Essex Wellbeing Service to connect residents with the right support as shielding changes

Essex County Council is reminding residents that they will continue to keep Essex safe as the formal national shielding programme comes to an end.

Around 2.2 million people classed as “clinically extremely vulnerable” will no longer have to shield from July 31 with Government provided food boxes and medicine deliveries also ending.

But, the newly formed Essex Wellbeing Service, which connects residents with the right support at the right time, will make that transition smoother.

Councillor Susan Barker, Cabinet Member for Customer, Corporate, Culture and Communities, said: “Although shielding advice is changing and relaxing some of the most vulnerable across Essex will need our support now more than ever.

“Existing support networks of friends and family may be stretched as more people return to work and the impact of long-term shielding on wellbeing manifests. I would strongly urge them to get in touch with the newly formed Essex Wellbeing Service”.

The service has evolved from the successful Essex Welfare Service launched in under a week to provide support during the coronavirus pandemic. It saw almost 9,000 vulnerable people who were shielding across Essex receive support from specialist providers, local community hubs and from over 3,000 volunteers.

As the UK slowly emerges from lockdown, the anxieties around safety, financial worries, redundancies, and family pressures continue to increase for many.

It has prompted the development of the Essex Wellbeing Service, to give all Essex residents, including parents and families, a single point of access to the practical, emotional and specialist support they need, irrespective of their circumstances.

Practical support on offer ranges from volunteers collecting food and medicine to dementia care from local organisations. There is also a range of advice on offer including debts, parenting, and mental health.

The website pulls together support from organisations across Essex and connects those needing practical support with an appropriate volunteer. Requesting support or making a referral for someone else can be done with an online form or a phone call.

Cllr Barker said: “As everyone adapts to ‘the new normal’ we want the Essex Wellbeing Service to be at the heart of the county’s recovery.

“There is a wealth of support mechanisms out there, but we appreciate that during a time of need it can be overwhelming and people may be unsure who to turn to. Essex Wellbeing Service is that link to getting you the right support, in the right place, at the right time.

“We also want to take this opportunity to extend our thanks to the amazing response and support provided by the local hubs across the county.”

The service, commissioned by Essex County Council and delivered by Provide CIC in partnership with Priority Digital Health, will continue to see volunteers playing an active role in its success as they work with local, neighbourhood responses to requests for support.

The helpline for Essex Wellbeing Service is already live and residents can access services immediately by calling 0300 303 9988 or visiting www.essexwellbeingservice.co.uk

Advertisement

Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]