For some, the lockdown continues

By David Gledhill, Marketing & Communications Lead

The tourists are back, albeit in slightly lower numbers, the pubs are open, even though they are serving fewer people and restaurants and cafes are serving again though the footfall has had to be reduced.

Along with the High Streets throwing open their doors and attractions welcoming back visitors you could be forgiven for thinking that life is returning to ‘normal.’

For some it is a pale facsimile of what went before, particularly for those who have been able to take advantage to get out and sample the ‘new normal’ along with  those that have been able to return to the workplace.

But for many, many others it isn’t either a normal nor even a ‘new normal’ – not by a long chalk and for some, life continues much as it has done since lockdown was declared on March 23rd.

There are those that do not want to risk coming back out and there are those for whom life has changed forever – unemployment accompanied by seemingly insurmountable financial problems and of course we should always remember that there are those who have lost loved ones.

No number of Government announcements and changes of advice will make a difference for thousands of people who do not believe that returning to the ‘new normal’ is an option and for them the only real option is as an as yet to be invented vaccine.

Some are choosing to come out of lockdown to varying degrees – perhaps going out for walks in quiet places or visiting friends in the safety of their gardens being careful never to close the gap within two metres.

Shopping, travelling by public transport or going into any building other than their own homes remains a no, no and it is not for anyone else to question their caution, they must be allowed to follow their own instincts and keep their own counsel.

Those are the people that we must not forget and those are the people that the Torbay Community Helpline on 01803 446022 will remain open to offer practical help and that will continue to include shopping and prescription collections just as it has done since it was set up four months ago.

We will continue to match our wonderful volunteers with people living nearby who can help with practical matters as well as providing friendship and support for people who otherwise would be lonely and isolated.

Our call handlers who have come from charities, statutory bodies from across the Bay to staff the lines initially for 12 hours a day, seven days a week,  and they have learned on the hoof to provide all the support and guidance that has been necessary through these difficult times.

It seems only fair that each and every one of them gets a mention so that they can get the thanks that they deserve:

  • Volunteers:
    • David Clayton
    • Wendy Arrowsmith
    • Charlotte Grimmering
    • Vicky Haggar
    • David Giles
    • Pat Teague
    • Jan Colley
    • June Pierce
  • Step One Mental Health Charity:
    • Maxine Myrie
    • Amy Erith
    • Sarah Stacey
    • Andrew Shankster
    • Peter Kowaldki
    • Caitlin Crocker
  • NHS Department of Nutrition and Dietetics:
    • Ysanne Wood
    • Jo Clinning
  • NHS Sensory, Disability Information Service:
    • Nicola Osborne
    • Bevis Taylor
    • Jayne Morris
  • Torbay Council Children’s Services:
    • Tia Richardson
    • Beth Freestone
    • Reza Cassim
    • Lucy Tunnicliff
  • Ellacombe Community Café:
    • David Ward
    • Sarah O’Connor
  • Paul Bidwell from The Advocacy People
  • Healthwatch Torbay:
    • Pat Harris
    • Karen Marcellino
  • Karen Armstrong from Together Church
  • Age UK Torbay:
    • Esther Gorrod
    • Rachel Coles
    • Sue Webb
    • Gwen Price
    • Jane Eastwood
    • Shaun Calloway
    • Carol Lemming
    • Helen Harman
    • Mandie Giles
    • Helen Ellis
  • And last, but not least, Torbay Community Development Trust (including Ageing Well Torbay, Positive People, and SENDIASS Torbay):
    • Jess Slade
    • Gill Knight
    • Jo Ginger
    • Mark Smith
    • Neil Lawton
    • Katie Sowden
    • Natasha Talbot
    • Sam Bolton
    • Kelly Givens
    • Chris Forster
    • Sandra Harper
    • John Arcus
    • Matt Saunders
    • Jane Acton
    • Simon Sherbersky
    • Robin Causley

Everyone mentioned here has been on a steep learning curve, providing a friendly listening ear and being able to call on support for a host of issues including mental health, finance, and the foodbanks.

They in turn have plugged into the hundreds of volunteers, triage professionals the volunteer matchers and the rapid response team that were out on the ground queuing for and delivering food and medications throughout the crisis and for their selflessness in worrying and uncertain times the whole of the Bay is grateful.

If you need help, don’t hesitate – 01803 446022 from 10 am to 6 pm, Monday to Friday and Saturday mornings from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm, or use our online form: