Blackpool Council is well underway in setting up 12 community hubs across Blackpool to help those in need and shield our most vulnerable residents from the impact of coronavirus.
Recently, 1.5m letters have been sent out nationally by the NHS with advice to vulnerable people about how to keep safe from coronavirus. Vulnerable people have been identified as at risk of severe illness if they have an underlying disease or health condition that means if they catch the virus, they are more likely to be admitted to hospital than others. They have been advised to stay at home and avoid all face to face contact for at least twelve weeks, except with carers and health workers.
Lots of people in the shielded group or who are otherwise vulnerable during the pandemic will have really strong arrangements in place with family, friends and local shops providing their essential support and reducing their isolation. The new community hubs help will not replace that. They will be safety nets for those without others to help them out or if those arrangements break down for whatever reason, including if the person helping them becomes unwell themselves.
How Blackpool’s 12 Community Hubs Can Help
Helping vulnerable people in need and requiring assistance is vital.
At a local level we already announced over a week ago details of our new ‘Corona Kindness’ service and helpline to add to the community spirit already being displayed in Blackpool for those that need help and those that want to help.
In addition, people including council workers, local ward councillors, volunteers and an amazing range of organisations have been working hard to set up local hubs to provide additional support across Blackpool for vulnerable people.
Twelve hubs are in the process of being established in Blackpool across a broad geographical spread to meet vulnerable people’s needs.
Each hub will have a dedicated person to co-ordinate support to the vulnerable people known to us and requests for support from other vulnerable people.
Each co-ordinator working with a growing network of council workers, volunteers and support partners will be looking to see how we can help in any way by matching the need for support with those that than offer it. It may be that if someone is unable to get out shopping we can organise someone to deliver food to their home, or it may be that someone is feeling isolated and just wants to chat to someone.
In addition, the hubs will also act as ‘buddies’ to each other offering assistance if another hub needs support with a vulnerable person’s specific needs.
Cllr Simon Blackburn, Blackpool Council Leader, said: “In the last few weeks, people have been working hard to set up local hubs of support for vulnerable people across Blackpool. The Corona Kindness helplines and the hubs being developed will help to ensure that no one in Blackpool goes short of the help they need. We want to hear from vulnerable people who need help and we will do our best to deliver it.
“Right throughout Blackpool and across the Fylde we are seeing people display an inspiring amount of spirit and unbelievable kindness towards each other. We would also love to hear from the people of Blackpool who can volunteer with this vitally important work to ensure that we can maximise the support that is available.
“There is no doubt that these are extremely difficult times but we need to focus on what we can and will do to protect all our residents, particularly the vulnerable.”
A telephone line is now operational for people needing help. It is 0808 1963 080. The line is open 9am until 5pm Monday to Friday. Or if you need help email: firstname.lastname@example.org or if feel you can help email@example.com.
Government advice on support for vulnerable people can be found here www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable. This includes advice about any displayed symptoms, guidance on social distancing, delivery of prescriptions, planned GP practice and hospital appointments, support with daily living.