Helpline for shielding Hampshire residents declared a success
The successful support line, which has helped thousands of frail and shielding Hampshire residents during lockdown and beyond, is scaling back its operations as life starts to return to normal.
From Saturday 1 August, the Hantshelp4vulnerable helpline, a collaboration between Hampshire County Council, the county’s 11 district and borough councils, and local voluntary and community sector partners, will revert to a weekday-only operation.
From this date, the helpline can be contacted on 0333 370 4000 during its new hours of 9am to 5pm weekdays, except Fridays, which are 9am to 4.30pm.
Graham Allen, Hampshire County Council’s Director of Adults’ Health and Care, said: “When lockdown began, we knew that there would potentially be a large number of vulnerable and shielding residents who did not have friends and family locally to support with essential supplies.
“In response, and working closely with our partners, we launched a seven day a week helpline to co-ordinate the delivery of essential provisions, medication collections and befriending for the lonely. At its peak, our helpline was making and receiving some 600 calls a day – with over 6,000 referrals for support made since early April. Four months on, and with life returning to a ‘new normal’ for many, it is time to adapt the service in response to reducing demand.
“It is important to stress that we can increase the service to seven days a week again, should we need to. In the meantime, a huge thanks to everyone who has worked so hard over the course of the past few weeks to get the right support to the those who’ve really needed it – our job is not yet done, but for now, with the advice for those who have been shielding due to change, it is right that we scale our service back, albeit slightly.”
Any local resident who would like to find out more about the help and support available in their local area can go to Connect to Support Hampshire - a website and app that can be used to support independent living.