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CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19): How our teams are taking on new roles during the Covid-19 pandemic

| District

During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, South Somerset District Council has had to adapt to support our communities as well as ensuring we continue to deliver our services to residents.

Many staff have found themselves redeployed to other parts of the Council in order to provide help where it’s needed most while other members of the team continue to deliver the services our customers expect.

Our Environment team based at Lufton in Yeovil is no exception and has risen to the challenge.

Several members of the team were deployed to the new Wellbeing hub which has seen Westlands in Yeovil converted into a distribution warehouse to get vital food parcels delivered to vulnerable residents. And one member of staff is now solely dedicated to delivering essential personal protective equipment (PPE) to GP surgeries and care homes.

This doesn’t mean their normal work has stopped. A core team are still working hard to make sure the places we live and love are kept tidy and clean. Our Environment team is continuing to keep litter and dog waste bins empty together with removing fly tips around the district.  To cope with meeting all these needs some of the horticultural team has also been litter picking across the district to ensure our neighbourhoods are clean and safe for our residents.

Alongside this, our Horticulture and Environment Street Scene Team Leaders are working remotely using phones and laptops from their vans to look out for issues that need attention and keep in touch with staff who are delivering this front line work.

It is also planned for grass cutting to begin again next week while work is also being scoped out to safely implement the planting of summer bedding across the district subject to suppliers.

Collage of SSDC staff doing alternative work

SSDC Environment Services Manager Chris Cooper said: “I am incredibly proud of the way our teams have stepped up to meet the unprecedented challenges we find ourselves facing. They have all gone above and beyond to deliver not only the important business as usual front line services, but also engage and support the new Wellbeing Hub bringing food in from suppliers and delivering to the most vulnerable. We, as a team, have embraced and adapted to many new ways of working all with the common goal of delivering for our communities.”

Our team at Lufton is not the only SSDC staff being redeployed to meet the demands Covid 19 has brought. With our entertainment venues now closed, our box office team is doing a fantastic job manning the phones and taking orders for Wellbeing Hub’s food boxes, with staff from Countryside and our Locality team also supporting the picking and delivery of food parcels.

Team members from Strategy and Commissioning have moved across to support our Customer Connect team so we have more people at the end of the phone to help customers with their enquiries and concerns alongside retraining to provide additional help to our revenues and benefits service.

Thank you. You response is appreciated.

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