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Helpdesk volunteers successfully answer calls for help from residents

A 20-strong helpdesk of volunteers is solving issues for residents in a Cumbrian town and its outlying villages.

The volunteers are part of the COVID-19 response from Brampton Area Action Group which is co-ordinating local services for those in need during the current crisis.

Parish Council chair David Moorat said to date the helpdesk had taken more than 150 requests and solved 99% of difficulties within 30 minutes.

BAT marshalls

The group is also shopping, delivering prescriptions and launched a phone buddy system for those at home self-isolating, shielding or without a readily available family network.

Town crier Brian Pease also has the important task of using his skills to remind residents about Thursday’s 8pm #ClapforCarers.

Residents in Brampton can also call the Batphone when they’re in need. BAT Brampton Acting Together group is the town’s emergency planning and response group. Its 60 resilience marshalls and support team also have their own Batvan which they take from street-to-street with groceries. They also carry items to help beat lockdown boredom such as books, jigsaw puzzles and wool.

The group recently launched an online fund-raising drive that brought in more than £1,500. This will keep the van running and ensure that it continues its good work including making up care packages for healthcare workers, with PPE gloves and apron, hand sanitiser and a treat.

Cllr Deborah Earl, Cabinet member for Public Health and Local Communities, said: “This is a fantastic example of another community project delivering support to our most vulnerable residents. The council is working closely alongside the group and others to ensure people are able to access the help they need in their communities. Once again, I’d like to thank everyone involved in supporting Cumbria through COVID19.”

A BAT spokesperson said: “Every single penny of what’s been raised will go back into the community.

“The care packages are both practical and contain a little thank you from the town for all the work being done.”

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