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Hythe sets up Community Support Hub in response to Covid-19

Contributed by editor on Mar 24, 2020 - 02:30 PM


A Community Support Hub, hosted by AgeUK Hythe & Lyminge, has been set up in Hythe in response to Covid-19.


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 For anyone needing help or wanting to volunteer there is a dedicated number – 01303 269602 and email – covid-19@ageukhl.org.uk . A similar hub is on the way for Romney Marsh.

The Hythe Hub came about in rapid time following a planning meeting on Tuesday of last week, hosted by Hythe Town Council, where it was decided there needed to be a coordinated effort that avoided duplication and provided a single, safe structure, including carrying out all of the necessary checks for people wanting to volunteer.

 

The Hub is geared up to rapidly process volunteer applications, taking up references by phone and completing DBS checks.

One key task that is underway is to phone all 70+ year-old residents on the books of the town’s two doctors surgeries, Oaklands and Sun Lane, on a rolling basis to check on their health and wellbeing.

A number of charities and other groups will provide logistical support such as emergency food and meal deliveries, help with repeat prescriptions for medication, help with pets or just a person on the end of a phone to talk to.

 

At the meeting, the District Council agreed to help fund the initiative. Other key players include the Salvation Army (which provides a foodbank in Hythe, among other services), the Hythe Dementia Forum, RSPCA Folkestone & District branch, the Rotary Club of Hythe, the local scouts, and KCC’s Community Warden.


Kent County Councillor and Hythe Town councillor, Martin Whybrow, who convened and chaired the initial meeting, said: “This was exactly what was needed, a joined-up, consensus-based and bottom-up response to the Covid-19 crisis from those on the front-line. It provides a coordinated structure across all providers that avoids duplication of effort and creates a safe focal point to harness all of those wanting to volunteer”.

This service is available to anyone of any age who is struggling at this time, including with other concerns such as financial. There will be signposting to other specialist providers in areas for issues such as domestic abuse.

In terms of volunteers, these are needed for a range of tasks including phoning, answering calls, telephone befriending, helping to prepare and deliver food, and help with other logistics.


Anyone interested in volunteering is asked to fill in the form on the AgeUK website - https://www.ageuk.org.uk/hytheandlyminge/get-involved/volunteer/  or phone 01303 269602.

A meeting followed on Thursday in New Romney where Councillor Whybrow explained the Hythe model. It was agreed to adopt the same hub approach for Romney Marsh (covering from Dymchurch to the east, to Lydd to the west). The New Romney Day Centre will act as the hub, again with a multi-agency approach and dedicated phone and email contact point - Covid-19@rmdc.org.uk .

It is emphasised that for all latest medical and other generic advice, residents should still visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus   and www.gov.uk/coronavirus  
 

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