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“Lifesaving” helpline during Covid up for award

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A “lifesaving” helpline which offered support to thousands of vulnerable and isolated elderly and disabled residents during the first lockdown has been nominated for a regional award.

The Pleased to Meet You service has been shortlisted for the Home Care Team Award in the West Midlands category of the Great British Care Awards 2020.

The helpline, manned by Dudley Council adult social care staff, resulted in more than 10,000 offers of help and support to older people in the borough and disabled adults and their carers between March and July.

Support included fetching and delivering shopping and vital medical supplies, and support and contact over the phone to help those feeling lonely and isolated.

Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member for health and adult social care, said:

I am delighted that such an important service has been recognised in this way.
It is no exaggeration to say that the Pleased to Meet You helpline was lifesaving for many of our most vulnerable borough residents during the first lockdown.
It provided tangible support to so many people, be it physically helping out with shopping or medical supplies, or simply being a listening ear for someone lonely who just wanted a chat.
Staff worked so hard to make it a success. I would like to wholeheartedly thank them for their efforts, and I really hope they are recognised by us winning the award.

Judging for the award will take place via online interviews next month, with the winners announced at a gala dinner at the ICC in Birmingham next May.

A scaled down version of the service is still in operation in the borough, with anyone requiring help urged to call (01384) 812761.

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