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Coronavirus: Volunteers offer 50,000 hours of help during pandemic

Coronavirus: Volunteers offer 50,000 hours of help during pandemic

Published by Lisa Darvill at 12:40pm 21st July 2020.

A report is outlining the support offered to communities in North Yorkshire during the coronavirus pandemic. 

  • North Yorkshire County Council has published the report 
  • It outlines the work carried out by its Stronger Communities team
  • It deployed on average 1,400 volunteers per week delivering 50,000 volunteer hours
  • It also delivered 625 prescriptions per week and 820 food shops per week

The monitoring report will go before the County Council’s Executive next week, alongside North Yorkshire’s support for and asks around a Government devolution deal.

The authority says its "flexible and agile approach to services" has enabled communities to support each other during this unprecedented period.

23 community support organisations were set up across the county to help the shielded and vulnerable. 

The council says its Stronger Communities team has worked closely with Community Support Organisations and has, since the start of lockdown:

  • Deployed on average 1,400 volunteers per week delivering 50,000  volunteer hours
  • Supported 2,800 people per week
  • Delivered 625 prescriptions per week
  • Delivered 820 food shops per week
  • Processed 703 Covid-19 grants for food or energy worth £66,675
  • Responded to 38,200 contacts from the public
  • Welcomed 2,000 new library members

It says its Health and Adult Services has supported 235 care homes during the crisis and distributed 800 covid-19 tests through testing sites in Harrogate and Scarborough. 

The Council’s Children and Families Service has been working 7 days a week for vulnerable and key worker children  through 16 hubs. 

The County Council’s leader, Councillor Carl Les, said:

“We are living through extraordinary times and throughout this period we have been at the forefront of leading the response across our multi-agency partners and community support organisations, adapting our services to continue to support people right across our county.

“Responding to new Government guidance during the pandemic quickly and effectively has been central to our endeavours and the positivity and willingness of our staff to be flexible as required  has been the biggest contributing factor to the outcomes we have delivered over recent months. The resilience staff members have shown has been amazing with outstanding work being undertaken. North Yorkshire residents have also worked effectively with the Council to comply with social distancing and health guidelines to limit the impact of Covid in the county."

Cllr Les added:

“Our thanks go out to each and every one of the volunteers who have worked tirelessly over recent months to support those living in their communities who needed extra support during this time.  Their contribution has been exceptional and has enabled a huge amount of support to be delivered when people were unable to rely on their usual networks of support.”

The authority says the task in hand remains to prevent, manage and eliminate the virus over time.