Council leader: Thank you to our staff and volunteers

Leader of Havering Council, Cllr Damian White. Picture: Havering Council

Leader of Havering Council, Cllr Damian White. Picture: Havering Council - Credit: Archant

Council leader Damian White explains how it is distributing food parcels to the most vulnerable and has launched a business support helpline.

Havering Council useful information

Havering Council useful information - Credit: Archant

Coronavirus is causing suffering, anxiety and in some cases turmoil to many residents and businesses.

This crisis has also had a major impact on the council and the services we provide.

However, I want to reassure residents and businesses that we are doing everything we can to continue to deliver those key frontline services and to support the most vulnerable.

Our recently-opened free emergency helpline – where residents can ask for food aid, medicines and key support, is very busy and has already helped over 500 people with urgent supplies.

We continue to deliver food parcels from our newly set up distribution centre to our most vulnerable residents, who cannot get to the shops themselves.

A huge thank you to our fantastic staff and volunteers who are pulling out all the stops to make sure these residents in need do not go without.

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This week also saw us receive a new delivery of personal protective equipment (PPE) from the government. I would like to thank the prime minister and his colleagues for providing us with this critical equipment. It will help protect our local NHS colleagues, our carers and council staff who are continuing to work to keep us all safe.

I am pleased that our £2million Emergency Assistance Scheme is already having an impact. Since mid-March we have seen an increase in applications of around 75per cent and have assisted more than 120 residents needing financial help including cash grants and money to replace and repair white goods, such as washing machines, ovens and fridge freezers. If anyone needs financial support during this period, we are ready to provide immediate help.

Following on from measures announced last week to buoy up businesses; this week I was pleased to go further by opening a dedicated business support phone line. It will provide extra reassurance and help to those businesses which are struggling in what is a very challenging time.

Next Thursday, I would like you to join me in clapping for not just our health service, but also for the hidden heroes in Havering. Let’s show our love to those fantastic frontline staff and the ones behind the scenes making sure your council is there for you during this crisis.