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March 2020

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When this content has been published

Published on 31 March 2020

Help at hand for Teignbridge’s most vulnerable residents

A network of ‘Shielding Hubs’, co-ordinated by local authorities, has been rapidly set up across Devon to quickly supply those most at risk from Coronavirus (COVID-19) and with no family or friends to support them, with urgent supplies.

Teignbridge District Council (TDC) is among local authorities across the county working with Devon County Council (DCC) in response to the Government’s announcement that 1.5 million of the UK’s most vulnerable people have been asked to ‘shield’ in self-isolation for at least 12 weeks.

Staff at TDC are liaising with colleagues at DCC to identify and service anyone in the Teignbridge area who meets the criteria for help through these Hubs. Once the individuals or households have been added to the database, each will be contacted to confirm details of their specific needs.

The parcels, which are free and contain 7 days’ worth of mostly non-perishable food for one person, will then be shipped out to district and city councils, who will manage delivery within their communities. This is to ensure the food parcels are delivered to residents as quickly and efficiently as possible. 

In Teignbridge, staff from across the council have been moved from other roles to assist in the vital Hub programme. A senior member of the TDC Strategic Planning team is a link with the voluntary sector in the roll-out of this initiative. With Leisure Centres closed, staff are now working to co-ordinate delivery of these vital supplies.

TDC’s Civil Enforcement Officers, driving vans with the council’s branding, are the primary delivery agents, supplemented by Parks Rangers and staff drawn from a range of other council services.

How to register

Any residents who want to register for help can do so online through the Government website if they have a medical condition that makes them extremely vulnerable to Coronavirus. Families can also register on someone’s behalf.

If you’re not sure whether your medical condition makes you extremely vulnerable, you should register anyway.

Anyone who thinks they fall into one of the vulnerable categories listed on the website and has not received a letter or been contacted by their GP, should discuss their concerns with their GP or hospital clinician.

How deliveries will work

Delivery drivers will carry identification and will observe social distancing guidelines at all times. They will wear gloves when making the delivery and will sanitise or wash their hands frequently, especially after each delivery.

On arrival at the property, they will ring the doorbell, stand a safe 2 metres back and will give their name and identify their purpose in calling. They will leave the parcel on the doorstep and will NOT enter the premises.

They may ask the resident how they are and may record this on a record sheet for future use and possible further help. They will be able to call for urgent assistance if necessary and also have a procedure to follow if the resident does not answer the door or respond to a call via their personal alarm.

Amanda Pujol, TDC’s Head of Community Services and Improvement, said: “We are doing all we can to look after all our residents at this most difficult and challenging time.

“We are pleased to be part of the Devon network that has been set up in a very short time to ensure that our most vulnerable residents are on our radar and can be helped with essential supplies whilst they are staying safe within their homes.

“We have already identified a number of people who qualify for help, but more are expected to be added to our list as these Shielding Hubs move forward”.