With the pausing of the Government Shielding programme, Derby Community Response Hub has committed to contacting all those residents who have been shielding to make sure they will not lose support if they still need it.

The Government has announced that from Saturday 1st August those who have been staying home since March no longer need to ‘shield’ and can start to follow new guidance.

Whilst this is, of course, good news and a sign of recovery the pausing of the programme also means the closure of the free food parcels scheme which will have implications for many of our residents who have been depending on these parcels over the past few months or who may not feel ready to interact with wider society just yet. The Community Hub is still available on 01332 640000 for anyone who needs to share their concerns.

Coronavirus has not gone away and so the guidance is still for those shielding to stay home as much as possible and to take precautions when they do go out by washing their hands regularly, avoiding touching their face and keeping two metres away from people outside of their household or bubble wherever possible.

So far, the Community Hub has helped over 15000 people and is committed to continuing the good work as long as it is needed but to do so, it needs the continued help of the people of Derby.

Around 1000 people have volunteered to help out in their community and to support the Hub through the lockdown, however, as the country has re-opened, more and more of those original volunteers have found themselves back at work and with less time to help out.

With the ending of the Shielding programme there is now, more than ever, a need for good neighbours and for residents to look out for those most in need. If you have a friend or neighbour who has been shielding now would be a great time to check in with them to make sure they are ready for the changes in August. If you have concerns you can get in touch with us on 1332 640000 or direct them to the Hub themselves.

Derby’s community led approach to the COVID-19 crisis has been recognised across the country and internationally for its effectiveness and there is a desire and a commitment from the Council and voluntary sector partners for the Hub to grow and develop as a long-term part of our community work.

A recent report entitled Which Way Next has highlighted the ground-breaking work of the Derby Hub, and other Hubs across the country, in challenging traditional methods of approaching community work.

Sarah Edmundson, Senior Local Area Coordinator, explains

“The current crisis has held a mirror up that highlights the limitations of the traditional “top down” approach and generated space for a more collaborative, community-driven response to a wide variety of issues.

“Circumstances have allowed us to have equal conversations with people at every level within the local authority and our contribution throughout the crisis has been highly valued. There is real opportunity in Derby for a significant culture shift across the whole local authority, across all directorates and beyond into the health, community and voluntary sector and there is a strong appetite for Local Area Coordination values to be at the core.”

 

Kim Harper, Chief Executive Officer, Community Action Derby said:

“We have created innovative solutions to meet a range of needs –working together to support community members to support each other. I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved.

“We’ve been able to do a rough calculation and estimate we’ve had around 55,000 volunteer hours in the past few months which equates to around £0.5m pounds worth of time. It’s been a phenomenal achievement.”

Councillor Roy Webb, Cabinet Member for Adults Health and Housing said:

“In amongst the sadness at lost lives and the difficult times we are living through, the Community Hub has been a real beacon of hope for me.

“I am overwhelmed with how the teams on the ground have responded to the challenges of COVID-19. They have worked brilliantly with our community partners and set up a whole new system from scratch in just days. They continue to develop and innovate and I think will become a feature of how we work going forward.

“To those who are coming out of shielding I would say that we are here to help if you need it, whether that is help with food or just someone reassuring to talk to.”