Bolton’s COVID-19 Humanitarian Support Hub will continue helping residents in need, even as shielding officially comes to an end.
The hub was set up at the beginning of the pandemic and provides essentials to those unable to leave home and families experiencing hardship.
Among them are residents classed as clinically extremely vulnerable who were told to stay home at all times because of the increased risk from the virus – a policy known as shielding.
As the vaccine roll-out continues, and infection rates fall across the UK, the government has now confirmed that shielding will end on Thursday, April 1.
However, Bolton Council and its partners have confirmed that both the hub and the COVID-19 Helpline will continue after this date so residents can still access the support they need.
We have decided to keep the programme running so residents don’t have to take any extra risks that they don’t feel comfortable with.
Chief Executive of Bolton Council, Tony Oakman, said:
“We know the Humanitarian Support Hub has been a real lifeline for many during a very challenging year.
“That is why in Bolton we have decided to keep the programme running so residents don’t have to take any extra risks that they don’t feel comfortable with.
“I want to thank our partners who have helped deliver this support over the last 12 months, providing thousands of food parcels and welfare checks for those in most need.”
Anyone who does not have a support network of family and friends is asked to call the COVID-19 support helpline on 01204 337221 (Mon-Fri 8.30am – 5.30pm and Sat 9am-1.30pm).
Clinically extremely vulnerable residents will shortly receive a letter confirming they no longer need to shield.
The letter will also set out practical advice to reduce their risk of catching the virus, including strict social distancing, and keeping social contacts to a minimum.