Eastbourne, UK, April 1, 2020 -- A new community call centre has been launched in Eastbourne to support elderly people forced to shield themselves during the coronavirus pandemic.
It is part of a new drive called #EBtogether, supporting thousands of vulnerable people across town through the crisis.
Callers will check in on residents aged 70 and above, who have been told to self-isolate for 12 weeks, and signpost them to practical support offered by Eastbourne council and other voluntary groups.
This includes grocery shopping and prescription pick-up services.
The community call centre is operated remotely by Eastbourne Liberal Democrat party councillors and volunteers.
It has already smashed its target of reaching 1,000 elderly residents across town, and is now working to provide support to 5,000.
Josh Babarinde, #EBtogether co-ordinator, said, "With necessary self-isolation measures stepping up, many elderly people without family or internet access find themselves cut off from the support they need.
"We want every resident of Eastbourne to know that they are not alone. Our Community Call Centre goes back to basics. It connects them with the help they need by telephone."
The group is appealing to other political parties to replicate #EBtogether’s Community Call Centre model.
Mr Barbarinde said, "There are many more vulnerable people who we just can’t reach alone. That’s why we’re calling on all the political parties in Eastbourne and Willingdon to join us in repurposing political activists into humanitarian volunteers for our town. We’ve got to get all hands on deck".
Lib Dem Councillor David Tutt, who is the leader of Eastbourne Borough Council, said, "For anyone reading this who needs help, please contact the government helpline if you’ve received a letter from the NHS stating that you’re eligible."
People who have not received this letter are advised to call Eastbourne Borough Council’s coronavirus helpline on 01323 679722 who will alternatively be able to provide support.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Published: Friday, April 3, 2020
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