Community coronavirus support services to wind down

PUBLISHED: 08:00 08 August 2020

The Honiton Community Volunteer Coronavirus Support Network has said their services will be winding down Picture: Terry Ife

The Honiton Community Volunteer Coronavirus Support Network has said their services will be winding down Picture: Terry Ife

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The Honiton Community Volunteer Coronavirus Support Network has said their services will be ‘winding down’ as the impact of Covid-19 decreases.

Heather Penwarden. Photo: Callum LawtonHeather Penwarden. Photo: Callum Lawton

Heather Penwarden, chairman of the Honiton Hospital League of Friends, said in a monthly update: “Since our June/July update there have been a great deal of changes in the government’s Covid-19 guidelines.

“With these changes, many people that were on furlough have returned to work which has reduced the pool of active volunteers.

“The acute needs for shopping, medication, deliveries, food and easy access to up-to-date and local information have lessened and with that the groups and organisations involved in this support network have eased back on their specific Covid-19 work or in some cases stopped completely.”

Some groups such as Devon Freewheelers, TRIP and the Beehive Volunteer Information Line have said they are ready to ‘step up’ should the need arise.

The information line, which is run by volunteers from The Beehive, will keep going until August 7 after which they will stop if there has been no increase in calls which averages at a handful a week currently. Anyone wanting information after that point can leave an answer phone message.

TRIP will continue with its shopping service for more vulnerable individuals and will also gradually reintroduce some of their previous services such as the ring and ride and some social outings.

Honiton Memory Café is offering a limited number of social outings such as garden visits and small walk and natter sessions.

St Michaels, The Food Bank and The Food Project will continue to offer various services to help with the more vulnerable people and families.

Mrs Penwarden also said groups were now beginning to address the impact of Covid-19 on people’s mental wellbeing.

She said: “The ongoing issues of our physical and mental health wellbeing are now been actively addressed by various groups in Honiton across the voluntary and statutory sectors and the youth and sporting organisations including Honiton Leisure Centre.

“Honiton Health Matters along with Parent + are taking a lead on various initiatives around mental wellbeing and Honiton Surgery are working on a new multi-agency approach to offering a more local community mental health and wellbeing service.”

The group thanked individuals and groups for donating their time, skills and energy.

These groups are Allhallows Charity, Honiton Lions, Honiton Round Table, Chamber of Commerce, the Elizabeth Beaumont Charity, Honiton Hospital and Community League of Friends in addition to grants from East Devon and Devon County Councils.


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