Virgin Care supports COVID-19 community hub
Virgin Care is supporting a new community hub to help the most vulnerable people in Bath and North East Somerset during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Virgin Care, a health and social services provider, teamed up with the NHS, Bath & North East Somerset council and local third sector organisation 3SG to set up a Compassionate Community hub.
The hub works closely with food banks and volunteers to ensure people can access direct support when they need it. The team handled 1,000 calls in the first week of operation and made more than 500 referrals to experts and volunteers from people needing help with food, mental health, wellbeing and welfare.
They also helped more than 50 vulnerable people, including 12 urgent food and medication deliveries to their doorsteps.
The team also contacted more than 200 people in the district who need to be shielded and are therefore unable to leave their homes for 12 weeks, due to them being at very high risk of severe illness from Covid-19 because of an underlying health condition.
The hub can help those most in need with:
Delivery of urgent supplies
A friendly phone call
Collection of medication
Money matters and work
Mental wellbeing (including loneliness, low mood, anxiety)
Advice on keeping fit
Supporting your family
Food and cooking
Understanding public health advice
Kirsty Matthews, Managing Director, Virgin Care, Bath and North East Somerset Community Health and Care Services, said: “This is an amazing example of collaboration across different organisations and shows how we can all pull together in a time of crisis to support the communities we serve. The amazing people volunteering and working as part of the hub are a credit to their organisations and BaNES.”
Councillor Dine Romero, council leader, said: “It’s testament to the community spirit in Bath and North East Somerset that we are all pulling together to support those most in need through this extraordinary time. I would like to thank 3SG, Virgin Care, our other partners and all the volunteers for working tirelessly to ensure people are getting the food and medications they need. They are making a huge difference to vulnerable people’s ability to cope with the pandemic.”
The Compassionate Community telephone line is 0300 247 0050 and is open seven days a week from 9am to 5pm.
More information on the hub can be found at https://www.3sg.org.uk/pages/compassionate-community-covid-19
Virgin Care also collaborated with Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Unite, the Virgin Group’s foundation, to fly a special charter flight from Shanghai to London, bringing in ventilators, essential medical supplies and PPE equipment on behalf of the Department of Health to support NHS staff to care for patients.
In addition, Virgin Money Giving have set up a dedicated #ClapForOurCarers donation page. This is part of the Official NHS Charities COVID-19 Urgent Appeal, which has raised over £27 million so far. Donations through Virgin Money Giving to the appeal will fund a wide range of support for NHS employees and volunteers on the frontlines.