Since the start of the first national lockdown, 3SG and its 2000 volunteers have provided a shopping and medication service for vulnerable residents, completing more than 5000 tasks and delivering shopping worth more than £100,000. However, with restrictions now easing and referrals from the Community Wellbeing Hub significantly reducing, the service is being wound up to enable 3SG to focus on its core mission of supporting a network of 200 charities and social enterprises across the area.
Kate Morton, Chair of 3SG, said “Whilst it was a difficult decision to step down the service 3SG has offered, it was only intended to be temporary. We feel very confident that there are many other options for people going forward and the time is now right for us to step back. I’d like to thank all the team for their hard work over the last 17 months. The Hub will continue to offer support to people in need across Bath and North East Somerset and we are working closely with all partners to ensure that everyone who has received help in the past can find a suitable solution going forwards.”
The Community Wellbeing Hub, which is a unique partnership of public, private and voluntary sector organisations, will continue to offer support to residents by signposting people to other services, such as NHS Volunteer Responders. It will also continue to provide direct food support through emergency food supplies, advice on weight management and healthy eating, ‘Cook It’ classes, and referrals to foodbanks and other organisations offering support.
Jo Scammell from HCRG Care Group said: “The service has been extremely valuable to many people during the pandemic and we are incredibly grateful to the 3SG team and all the volunteers for all the work they have done. The Hub will continue to provide support for people’s food needs and our key priority over the coming months will be focused on people’s health and wellbeing, building their confidence and resilience to support them in the future.”
Councillor Alison Born, cabinet member for Adult Services added: “I am extremely proud of the support that our community has shown by stepping forward during a national emergency to help others. We are hugely grateful to the 3SG team and their volunteers for all the work they have done. I look forward to working with HCRG Care and its partners in the future to build on the success of the Hub over the past 12 months”.
Many of the volunteers who have provided support to local people are now volunteering at the vaccination site at Bath Racecourse. Volunteers who have expressed a wish to continue to volunteer in other roles are being offered support through the Volunteer Service to find other opportunities.
The Hub continues to work with its partners and welcomes the opportunity to explore further links with parish councils and community and voluntary sector organisations, who play a vital role in building strong and resilient communities.