Discussion with the Board of the impacts they have seen /aware of within the community and start to develop an action plan to tackle these issues
Video 5m 38s
Ms K Galvin, Localities Community Hub Lead, Buckinghamshire Council, gave an overview of the work her team had been carrying out and their lessons learnt:
- Ms Galvin was seconded in March 2020 to set up and manage the local support hub. There was a total of 8 support hubs across Buckinghamshire.
- During lockdown 1 150 council staff had been repurposed to support shielding residents. During lockdown 2 12 library staff had been repurposed to make calls to the extremely clinical vulnerable. This had included ringing 300+ residents to ask what support they needed.
- The type of support needed had varied between the two lockdowns. The change in classification from shielding to clinical extremely vulnerable had given vulnerable residents and their households greater flexibility.
- Supermarkets and pharmacies had improved their services and vulnerable residents had benefited from being able to take exercise outside of the home and extend their support bubble were appropriate.
- Support offered had included help with shopping/deliveries, signposting to support groups including foodbanks, and collecting prescriptions. There were no free food parcels offered during the lockdown 2 but emergency food parcels had been available locally.
- The hub had supported those who did not meet the low income threshold for track and trace payments but who were struggling financially using a grant from Heart of Bucks.
- Heart of Bucks directory was a good source of local support from voluntary groups https://heartofbucks.org/local-coronavirus-resource-directory/
Video 14m 20s
Ms A Bedlou, Weston Grove Surgeries, gave an update and answered questions. Discussion included:
- The surgery had started to see support requests returning to post lockdown 1 level. This included phone appointments and home visits from the Complex Care team and GPs as appropriate.
- The surgery was using social media to update patients but acknowledged this would not reach all residents. Members of the Board were asked to raise awareness locally.
- Telephone support had had mixed results for older residents. Ms Bedlou encouraged those making visits for other reasons to take some extra time to talk keeping in mind the appropriate guidance.
- The use of face masks caused difficult for those with hearing impairments. Ms Bedlou advised it was more helpful to make use social distance and increased ventilation to speak without a mask were possible rather than shouting.
- There had been an increase with issues linked to housing including homelessness, anti-social behaviour (ASB), domestic violence, suitability of accommodation, relationship breakdowns and strain relationships between older couples. The surgery were working with Prevention Matters, P3, and Housing Matters.
- The surgery had started to get information from NHS England regarding the vaccination programmes but a lot was still unknown at this time.
Inspector S Lincoln, Thames Valley Police (TVP), gave an update and answered questions. Discussion included:
- Inspector Lincoln had joined the local neighbourhood team in May 2020.
- Initially covid enforcement had focused on engaging and educating with a recent move towards enforcement.
- TVP continued to work with Buckinghamshire Council idenitifying persistent breaches both commercial and by members of the public.
- TVP response was lead by reporting and Inspector Lincoln welcomed feedback from local people which acknowledging it could be frustrating not to see immediate results. His team were looking into ways to keep local neighbourhoods better updates.
- The team were aware of ASB on the Princess Mary/RAF estate, Wendover which focused on young people including the mis-use of vehicles and drugs. There had been an increased of PSCO and PC visibility and collaboration with the the RAF police. This would be an ongoing operation.
- Inspector Lincoln was confident that officers were able to operate safely both on the street and within back office settings.
Ms S Mansfield, Young Carers (YC), gave an update and answered questions. Discussion included:
- Covid had had a far-reaching impact on their young carers with a huge increase in anxiety levels.
- An outreach project worked to address concerns young people had around going back to school especially year 7 students who had missed out on the normal support moving into secondary school.
- YC worked with schools but had not been able to deliver face to face or group work in all schools due to differences in their approach to covid. YC operated a voluntary gold/silver award for schools who worked with them. Locally John Collet had a gold award and Wendover Junior had recently started to work towards an award.
- YC had trialled a number of different online engagement methods but had seen engagement start to drop off likely due to Zoom fatigue.
Ms E Hopkins, National Energy Foundation, gave an overview of the charities work, and answered questions. Discussion included:
- National Energy Foundation were a Milton Keynes charity running a project called Better Housing, Better Health, aimed at supporting Buckinghamshire residents living in fuel poverty,
- They were able to give a tailored approach and provide information on fuel efficiency and support to access grants. Their Warm Home project spreads the importance of keeping warm to avoid underlying respiratory conditions that may exacerbate covid.
- £49 energy vouchers had been made available due to a grant. This were being distributed directly and through food banks.
- The charity were able to provide staff training to help people identify those in fuel poverty.
- The charity was very interested in building relationships with partners, such as the community board, who could help them spread their message.
Video 53m 49s
Mr D Hall, Wendover Good Neighbours, gave an update and answered questions. Discussion included:
- The group had 150 wardens support vulnerable people in the village.
- Deliveries from Budgens had now stopped as demand for this and prescription pick up had decreased.
- They were working with Wendover Parish Council to set up a Care Committee focusing on making information on support easier to access, particular for residents not using the internet. They were hoping to publish a paper and digital newsletter in January 2021.
- The group would also be investigating the potential need for hot food provision in the medium term to support residents through Brexit and the end of the furlough scheme.
ACTION: Ms Parker would arrange for relevant officers to give an update on homelessness to the Board.