, the Government’s advice will be that the vulnerable and ‘at risk’ no longer have to shield. Instead the advice is that social distancing should be maintained and to still take care to minimise contact with others outside your household or bubble.
Since the outbreak started, Community360 has been extremely busy and registered an extra 300 volunteers for essential tasks for the most vulnerable people in Colchester’s community. Supporting with a wide range of tasks from phoning people who are on their own for a chat, to collecting and delivering essential medicines and food.
Tracy Rudling, CEO at Community360 said: With shielding officially pausing, we realise that a lot of people will still be extremely worried about leaving the house. The elderly in particular may still not feel comfortable about resuming shopping trips or visiting pharmacies for example. Government guidance still stresses the need to exercise caution and to still avoid contact with people outside of their family units.”
She added: “Social isolation has not gone away either, that is why the befriending telephone service we initiated during the pandemic will continue to operate which has been a lifeline for many. We will also still be supporting the discharge of patients from the hospital and carrying out follow up welfare calls, as well as offering our Transport Service in Colchester and Maldon, which includes prescription delivery for a nominal charge. The Transport Scheme is a great way to familiarise yourself with our support to get back out and about safely.”
The charity is urging people to stay safe and take care as they venture out for the first time. The ‘doorstep buddy’ service will work with people to help them to get used to being more mobile again, in stages, and increase their confidence over time.
To find out more about local voluntary groups and Community360’s projects, people are advised to call their team of social prescribers on 01206 505250 or email email@example.com The social prescribers have been working throughout the pandemic to connect people to the support services they need.
‘Finding your Feet Walks’ has also recommenced at Castle Park Colchester, which takes place every Wednesday at 11am and Coggeshall, Mondays from 1.30pm-2.30pm pm. Meet at the GP surgery car park. Finchingfield on Fridays from 10.00am-11.00am. Meet on Finchingfield Green and Witham on Fridays from 1.30am – 2.30pm. Meet in the car park behind Tesco’s.
“The Coronavirus has not gone away.” Said Tracy. “There is still concern, so it is important to still offer ongoing support to the community and the need for volunteers will also continue to be important moving forward.”
The Government has announced various forms of support such as priority supermarket delivery slots and the NHS Volunteers Scheme, and some local volunteer schemes will continue.