Councils committed to continuing support as shielding advice set to change
The county council and its partners are making sure that support remains available for those who need it, following changes to shielding guidance which take effect from 1 August.
The community help hub has been a huge success answering over 4,300 requests for help since its launch. Through the hub, councils have been able to match people who need support with others who could provide it, thanks to a massive response from communities, organisations and individuals offering their help.
As a result of this fantastic support, help requests into the hub have reduced over time and are expected to decrease even further when the government shielding guidance changes on 1 August.
From Saturday, extremely vulnerable people will no longer be advised to shield. They will be able to visit shops and outdoor spaces, and return to work if it is Covid safe and they cannot work from home. As a result, the weekly food parcels which have been delivered by the Government to over 2,500 people in the county will cease. Everyone who receives a food parcel has been notified by letter and a telephone call from the government’s shielding team. Those people who registered for priority supermarket slots will still be able to access these if needed.
The community help hub will continue to provide support for people who need help accessing food and supplies, or collecting prescriptions. From 1 August, the help hub telephone line will be open Monday to Friday between 9am and 6pm, or requests for help can be submitted online.
The council’s Covid-19 Emergency Living Fund and Covid-19 Children’s Fund are also being expanded using new funding from Government to help those who are struggling to afford food and essential supplies as a result of the pandemic. Full details including how to apply for support are available here.
Cllr Mark Hawthorne, leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said: “I’m really proud of how we have worked together with our communities, partners and councils across Gloucestershire to make sure that everyone who needs support throughout this pandemic is able to get it. We received a fantastic response to the community help hub and I would like to thank everyone who has given their support so far.
“Whilst requests for help have fallen, we will be monitoring them closely to make sure that we can respond swiftly and make sure that help is always available to those who need it.”