Denbighshire County Council has expanded its wellbeing checks to residents during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Council, with the support of Denbighshire Leisure Ltd, is contacting everybody receiving shielding letters from the Chief Medical Officer for Wales and is now expanding calls to residents over 70.

So far more than 5,000 residents have been contacted and support has included referrals to community groups or local charities for help with, for example, advice about finances, grocery shopping or dog walking.

Denbighshire Leisure’s Active Communities team has visited over 300 residents, with another 200 to be visited within the next few weeks.

The team has visited people who have received a shielding letter and had previously been uncontactable by phone and checked in on them to ensure they were being supported during this difficult time.

Overall, the project has involved more than 80 staff members from a range of Council departments as well as Denbighshire Leisure Ltd and external partners including Denbighshire Voluntary Services Council (DVSC), the British Red Cross, and elected members have been recruited to support by becoming telephone befrienders.

Cllr Bobby Feeley, the Council’s Lead Member for Well-being and Independence, said: “Thanks to the hard work and adaptability of staff, we have been in touch with more than 5,000 people, and are in regular contact with a majority of those.  We have referred more than 250 people for Welsh Government food boxes, and more than 300 people to DVSC to find help with shopping and collecting medications.  We have identified a number of safeguarding and wellbeing concerns and referred these for a quick professional response.  This has meant that many officers have had to work in a completely different way and I would again like to thank staff for their dedication and hard work during this process.”

A number of residents have contacted the Council to offer their thanks to staff as well as posting on social media.

Feedback from a resident in Ruthin said it was very reassuring to have the Denbighshire Leisure Active Communities team call by and he said it was a great comfort for him and his wife who feel like they are being supported and are not alone.

Jamie Groves, Managing Director of Denbighshire Leisure Ltd, said: “The team has gone above and beyond over the last month and it’s fantastic to hear the amazing feedback from the local community, who feel supported by the team during this difficult time. They were happy to step up to the task and felt it was a great way to stay connected with our residents and service users at this time. Fortunately most residents were safe and well and enjoyed chatting to the team, at a safe distance.”