Staff praised as response hub reaches 300-day milestone

8 Feb 2021 10:32
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MORE than 300 days since it first opened, Bolton’s Covid-19 Humanitarian Response Hub continues to provide vital support to the community.

The UK was first placed under a national lockdown on March 23 last year, with those classed as clinically extremely vulnerable advised to stay at home at all times.

By March 25, the response hub was up and running with staff from departments across Bolton Council co-opted to help run the service alongside other agencies and community volunteers.

The team is made up of council employees from customer services, finance, public health, libraries, youth and sport, and more besides.

At short notice, they quickly adapted to their new roles running the helpline, making weekly check-in calls to residents and arranging food packages and other essential supplies.

The support helpline, run by staff either working from home or in the town hall, has helped thousands of people either directly or by pointing them in the right direction for support.

In addition to the clinically vulnerable, the hub also supports those who are self-isolating due to illness but are unable to rely on friends or family for help, as well as families experiencing financial hardship or food poverty due to the pandemic.

One of the hub’s most important tasks is co-ordinating the work of the many Bolton charities and volunteers who came forward to help during the pandemic, ensuring their generous efforts are put to the best use.


So, far the hub team has:

·       Responded to 8,500 phone calls to the helpline

·       Made more 14,000 outbound call to shielding residents

·       Kept in weekly contact with more than 70 vulnerable households

·       Helped provide 4,000 community food parcels

·       Co-ordinated 200 community volunteers

Bolton Council leader David Greenhalgh, said: “Responding to the nation lockdown, the council team behind the humanitarian hub had to adapt quickly with many switching to new roles practically overnight.

“The way they have risen to this challenge is testament to their dedication and desire to give the best possible service to the Bolton community.

“Whether out making deliveries or providing a reassuring voice at the other end of the phone, I’m sure everyone will join me in thanking the team which has played a valuable role in Bolton’s fight against the virus.”


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