Lancashire comes together to support communities throughout the Covid-19 pandemic

Lancashire is working together through the crisis.Lancashire is working together through the crisis.
Lancashire is working together through the crisis.
Around 500 people from organisations including the police, fire service, NHS, local authorities and military are working within the Lancashire Resilience Forum to respond to the virus and have been making a lot of progress in supporting the county.

Almost five million pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) have been distributed across Lancashire during the Covid-19 crisis so far.

The Lancashire Resilience Forum (LRF) has been sourcing and delivering equipment including aprons, gloves, hand sanitiser, masks and eye protection since the beginning of the outbreak in the UK back in March.

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Some of this is funded by Lancashire County Council, Blackpool Council and Blackburn with Darwen Council, while other supplies come directly from central government.

The much-needed equipment has been going to those in greatest need, including social care providers, primary care, dental practices, hospices and domiciliary care.

Over the last month, significant steps have been made to ensure our communities are supported, informed and protected, with a particular focus on the socially and economically vulnerable.

Throughout April, Lancashire Resilience Forum has made contact with more than 83,000 people considered vulnerable – either through health, age, economic or personal circumstances.

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This has been coordinated through locality hubs established in each of the districts in the county. The hubs are operated by local authority staff who are engaging with community volunteer support. In the last month alone, 33,308 calls or emails have been received by Lancashire hubs, with 2,511 requests for medication being made.

Additionally, more than 24,000 food parcels have been delivered to those in need, four mobile testing sites have been set up and we have sourced accommodation for 800 homeless people in Lancashire.

As well as individuals, the LRF is working hard to support businesses and our wider communities. Highlights from the last month include:

Being able to help local businesses with 23,000 business grants approved

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Setting up a dedicated Covid-19 Community Support Fund to support community organisations providing vital services such as foodbanks, mental health support and financial advice. So far 107 projects have benefitted from a share of £409,702.

Lancashire’s Universities continuing to teach 65,000 students online

More than 1,500 medical students volunteering to support the NHS

Terry Woods, Deputy Chief Constable of Lancashire Constabulary and Chair of the LRF, said: “By working together we have made huge progress in Lancashire’s battle against Coronavirus which is demonstrated in the sheer scale of our efforts. I am incredibly proud of everyone’s commitment – we have a dedicated team from across multiple agencies who are working around the clock every single day and this will continue for as long as it is needed.

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People will always be at the heart of what we do and all of our work is focussed on protecting people – from the heroes on the front line who are dealing with the devastating impact of this virus day in and day out, to those who are having to self-isolate and rely on us to access essential supplies such as food.

“We are doing all we can, and on the whole the people of Lancashire are doing what they can by following government rules. A combination of these two things is the only way in which we will beat Covid-19.”