Bath and North East Somerset is a Compassionate Community in which people are inspired and supported to look after themselves and each other.
With the challenges posed by the Coronavirus pandemic, the project has taken on greater significance.
Ahead of lockdown, we, together with the CCG, and Virgin Care, joined forces with local third sector infrastructure organisation 3SG, and other local organisations. Working around the clock, they set up the Community Wellbeing Hub, based at Peasedown St John, 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 were supported by 2000 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.
Since lockdown the Hub has received more than 11,500 calls and the feedback from people supported by the Hub team has been overwhelming.
Staff at the Hub have also proactively called people shielding at home to make sure they have access to food and are well. The response has been heart-warming, some who have received calls have not spoken to anyone for some time and are delighted to have someone to talk to.
The strong working partnership at the Community Wellbeing Hub has made a real difference to people’s lives and is helping to make neighbourhoods and communities stronger. Although government restrictions are easing, the Hub will continue its support throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to offer its wellbeing services to residents in the future.