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NEWS | Trust switches roles to help Rotherham’s most vulnerable stay safe

22 April 2020

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Rotherham United Community Sports Trust has joined forces with Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Trust (RDaSH) to provide practical and emotional support to vulnerable and struggling families during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Trudi Race, the sports trust’s Inclusion Manager, is co-ordinating the scheme. She said: “Prior to the virus outbreak, the NHS in Rotherham have been funding us to provide befriending support to residents across the borough who have mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression. The aim is to involve them in various activities to improve their mental health, but Coronavirus has meant we have had to suspend this project. The NHS have instead asked us to switch and widen our role to helping people who are currently socially isolating, or looking after vulnerable people of all ages who could be at serious risk if they contract the virus.”

The sports trust’s staff are furloughed but more than 20 have volunteered to support the scheme, which sees them getting a weekly shop and any prescriptions for those who can’t go out, or arranging a conversation on the telephone with someone to keep their spirits up. They also provide a free dog walking service twice a week for those with pets.

“It’s free and more than 40 Rotherham residents have taken up our offer to help in the three weeks since launching, with the oldest being 89. At the other end of the scale we are also supporting families with children who have complex health needs and need to be isolated”, said Trudi, who worked in a hospital occupational therapy department before taking up her current role.

Rotherham United is also contacting all its season ticket holder who are aged over 70 to check that they are ok.

Rachel Hall, Continuous Improvement Lead with for RDASH’s Rotherham Care Group, said: “Looking after the most vulnerable in the community is a great concern for the NHS at the moment, so this scheme is providing a welcome lifeline for many people who need support to stay safe. If you are socially isolating and need help, please get in touch.”

Ring 01709 827764 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

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