Stratford’s community shielding hub closes

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Stratford District’s community shielding hub has now closed, having delivered 1,300 food parcels to vulnerable residents since the end of March.

The closure follows the relaxation of Government guidance to vulnerable residents, which has brought to an end the shielding period when residents considered to be clinically extremely vulnerable during the coronavirus pandemic were instructed to remain in isolation at home.

The District Council’s food distribution responsibility started on the 30 March 2020, when the service was established at the leisure centre in Stratford.

A number of council staff were redeployed to run the hub, packing and distributing food parcels.

In total 1,300 parcels were delivered with the service running five days per week and Bank Holidays until mid-June when it was reduced to one day a week.

In addition to delivering essential supplies, the hub team also carried out welfare telephone calls to shielding residents who had not registered via the NHS helpline, offering support and advice and were on call at weekends to arrange emergency deliveries.

Since Monday, Government guidance means shielding residents can now socialise outside with a group of up to six people and form a ‘support bubble’ with another household.

Details of the updated guidance, together with information about the support available now the shielding hub has closed, have been included in a letter from the Government delivered with the last supply packages.

Cllr Jo Barker, People Portfolio said: “The district’s shielding hub supported our most vulnerable residents during the height of the pandemic, but I would like to reassure those residents we’re still here to help now the Government has started to relax the lockdown restrictions.  The team at the hub have done a tremendous job supporting our most vulnerable in the community and I am extremely proud of the work they’ve done during this time.”

Residents on the NHS shielding list who have concerns about food deliveries or other support can contact the District Council on 01789 260980.