Garden City united in COVID-19 response

Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation and partners have launched a new Community Response Service to support those impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Foundation has been working with community groups and organisations to create a ‘one-town’ approach to ensure the most vulnerable and isolated people in Letchworth can access food and medical supplies as well as guidance on a range of topics including health, wellbeing, finance, care needs and how to avoid scams.

Stuart Sapsford, Executive Director, Communities, Culture & Heritage at the Foundation commented: “People are understandably worried about what will happen over the coming weeks.  This fear is leading people to panic buy, which means some of the most isolated people are going without basic provisions.  Alongside this, they may not be aware of important public health advice. That’s why we have teamed up with North Herts District Council, settle, First Garden Cities Homes, North Herts CVS, Letchworth Churches and Citizens Advice North Herts, to see what we can do collectively.  The response has been incredible – everyone has stepped up to ensure the Letchworth community has a service in place.”

As part of the Response Service, a new helpline has been launched for those who are isolated, or who have limited social networks and are struggling to access essential resources.  This is being operated by staff from the Foundation who have been redeployed following the temporary closure of some of its venues and services last week.  Other staff are helping with a shopping and delivery service and with follow-up ‘befriending’ telephone calls.

Stuart continued: “Our staff have shown fantastic commitment to working flexibly and are eager to do what they can to help those finding self-isolation and social distancing difficult. Staff at our partner organisations have been equally impressive, responding quickly and effectively to get a service in place. Without their support, we wouldn’t be able to do any of this.”

People are encouraged to reach out to access help and support via the dedicated helpline on 01462 530360 which is open from 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday and 9am to 12pm, Saturday. The team can also be contacted via email: support@letchworth.com

If you need help outside of these hours, contact HertsHelp on 0300 123 4044 or email info@hertshelp.net from 8am to 8pm 7 days a week.