A campaign to support vulnerable households through the coronavirus outbreak has received 5,000 calls and issued nearly 3,000 food parcels.
#StokeonTrent Together, an initiative by Stoke-on-Trent City Council and voluntary sector partner VAST, launched five weeks ago and has seen an army of volunteers provide support to those who are self-isolating or shielding and do not have the help of family or friends to call on. The campaign has seen 500 prescriptions delivered, with volunteers also helping to collect shopping and provide other support to vulnerable households.
Council leader Abi Brown said: “The campaign speaks volumes of the way the city has come together through the coronavirus outbreak. The response from residents and organisations that have pledged their time to support those in our city in the most need has been fantastic.
“We have now communicated approximately 40,000 times to people either by letter, text message, telephone or personally knocking on their door offering our support, and had help from nearly 700 volunteers.
“We have received 5,000 calls, and delivered nearly 3,000 food parcels to households in need. It is a huge undertaking and has seen a hub set up and operate out of Fenton Manor Sports Complex. The centre temporarily closed when the lockdown came into place, and the main sports hall has been transformed into a logistics hub, where food parcels are created and distributed.”
If residents can afford to pay for their shopping, but can’t get a delivery slot from their supermarket, the campaign is able to support in delivering their food, at a similar cost to that which residents would expect to pay at the supermarket. The cost of a food parcel delivery is £34 which covers around 30 items including cereal, bread, milk and tinned fruits. There is no charge for items that have been donated. If people are unable to pay for the food parcels, they will be supported with what they need. As of last week, a total of 17 food parcels had been paid for, out of 2,700 that had been delivered.
Residents can access the #StokeonTrentTogether website via www.corona19.vast.org.uk or call 0800 5615610.
Meanwhile, the council is reminding households that a two-week ‘sweep’ of brown bin garden waste collections is continuing to take place. A list of streets being visited by crews is published 36 hours in advance on the council’s website – www.stoke.gov.uk. Tomorrow (Wednesday) crews will visit more than 320 streets in Bradeley, Burslem, Chell, Cobridge, Hanley, Longport, Middleport, Smallthorne, Sneyd Green and Tunstall.
Councillor Brown said: “Our crews have visited hundreds of streets as they systematically work across the city. We ask households to please bear with us while we complete this work. Our crews have found that bins are very heavy and full, and some households have left bagged waste next to their bins. We cannot take bags with the collections.
“We’re urging households to be good neighbours and help people to put their bins out, so that we don’t miss any.”
Councillor Brown and Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones, the authority’s director of adult social care, health, integration and wellbeing, will hold a second Facebook Live at 11.30am on Thursday (30 April). The session, which will take place on the authority’s corporate Facebook channel, @SoTCityCouncil, will be the chance for residents to hear about how the council is responding to the coronavirus, receive an update on services that are running and support available, and to have their questions answered about council services. If residents have questions they would like to ask, they are encouraged to email them in advance to email@example.com or leave them on the council’s Facebook page @SoTCityCouncil.
For more information and advice on coronavirus (Covid-19) please visit Public Health England:
https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/01/23/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-what-you-need-to-know/ and the NHS: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/.
All residents are reminded about the critical importance of regular handwashing with soap and hot water for 20 seconds. The significance of this action cannot be underestimated.
For more information on digital services, visit www.stoke.gov.uk, download the MyStoke App, or follow the city council’s social media channels.