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Coronavirus - Update from Age UK BRWF’s CEO (9th June 2020)

Published on 09 June 2020 02:27 PM

On behalf of everybody at Age UK BRWF, I would like to express our thanks for the incredible support that we have received as a local charity during these last few months. We know so many members of our community have been affected by the crisis, and that these continue to be deeply worrying times for us all, but, as a charity, we have remained committed to ensuring our vital services can continue and that all those members of the North Worcestershire community who have reached out to us for support have received our help.

As a team we have been assessing the recent changes in the Government’s advice, and what this might mean for our Services and our Retail Operations. We would, therefore like to share the following updates:

  • Our free and confidential Information and Advice service continues to operate as a Telephone service (we have adapted many of our processes so that we now, for example, can complete Attendance Allowance applications more efficiently over the phone). Whilst we are operating differently, we are still here to help, providing support on a variety of topics including social care, benefits and pensions advice; staying safe, warm and independent at home, support for carers, as well as the latest information relating to the Coronavirus pandemic. To access the service, call 01527 570490, leave your contact details (along with a message) and member of the team will call you back at the earliest opportunity
  • Our Befriending service will continue as a Telephone service for the current time – over the last 6 weeks over 1,200 calls have been made to members of the North Worcestershire Community by Age UK BRWF Volunteers!
  • In line with the changes in guidelines, we are reinstating key ‘At Home’ services (including general cleaning, shopping, prescription collection, a sitting/ respite service, gardening and handyperson) for anybody that might need an extra hand to make life easier. This is a chargeable (but non-profit making) service and new referrals are being taken. To find out how we can help, please call the At Home team on 01527 871840 or visit our At Home page
  • We are in the process of contacting existing clients of our Community Foot Care service, with a view to commencing the operation of a ‘limited service’ this month and to hopefully extending the service during July
  • All of our Activities, Groups and Events continue to be suspended in line with Government guidelines. I would like to express our thanks to our amazing volunteers who have found different ways to help members of these groups to keep-in-touch and ‘stay-connected’
  • Following the changes in advice regarding non-essential Retailers, our team have been working hard to look at ways in which we might be able to implement changes to Age UK BRWF’s Charity Shops to meet the strict guidelines and to ensure that we keep our customers, volunteers and staff safe. We are looking at a phased re-opening and our hope is that we will be able to open an initial three shops mid-June however (as those of you that have been visiting supermarkets during lockdown will know) things will be different with the implementation of new physical distancing and hygiene measures. We know that many people have been having clear-outs over the past 10+ weeks and, whilst we are always so very grateful for the support we receive, we are also going to have to implement changes in the way that we receive and process donations. To help support our shops as they re-open, we are intending to have fixed times during the day (9.30am-10.30am and 3.30pm-4.30pm) to receive donations. We would like to thank everyone in advance for their understanding as we implement changes to the operation of our Retail shops to help keep people safe
  • Thanks to the support of the Retail Team, we have been able to maintain the operation of our eBay Charity Shop during the crisis – if you like a bargain then I would encourage people to visit our online shop 

We will continue to provide updates regarding Age UK BRWF’s support and services, in line with the latest Government guidelines, but if you have any questions of concerns the please do not hesitate to contact us. As we enter this next stage, I would urge all members of our local community to continue to stay safe and well, to heed the latest advice and to continue to support older friends, family and neighbours.

Sam Humphray, CEO Age UK Bromsgrove, Redditch & Wyre Forest