Centre Closure and Changes to our Services

March 2020

With a heavy heart, we made a decision has been made to close the Centre as from the 16th March 2020.

Shielding the vulnerable and elderly will be an essential part of the government's strategy when cases are rising rapidly now advises on social distancing measures we should all be taking to reduce social interaction between people in order to reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). It is intended for use in situations where people are living in their own homes, with or without additional support from friends, family and carers.

Therefore, we need to change the way in which we deliver our service and we will change the way in which we operate to ensure we are first and foremost considering the safeguarding of our clients and older people in our community.

We are working hard with many partner organisations and developing a community response and will be able to provide more information on how we will be collectively delivering services via Operation CommUNITY on Wednesday 25th March.  

Zara Skidmore, Centre Manager

Our Services are changing to reflect the difficult unknown we now face as a direct result of COVID- 19.

 Yet,  we need support from our community to make sure we can deliver the services now needed by the most vulnerable of our older community in Bishop's Stortford for the weeks and months ahead.

Considering Volunteering ?

For those of you who are considering volunteering, we thank you for offering to support our older, frail, disabled, and vulnerable people and families in Bishop’s Stortford and surrounding Villages. Your support will help us to ensure we can prioritise the help that is needed and respond to needs accordingly.  Yet, we want to minimise any risks by ensuring we are first and foremost, safeguarding those we are looking to protect and the volunteers.  As such, we will only be able to accept support from volunteers who do not fall into any of the following categories:

  1. You are experiencing any symptoms of Covid-19 and are therefore required to self-isolate.

  2. You are required to social distance yourself.

  3. You have an underlying health condition.

If you are not sure if this applies to you, please check the details on the link provided:


Yet, before we can register you as a volunteer, it would be helpful for us to know what sort of experience, skills and resources you may have, your availability and whether you have recent DBS checks and/or are ‘known and trusted’ by a council, health and social care service, voluntary sector organisation, or faith group.

For example, do you have any current or previous experience of working in nursing or social care? Can you drive and or have access to a car? Have you any experience of providing informal care to a friend or family member, and what sort of help do you think you could provide, with further training if necessary. If you don’t have any experience as above, what help could you offer if we provide training if necessary?

The roles we have available are:

1: Shopping for goods, collection of prescriptions and general daily tasks.

2: Drivers, to deliver good, meals and make collections and deliveries as required

(For this level of volunteer support, it is expected that no specialist training would be needed, but we would need to obtain DBS checks. We will also be looking to clarify your availability and ask you to be prepared to coordinate your response).

3: Providing a telephone befriending service to reassurance people who may be living alone and whose relatives and friends aren’t visiting as normal, to have a chat and provide reassurance and company.

4: To man the telephone system for enquiries regarding shopping needs, daily tasks required and coordinate volunteers to complete these tasks.

(For this level of volunteer support, we will be asking volunteers to complete a short session covering basic safeguarding and telephone befriending training. We would also need to obtain DBS checks, and prioritise those with experience in providing care, guidance or advice or used to working within customer services.)

If you are still interested in volunteering and would like to make an application, please register with Team Herts Volunteering 

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