Although lockdown measures have been relaxed for many, the most vulnerable residents in Tendring are being reminded that they should continue to shield.
Those with specific medical conditions have previously been contacted by the NHS and advised to shield – to remain at home and not to go out at all.
Instead relatives, friends or neighbours should help with ensuring they have adequate essential supplies such as food or medicine.
In Tendring, residents who are shielding and do not have a support network nearby can contact the Tendring District Council (TDC) helpline for support by calling 01255 686700.
Initial assessments suggested there were around 500 of the most vulnerable people in the district, but this number has now risen to more than 8,000. Though many have their own support and do not need help from the Tendring Community Hub, each one is contacted by the TDC team to make sure they are coping.
Some of the people helped by the community hub, working with voluntary groups, include an elderly man who had no-one to get food for him or his dog who was assisted to get supplies for both him and his pet.
Another lady, a cancer patient, had no family nearby and they were all frontline NHS workers but was out of food. She was supplied with an emergency food box by a local charity, which also had a card and flowers to cheer her up.
A third man who was supported with a food parcel was not only given shaving equipment too, but connected with counselling support as he was suffering a bereavement.
Meanwhile 200 vulnerable Tendring residents are joining an Essex County Council pilot scheme where they will be provided with a smart device to allow better contact with health and social care professionals.
While some parts of lockdown are being lifted, as part of the Government’s phased recovery plan the shielded should continue to stay at home until the end of June.
There has been some relaxation in the guidance for those aged over-70 who are fit and well who previously been told to shield, who are now advised that they may leave their homes.
However, they should minimise contact with others and follow strict social distancing measures.
Neil Stock OBE, Leader of TDC, said support for the vulnerable would continue as long as it was needed.
“We understand how difficult it must be for those who have to shield by staying at home for so long, particularly when the rest of the population are seeing some let-up on the lockdown,” Councillor Stock said.
“But we are determined to help you to keep safe, and we will continue to support you through our community hub. If you need support, please call us.
“Some of the stories of people we have been helping are both heart-wrenching but also uplifting when we, with our partners in the voluntary sector, are able to make a real, tangible difference to their lives.
“I’d like to remind our residents of the importance of social distancing, if you are not shielding, not only to protect yourself but those around you.”
For updates on changes to TDC services due to Covid-19 visit www.tendringdc.gov.uk/coronavirus.
For advice on shielding go to www.gov.uk/coronavirus.