Stoke-on-Trent is a city that knows how to tackle adversity head-on.
Our warmth, humour and tenacity mean that we’re equipped to face anything as a community, and it’s in our very nature to wrap our arms around its most vulnerable members.
Now, it’s never been more important to do just that, as the Covid-19 pandemic has swept the globe and thrown life as we know it into complete uncertainty.
That’s why we’ve launched #StokeonTrentTogether, alongside voluntary organisation VAST, to encourage our community to come together in response to the outbreak.
We’ve launched a dedicated website and telephone line to offer support to vulnerable residents affected by the coronavirus, specifically those who are self-isolating and don’t have friends or family to call upon.
Our mission is to help meet their everyday needs and to offer some extra help – whether prescription collection, food or essentials shopping, gas or electricity meter top-ups, dog walking, or even just a friendly conversation (which is something us Stokies are very skilled at!).
As a local authority, we are doing everything we can to support people, but we recognise that at this time, we can’t meet the needs of everybody alone. That’s why we’re delighted to have VAST on board as part of our response to the coronavirus.
Our city is known for its friendliness and close-knit communities and I know we are all pulling together as best we can to get through these extraordinary circumstances. We are also working with other community groups, faith groups and organisations across the city who have already told us they want to offer support in these challenging times. I am looking forward to watching the scheme grow and know that Stoke-on-Trent will continue to show great kindness and camaraderie.
Please get in contact if you either need support, or are able to offer it to members of the community who are self-isolating or vulnerable – such as elderly residents and residents who need some extra help and are not already accessing medical or already-agreed care packages
The website – https://corona19.vast.org.uk/ – and telephone line is live now. Residents or organisations can fill in an online form or telephone the helpline to state whether they are able to offer help or would like to access some support.
These are unprecedented times and it’s more important than ever that we look after ourselves and those around us. Our advice is to stay home and save lives and follow the advice of the Government, the NHS and Public Health England. We, along with VAST, want to make the process of getting the support needed to the right people as easy as possible so that the charities and community groups on the ground – which are stretched very thin during this time period – can concentrate on what they do best.
Residents can access the website here: https://corona19.vast.org.uk/
Residents can also telephone: 0800 561 5610
Initially, the telephone line will be open Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm.
For more information and advice on coronavirus (COVID-19) please visit Public Health England: https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/01/23/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-what-you-need-to-know/ and the NHS: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/.
For the latest information on coronavirus please visit the Government website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public
All residents are reminded about the critical importance of regular handwashing with soap and hot water for 20 seconds. The importance of this action cannot be underestimated.
For more information on digital services, visit www.stoke.gov.uk, download the MyStoke App, or follow the city council’s social media channels.