The vital work of the Compassionate Communities Hub, the support centre set up to help vulnerable residents across B&NES during the COVID-19 pandemic, is being highlighted in a new video.
The video launched today, Tuesday 30th June, to coincide with Hub’s 100th day of operation, shows the strength of collaborations, the dedication of staff and volunteers and the positive impact the Hub has made to people’s lives.
The Hub, based at Peasedown St John, was set up in direct response to coronavirus.
Ahead of lockdown, the council, the CCG and Virgin Care joined forces with local 3rd sector infrastructure organisation 3SG and other local organisations.
Working around the clock, they set up the Compassionate Community Hub, to support people self-isolating, shielding or simply in need of help.
Staff from all the partner organisations were seconded to the hub to help and supported by 2,500 volunteers recruited by 3SG.
A dedicated phone line was set up for those in need. Staff from Virgin Care provided a triage service, signposting people to a range of support including money advice housing, mental health, emergency food, as well as help from volunteers with shopping and picking up medication.
The feedback from people supported by the Hub has been overwhelming. One resident said: “Thank you from the bottom of my heart for arranging for the lovely lady to collect my shopping for me whilst I’m self-isolating, her smile made me happy for the rest of the day. You are doing a great job all of you. She packed the bag, just like I would if I had done it myself.”
Councillor Rob Appleyard, cabinet member for Adult Services, said: “This is a unique partnership that has been created and the collaboration has worked extremely well.
“It would not have been possible for one organisation to achieve this alone. Now that the government has announced its stopping food parcels for those shielding at the end of July, it imperative that the Hub continues to ensure those affected have dependable access to food.
“It is also important to recognise that there have been many other local community support groups, foodbanks and charities all providing help to residents.
“This wider collective effort shows that our communities are extremely resilient and feel empowered to step forward. This is something that we should be very thankful for.”
Joanne Scammell, from Virgin Care said: “We are very proud to be part of the Hub and its development and to be able to support residents of Bath and North East Somerset during this difficult time.
“All staff and volunteers have worked incredibly hard and we are very grateful for their dedication and commitment. This is something we will look to continue and build upon in the months and years to come”.
James Carlin, Director of 3SG, said: “The Compassionate Community has grown faster than we ever could have anticipated, but so have both the scale of the problem and our ambition to provide help.
“I believe that we have managed to create a service that puts vulnerable people at the heart of what we do.
“Not only that, but we are ensuring that people who need help can access a number of services in one call. This means that they get the food, money, medicine and advice they need quickly cutting out wasted time, journeys, cost and stress.”
Although government restrictions are easing, the Hub will continue its support throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.
Councillor Dine Romero, leader of the council said: “I am incredibly proud of what has been achieved by the team at Compassionate Communities Hub and was delighted to visit to see for myself their fantastic work.
“Offering support and thinking of one another makes neighbourhoods and communities stronger together.
“The positive legacy of this is that there is now an established network of local people to help one another when the need arises.”