Cotswold Friends Adapt Services to Continue Support

by Joanna Hammond

Cotswold Friends Adapt Services to Continue Support

Over 2,000 people are being supported by our amazing Cotswold Friends volunteers and our staff. Charity services have been adapted in light of recent Government restrictions due to Coronavirus. Telephone Befriending, shopping, pharmacy deliveries and transport for vital journeys are all in place and fully operational. If you would like to volunteer or use any of the services contact Cotswold Friends.

Community Transport All vulnerable Members of the Transport Service are receiving a telephone call. Vital journeys can still be accommodated. People who use the service for their food shopping are being offered a food shopping delivery service. Transport Booking Desk volunteers are making regular calls to support all vulnerable transport Members and arranging shopping deliveries if needed. The Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle remains available for vital use and the delivery of medication from pharmacies can be arranged.

Befriending, Carer Respite and Memory Club Volunteers are now Telephone Befriending the people they support, in place of their usual face to face visits. This will ensure clients have continued contact with their volunteers, helping to reduce loneliness and isolation and allowing support needs to be monitored and reviewed. Any shopping needs or medication deliveries are being arranged.

Community Activities Volunteers are Telephone Befriending people who normally attend Community Activities. Some of the pubs where Cotswold Friends Lunch Clubs are held have offered to cook meals to be delivered to people at home. Shopping and medication deliveries are being arranged as needed.

Recruiting New Volunteers Cotswold Friends always puts the health and safety of its volunteers first. With many volunteers either aged over 70, or classed as vulnerable due to underlying health conditions, this is a challenging time. The team at Cotswold Friends is incredibly grateful for the offers of help coming in from people across the Community. To allow new volunteers to come on board in a shorter timeframe than usual, a temporary arrangement has been put in place to help fast-track DBS checks. Volunteer Training will shortly be available on the Cotswold Friends website, allowing all new volunteers to train without attending the main office.

Help from the Community A list of services being offered to local people by village groups, shops and other organisations, will soon be available on this website. Amanda Howard, CEO, said, “All staff telephone numbers will continue to work as normal and staff are available to support anyone who calls. The North Cotswolds is a wonderful community and we will pull together to make this work.”

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