1,300 people a week phoning coronavirus support line

Good Neighbour Schemes, like this one, have become vital in the past few weeks Picture: SALLY CONNIC

Good Neighbour Schemes, like this one, have become vital in the past few weeks Picture: SALLY CONNICK - Credit: Archant

A helpline set up to help Suffolk’s most vulnerable people through the coronavirus is now receiving around 1,300 calls a week, it has been revealed.

The Tribe Volunteer app and phoneline to help people in Suffolk during the coronavirus crisis Pictur

The Tribe Volunteer app and phoneline to help people in Suffolk during the coronavirus crisis Picture: Suffolk County Council - Credit: Archant

The ‘Home, but not alone’ campaign aims to ensure those people left isolated still get the support, companionship and help they need.

One way it does this is through a phone line which is staffed from 9am until 5pm, seven days a week.

It’s been revealed that the phoneline is now receiving around 1,300 calls a week, helping link those in need to the local services.

There are a number of groups involved in the campaign including Suffolk County Council, Suffolk Community Foundation, the Suffolk Association of Local Councils, Community Action Suffolk (CAS) and this newspaper.

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Stories of the help it has provided include a single father-of-two, recovering from a kidney transplant and in urgent need of food for his young children was helped by a neighbourhood network of volunteers within an hour after he contacted the phone line.

An 82-year-old women, who was recently discharged from hospital, feeling isolated and couldn’t get to her GP for urgent medical needs, was contacted by a neighbour who offered regular calls and was able to help with collecting medication.

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A very independent 74-year-old woman, struggling to get her own food and medication while in isolation, was matched with a befriending network in her village which arranged for regular calls, her food and medicine deliveries and also helped with walking her dog.

Earlier this week it was revealed that 1500 groups had signed up to help serve their communities since the outbreak of the virus according to a mapping project being carried out by CAS.

The news came as the charity released new guidance for those involved in these groups.

Sally Connick, Head of Community and Voluntary Action for CAS said: “We have been enormously impressed by how groups of neighbours and willing volunteers have responded to the threat of the virus in the Suffolk community.

“Our focus now, is on ensuring we provide such groups with the support they need to remain resilient for however long this period of vulnerability to the virus continues.”

Those in need of support can call the phoneline on 0800 876 6926.

For all the latest information about the coronavirus please join our Facebook group. All our coronavirus stories can be found here.

READ MORE: Over 1,500 charities register in new scheme as calls made for more help from businesses

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