Coronavirus (COVID-19) - How we are supporting our communities and the most vulnerable
We wanted to update you on the work that continues to be undertaken by our teams during these extraordinary times.
We know our communities and businesses really need us . Even though They expect us to deliver for them and so do others such as the government. This is particularly true of the most vulnerable in our communities.
South Somerset District Council is responding to this crisis, knowing we need to work differently and in many cases do more. Whilst we have had to close some services and facilities to comply with the government health guidance, we are doing more to support our communities, especially the most vulnerable who need us now, together with our businesses. This has meant changing many of our key services and in some cases, setting up completely new services in less than a week.
Here is some of the work being undertaken:
- Our Connect team helped 500 people who called us or used our website to make an enquiry yesterday (March 26). We're helping businesses, answering your questions about Council Tax, benefits and more.
- As of 5pm today (March 26), we have received 424 applications for Business Support Grants. The team is now working hard to process these as quickly as possible.
- Our teams have sourced food to provide items for rough sleeper food packs including 100 cereal bars, 50 two litre water bottles, 100 bananas, 50 apples and more. These were delivered first thing this morning and should provide enough essential food and calories to keep 10 people going for around 10 days. We've also provide hand gel, dispensers and gloves to our hostel and all of our temporary accommodation.
And that's just a small sample of the ongoing work for vulnerable people which also includes:
- Securing new properties from private landlords at very short notice to ensure anyone at risk of homelessness has somewhere to stay
- We have engaged with anyone currently sleeping rough to either help them into emergency accommodation, or enable them to self-isolate safely with support from local agencies and charities.
- A team of officers is working around the clock to set up a wellbeing hub to support those being “shielded” who have been identified as high risk due to underlying health conditions, and others that our vulnerable in our area. This includes establishing a food warehouse, customer booking system and home delivery service for our shielded and most vulnerable residents.
We'll keep you up to date with everything happening at SSDC.