Posts in Category: Caerphilly

Supporting Isolated Vulnerable People through the Buddy Scheme (Caerphilly CBC) 

During the third week of March Caerphilly CBC wrote to all 70,000 plus households in the county borough offering support for people concerned about the UK Government advice to self-isolate if over 70, or with an underlying health condition, if they felt they would be unable to cope with daily shopping or picking up prescriptions. 1560 older and vulnerable adults rang the dedicated helpline asking for support. At the same time a call to action was issued to staff able to help as volunteers to provide an immediate response. Over 590 staff eventually ended up acting as Buddies being matched with up to 10 older and vulnerable adults/families each. As accessing cash was a difficulty, and no WCVA cash handling guidance existed at that time, corporate credit cards and petty cash access was set up at short notice to prevent allegations of financial abuse and fraud. Residents were invoiced at a later date for shopping bought on their behalf. At the same time the Council provided enhanced DBS checked drivers to local pharmacies to help with deliveries of medication as normal driver services were not operational. As the lockdown eased and shielding ended many staff have continued to maintain a befriending role with the people they have been supporting. The scheme is now working with the voluntary sector and local community groups to support the lesser number of people still requiring support through the Community Regeneration Team working with the local CVC. A jointly appointed Volunteer Coordinator is helping to manage the Buddy Scheme with a view to developing a more formal corporate volunteering scheme as a legacy. The Community Regeneration Team are working closely with local community COVID volunteer groups particularly in helping isolated people registered on the Buddy Scheme become more connected to their communities.

Repurposing tourist attraction to support the community (Caerphilly CBC) 

Llancaiach Fawr Manor is a tourist attraction located in Nelson, Caerphilly which portrays life in 1645 through live interpretation to approximately 60,000 visitors and school children each year. There are also conference rooms, an education centre, a café, restaurant and gift shop.

During the lockdown period, the majority of staff volunteered to be redeployed to the buddy scheme, to pick up prescriptions and shopping for the vulnerable residents of the county borough who were shielding. Others joined the Track and Trace Programme Team.

The education centre has been temporarily repurposed as a distribution hub. Donations are collected by staff and parcels created for delivery to food banks.

The bar and restaurant have been utilised for the provision of a childcare hub run in partnership with the Caerphilly County Borough Council Youth Service, School and Music service, Arts Development Team and Healthy Schools Service to ease childcare issues during the summer holidays for Blue Light Workers.

Preparations for the ‘new normal’ have included delivering workshops online and providing an outreach service to schools. The café has re-opened and the formal gardens and patio area furnished with outdoor seating. Take away meals and Sunday lunches have gone from strength to strength. 

 

Targeted Outreach Project (Caerphilly CBC) 

Gwent Police were having a number of issues with young people not following lockdown rules and contacted Caerphilly County Borough Council’s Youth Services for their support in engaging with young people. It was agreed that police and the Council’s youth outreach staff would undertake joint patrols to engage young people about COVID–19 safety precautions. This also enabled youth services and police to check on their welfare and provide additional support if required. Youth Service staff have been out with police 2 – 3 times per week, working with different neighbourhood policing teams across the borough.  The patrols focused on areas where anti-social behaviour has been identified or where groups of young people have been seen. There were a few initial difficulties as some young people were not so keen to talk with talking to police, but this was overcome due to youth worker being with them and encouraging the young people to engage. There has been a reduced level of anti-social behaviour across the borough, and there have been less sightings of young people, which has led to the amount of support required by police being reduced.

“Great partnership work...supporting young people during this time...we must be proactive...and not just wait for issues to be raised...being visible will provide reassurance and encourage young people to reengage with us...” Chief Constable Pam Kelly, Gwent Police @GP_PamKelly

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