THE COMMUNITY shielding hub in the district has closed following the relaxation of government guidance to extremely vulnerable residents.
The new guidelines bring to an end the ‘shielding’ period when residents considered to be clinically extremely vulnerable during the pandemic were instructed to remain in isolation at home.
Stratford District Council’s food distribution responsibility started on the March 30, 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.
A total of 1,300 food parcels have been delivered to the vulnerable residents of the district who have had no other means of accessing food during the lockdown. The service operated five days a week 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 phone calls to shielding residents who had not registered via the NHS helpline, offering support and advice, and were also on call at weekends to arrange emergency deliveries.
The new 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.
District people spokeswoman Coun Jo Barker 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.