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Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Illustration by Michelle Donovan (Creative Commons).

Key coronavirus message from the council

Hastings Borough Council has a leading role to play in combating the coronavirus, passing on advice from the government, liaising with local support groups and as a key point of contact in the community hub. Deputy leader Colin Fitzgerald provides an update on actions taken and urges everyone to keep following government advice. 

When Kim Forward and I were confirmed as Leader and Deputy Leader of the council on 16 March, we knew that we were starting our roles during what has arguably become the UK’s biggest public health crisis.

As Kim said at the time: “The impact on our town, our residents, and our business is already being felt really keenly. It is imperative that the government addresses the needs of the most vulnerable and the most deprived communities. Our message to the people of Hastings is we are standing with you and we will do all we can to support you at this most difficult of times.”

Our concerns for our community and our most deprived and vulnerable residents have not gone away; but the incredible efforts of large numbers of volunteers and keyworkers, all putting the wellbeing of the sick and vulnerable ahead of their own needs, is also showing the very best of our town.

The community hub has finished its fourth week of operation [see below]. This partnership effort is supporting vulnerable people in our community who need help with food, collecting medicines, prescriptions etc.

Hub helpline

The hub helpline has already received over 629 registrations. We have been able to support the majority with one-off help, but a further 158 people have indicated they will need ongoing support at present. Alongside this, we expect the number of registrations to continue to rise. At the time of writing:

  • 205 food parcels have been directly delivered
  • 75 family food parcels (150 boxes) have been delivered to other partners such as the Education Futures Trust who last week delivered to 40 households which included 144 individuals, of which 84 were children
  • Similarly, 25 family food parcels (50 boxes) have gone to the foodbank
  • 37 prescriptions have been collected and delivered to residents via the HBC warden’s team.

We expect such work to be ongoing for some time yet. Meanwhile, HBC Hub Staff have also referred people directly to ESCC, HVA, Hastings Foodbank and Hastings Community Transport, as well as signposting to other key Hub partners in the town such as HEART and CA1066.

This truly is a wonderful example of unity and partnership working in challenging times; so many people are offering their time and service to help others and we are incredibly grateful for everything everyone is doing.

We’re also indebted to everyone who continues to follow the government advice on social distancing. If ever there was a time for “armchair activism,” this is it. Make no mistake, the circumstances in which people are losing loved ones to this awful disease is nothing short of tragic. It’s vital we all continue to try and limit the suffering of our friends, family and neighbours as much as we can and remain disciplined in our response.

As we enter the next period of lockdown, the key message remains the same:

Stay home, Protect the NHS, Save lives.

Let’s continue to take care of each other and honour the memory of those we’ve lost.

Community Hub If you are aware of vulnerable people in your ward or elsewhere in the town needing urgent support, then please let us know at this link and complete our online form where appropriate; alternatively ring us on 01424 451019.

 

See also council’s Covid-19 webpage.

Posted 17:09 Sunday, Apr 19, 2020 In: Covid-19

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