Communities join together to help those in need during coronavirus pandemic

The Leader of Fenland District Council has thanked communities across the district for joining together and providing "a real lifeline" to the elderly and vulnerable during the coronavirus crisis.

Cllr Chris Boden said people's support for their neighbours, family and friends has been overwhelming and heartwarming, demonstrating the true strength of Fenland's community spirit.

Hundreds of people are also being helped through the Council's COVID-19 response hub - with more than 1,000 calls being handled in just two weeks.

Cllr Boden said: "It is more important than ever that we work together to support those who are alone and in need of help during this pandemic.

"We are working with 83 different agencies including the voluntary and community sector, town and parish councils, and businesses, to help deliver our response hub. The hundreds of people that have called the hub have been able to find a reassuring voice at the end of the phone and find solutions to the issues they are facing, thanks to this magnificent partnership working.

"And there are thousands more who are being supported by their neighbours, family and friends. People are reaching out to offer help, providing a real lifeline to those who live alone or are self-isolating. To all the volunteers, groups, agencies and individuals who are helping us get through this together, I thank you."

The Council's response hub focuses on helping those who have no other support available to them. It can help with food shopping, collecting medicines and other supplies, and friendly phone calls for anyone feeling lonely, by providing details of local voluntary groups and services which can help. It can also provide information on coronavirus advice and guidance.

The hub also liaises with other statutory, voluntary and community organisation partners to ensure other needs, including health and social care, are met as quickly as possible.

One caller named Helen, of Kent, messaged the Council to say: "I would just like to send a massive thank you to your community hub! A member of staff provided advice for support that can be provided to my elderly grandparents who we are unable to see due to living in Kent. I have now been able to arrange for them to have some shopping delivered over the next few days, so thank you again."

The response hub is open six days week, from 9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday, and 9am to 12noon on Saturdays. Requests for help can be made on 01354 654321 or via email at: covid19@fenland.gov.uk

For more information, guidance and advice, visit: www.fenland.gov.uk/coronavirus

Article added: April 15, 2020

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