Park and ride services in Durham City are to close temporarily, and a helpline, webpage and support network have been set up to help those struggling during the Coronavirus nuisance

Buses and Parking:

The council has waived parking charges at all its car parks, both on and off-street, to help reduced demand for park and ride facilities.

Bus services at Belmont and Sniperley were suspended this morning (Friday) and all three car parks will close at 7pm tonight. Motorists who arrived at Belmont and Sniperley this morning were directed to the nearest council car park in the city centre.

Durham Bus Station will also close on Monday, with all buses using street stops to avoid people having to wait in an enclosed space. Other bus stations are currently being reviewed.

Cllr Carl Marshall said: “This is good news, as it shows how seriously County Durham residents are taking the Government’s call for people to only leave the house for exercise or when it is essential to do so.”

For further details about parking in County Durham, visit www.durham.gov.uk/parking

For more information about advice and support for those affected by Coronavirus, visit www.durham.gov.uk/coronavirus

Support Hubs:

An official helpline, webpage and support network have been set up to help struggling people in County Durham, to complement the good work already being done by the County Durham Covid-19 Mutual Aid folks.

Following government advice that people with certain health conditions must stay isolated for the next 12 weeks in order to be shielded from the virus, Durham County Council also wants to reassure residents that they will receive the help they need.

County Durham Together has been set up by the council to provide people with support, either through established networks of community or volunteer groups, or from the council itself through staff volunteers.

They will be able to help with a number of requests, such as food shopping, deliveries, general help and guidance, or someone who can listen and support.

People are advised to accept help from friends, family and neighbours where possible, but anyone in need of extra support can find a list of local groups on the council’s website www.durhamlocate.org.uk or fill in our Coronavirus help form at www.durham.gov.uk/covid19help

Those enquiries will be directed to our virtual council hubs, staffed by AAP workers and council volunteers, who will assess any requests for information and provide appropriate help to residents.

Alternatively, help can be accessed by emailing help@durham.gov.uk or calling 03000 260 260.

The council is also urging anyone willing and able to volunteer to register their interest on its website.

This will allow workers to match their skills and availability with the needs of residents in their local area and ensure that volunteers as well as the vulnerable access appropriate advice to keep themselves safe.

Local voluntary groups, businesses and other agencies who can offer help in the community are also being encouraged to join the council’s hub to support people in this time of crisis.

People should fill in an online form at www.durham.gov.uk/covid19volunteer or call 03000 260 260.

Once they have registered their interest and their details are verified, their services will be added to the council’s Locate site, where people in need will be able to find their information.

Cllr Simon Henig, leader of Durham County Council, said: “We understand that this is a very worrying time for a lot of people, particularly those who will be self-isolating for a prolonged period of time. Our message to those people is that they are not alone. Their care remains our priority.

“We hope the launch of this service will reassure residents that support will always be there. We would remind residents though that our services are being stretched during these unprecedented times, and we would continue to encourage people, where possible, to use their trusted network of family and friends in the first instance of need.”

Jo Laverick, the executive director of Durham Community Action, said: “In this rapidly changing climate, it is vital that we all work together to protect our most vulnerable and this community hub will help us to do that. Knowing that help and support is available will go a long way in reassuring residents.

“I would also urge any group or individual who is able to volunteer or is already providing help in their community to register online, so we can make the best use of our resources and support as many people as possible.”

 

 

Cover Photo by David Howard


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