We feel it is a good time to reach out as we, like other organisations, are having to review our service offer in response to the easing of the lockdown.
In many ways it feels far more confusing than the total lockdown that was imposed in March, and people remain concerned about their safety. We hear daily how people are not quite sure of the ‘rules’ now, and we want to let you know how we are tackling this.
Firstly, please be assured that we are working on getting our services back to normal as soon as reasonably possible. But we have to be very careful about how we do this, making sure that we do so in a safe way and that we have measures in place to keep everyone safe.
We have to be particularly mindful that many of our service users are in the clinically extremely vulnerable ‘shielded’ group, and many more are vulnerable due to their age or health conditions, and so we have to be particularly careful to protect them from risk of infection.
We are looking at each of our services one at a time and planning for as safe a return as possible. There will be changes and please bear with us during this complicated time. We need to undertake specific risk assessments to keep staff, volunteers and our service users safe whilst the coronavirus is still in general circulation.
South Derbyshire CVS – Our Building 46-48 Grove Street
The building remains closed and the majority of staff have moved to new ways of remote working. This is largely from home and occasional face to face meetings where absolutely necessary. You can still contact us by phone or email and we are still open Monday to Thursday 8:30-16:30 and Friday 8:30-16:00. The food bank has moved to Hill Street Baptist Church – more information below under Food Bank.
Changes to our Services
All our group activities, and most community-based face to face services remain closed for the time being. This includes befriending visits, befriending groups, Travelling Lunch Club, Social Car and Shopmobility.
Our telephone befriending service continues, however for the time being our volunteers will not, for now, be making any home visits (indoors or outdoors). As Government guidance changes, we are reviewing the service and in particular assessing how and when we might safely start to resume face to face visits. We will update you as soon as there are any changes.
Practical Support (Home from Hospital)
We continue to provide practical support to people at home, including to those who are vulnerable or self-isolating due to the pandemic. This includes our shopping service and collection and delivery of prescriptions. The service is provided maintaining strict social distancing, with assessments and referrals all taking place by phone, email or using online platforms. This support is available countywide, with delivery partners providing the Home from Hospital Support Service in other districts – see our new website at www.dhfh.org.uk.
As ‘shielding’ restrictions are lifted we know that some support (such as NHS food box deliveries) are going to end over the next few weeks. Please be assured that our services will continue to be there for as long as people need them.
Active Travel/Social Car
We hope to resume our Active Travel scheme ASAP and will confirm when we can take bookings in due course. When we do start again we will only be providing this as a service for patients who need an urgent face to face medical appointment, and who do not have any family or friends who can provide transport. For the time being, we will not be able to take bookings for routine podiatry or dental appointments etc. nor can we take Social Car bookings for shopping or social activities.
Volunteers and service users will be asked to follow new guidelines to limit the risk of spreading the virus, including using PPE and maintaining social distancing. Service users should expect to wear a face covering and need to be able to get in and out of the vehicle without assistance. We will not in any circumstances transport people with Covid19 symptoms or who have tested positive for the virus.
We will be reviewing this again mid-August and will let you know as soon as we make any further changes. Many of our regular volunteer drivers are themselves clinically vulnerable and we are urgently recruiting for new volunteers to ensure we can provide the required level of service. If you know someone who might be interested in volunteering with us please let us know – they need to be under 70, not clinically vulnerable and with access to their own car. Training and necessary PPE will be provided.
To enquire about the Active Travel service, telephone our main number on 07458 304316.
If you are interested in volunteering as a driver, and would like to find out more please email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 07458 304315.
Our Safer Homes service has now resumed. The service provides home safety / crime prevention advice to older and vulnerable people in South Derbyshire and Erewash districts who have been victims of crime or who are at risk. The service also installs safety measures such as additional door and window locks and other safety equipment free of charge.
At the moment we are prioritising Police referrals and any visits that were previously cancelled. We are not accepting self-referrals to this service at present. We will let you know when this changes. To find out more, email email@example.com or telephone 0758 304316.
Our food bank provides emergency food parcels and other essential supplies to people in financial difficulties. The service has now moved to Hill Street Baptist Church and parcels can be collected by appointment on Tuesday, Thursday and Fridays from 9:00-16:00.
If you need a food parcel or want to make a referral please email or phone in advance to arrange an appointment, so we can ensure social distancing measures are in place. Telephone 07458 305314 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If emailing, please include your telephone number with your message so we can get back to you as soon as possible.
We are getting some generous donations but always need more – if you would like to donate food you can drop it off to Hill Street Baptist Church on the days/times listed above, or if that doesn’t suit then call the number provided and we can make alternative plans.
If you know of someone in need of a hot meal we do support a hot meal delivery referral service from our partners at Churches Together. Please refer via the Community Response Unit at Derbyshire County Council on 01629 535019.
The clothes bank is currently not physically open but if you need a clothes parcel please contact Hill Street Baptist Church by email email@example.com or call 07765762286, leave a message and they will get back to you.
Support to Voluntary and Community Groups
Our Development Team have moved all networks and forums, including funding advice sessions online, in fact they are doing even more events now!
If you belong to a community group, whether newly formed in response to the pandemic or an existing group or charity, would like to set one up, need some funding advice for your group, want to recruit volunteers, or need any other kind of support or guidance, then please do not hesitate to get in touch. This includes support or guidance about reopening your services. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. A Development Officer will be in touch to discuss your requirements.
We’ve just launched a survey for all voluntary, community, social enterprise and CV19 response groups. We want to capture their experience of this unprecedented time, find out what the current pressures and issues are, and ask what support will be needed over the next few months. This is being done in partnership with our colleagues across the county. The survey closes on 31 July and can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/3D2020 – please respond and share this information with any local groups known to you. All respondents also have the chance to win a £25 supermarket voucher!
Thank you as always for your support during this period and going forward.
Please get in touch if you have any questions – email email@example.com or telephone 07458 304316.
Senior Manager, Operations
South Derbyshire CVS