People in Wolverhampton who have been shielding during the coronavirus pandemic will shortly receive a ‘care pack’ which includes a reusable face covering and advice on how to adapt when the period of shielding is paused on 1 August.
The packs will be sent to nearly 6,000 clinically extremely vulnerable people over the coming days thanks to a collaboration between the City of Wolverhampton Council, the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust and Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club.
The washable and reusable face covering features the words ‘Project Relight’, an acknowledgment of the city’s campaign to recognise how the people of Wolverhampton have played their part in the fight against coronavirus.
Also included in the pack is information on preventing the spread of Covid-19 and how to stay safe when out and about, useful advice that will assist those shielding to regain some normality to their lives over the coming months.
There is also a treat for football fans, with a special message from Wolves manager Nuno Esprinto Santo offering words of hope and encouragement.
From Saturday 1 August, Government guidance is being relaxed with clinically extremely vulnerable people no longer advised to shield, but support will remain available to them from the City of Wolverhampton Council and local NHS volunteers.
People who have been shielding will retain priority for supermarket delivery slots and will still be able to access help with shopping, medication, phone calls and transport to medical appointments.
Leader of the Council, Councillor Ian Brookfield, said: “We’ve said from the very start of this pandemic that we would do everything in our powers to support the people of Wolverhampton throughout this national emergency.
“The past few months have been extremely challenging for us all, but particularly so for our most vulnerable residents.
“We know the end of shielding will be a really daunting time for many and we want to let them know that we will continue to be there for them and that they can still call us when they need assistance.
“As part of this continuing support, we’re really pleased to have worked with the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust and Wolves to develop special care packs which will be sent out to 6,000 of our most vulnerable residents in the coming days. We hope they will prove really useful and help us all overcome the challenges ahead together.”
Wolves captain Conor Coady said: “The last few months have been an incredibly difficult time for everyone, especially for the clinically vulnerable who have been shielding safely in their homes.
“Getting used to our new way of life can be an anxious time, and we hope the care package will help with that process for some of the city’s most vulnerable residents.
“As a squad, we are just happy to be able to offer our support to those people that have given us their support and backing over the years. Together, we are stronger, and we will get through this.”
David Loughton CBE, Chief Executive of The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, said: “I want to say a huge thank you to everyone involved in protecting and supporting individuals who may be at highest risk during this pandemic.
“Working in partnership with the City of Wolverhampton Council and Wolves we are happy to support the special care packs that are being distributed to our most vulnerable residents and hope it will help them with the upcoming changes.”
While clinically extremely vulnerable people should continue to follow strict social distancing measures and continue to remain home as much as possible, from 1 August they will be able to take part in more everyday activities like shopping and visiting places of worship.
And from 1 August, shielders who need to work and cannot do so from home will be able to return to work as long as their workplace is Covid-secure, adhering to the latest guidance available. Shielders should speak to their employer in the first instance.
Project Relight launched in June with the release of a short film centring around the city motto ‘Out of Darkness Cometh Light’, reflecting on recent challenging times and also looking ahead to brighter days. It can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PtGJZJFJtTU.
Project Relight has also seen the unveiling of a new mural for the city by Wolverhampton artist Steve ‘Graffoflarge’ Edwards. The mural in Old Hall Street on the site of the City Learning Quarter, proudly boasts the ‘Out of Darkness Cometh Light’ motto.
Everyone is reminded they should book a test if they show symptoms of Covid-19, such as a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. For more information, and to apply for a test, please go to www.gov.uk/coronavirus or call 119. All appointments must be booked in advance.
People can also use the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust's Ask A&E tool at http://rwt.nhs.uk/askaande/ to input and monitor their symptoms and speak to a healthcare professional via video chat if required.
Anyone in Wolverhampton who tests positive for Covid-19 will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and will need to isolate and share information about people that have been close contacts recently.
The latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at www.gov.uk/coronavirus and on the council’s own coronavirus pages at www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/coronavirus. There’s lots of advice on how people can protect themselves and their families from coronavirus from the NHS at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.
The council’s Stay Safe, Be Kind campaign offers clear and simple advice about how people can help themselves, and how they can support others who may be particularly vulnerable at this time.