Exeter City's partner charity, CITY Community Trust is rapidly evolving its service to support people impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
The organisation which can usually be found delivering health and wellbeing programmes and mass participation running events across Devon has found the majority of its normal work halted due to the virus.
But it has changed its delivery and is now a key partner in Exeter Community Wellbeing - a response service which has been developed by Exeter City Council to support older and vulnerable people who are in urgent need and have been isolated due to coronavirus. It has also offered its services to support schools who are staying open for the children of keyworkers.
Jamie Vittles, chief executive of CITY Community Trust, said: "Over the last 20 years we have developed a wide range of health and wellbeing programmes which we deliver across Devon. At this time of year we would normally be preparing for Easter holiday clubs, running events or delivering our regular community activity for people of all ages. But coronavirus has had a huge impact and brought the majority of the work we do to a standstill.
"We work alongside many partners in Exeter, including the city council and it just made complete sense to us to offer our support. Our team are prepared to get stuck in and help in any way they can, whether that is collecting prescriptions or delivering urgently needed supplies.
"We take our place at the heart of the community in Exeter very seriously and will do whatever we can. It’s in our blood, it’s our ethos – it’s just what we do."
The team will be delivering shopping, collecting prescriptions and supporting key workers at this challenging time. They’ll also be phoning people who are isolated and checking in.
Jamie added: "We’re also ensuring we are in phone contact with some of the more vulnerable people who attend our groups, for instance our Sporting Memories groups, who are generally attended by older, men, some suffering from early stages of dementia or who are isolated or lonely."
And it’s not just staff from the charity who have been getting involved in supporting the community, Exeter City manager Matt Taylor pitched in this week, calling members of the Sporting Memories group to check they have everything they need.
💬 If you've got 5️⃣ minutes to spare, please listen to Mike Roach chatting to @BBCDevon about being called by Matt Taylor 👇— Exeter City FC (@OfficialECFC) March 26, 2020
It's the little things that make a huge difference ♥️🤍#OneGrecianGoal #ECFC pic.twitter.com/VWTK1CVgQe
Julian Tagg, chair and director of football at Exeter City FC, said: "As a community-focused supporter-owned club it is times like this that our charity CITY Community Trust really comes into its own. It is so important for us to be able to support keyworkers and those in our community who need us most. This is an ethos which stems from our ownership model and puts our community at the forefront of everything we do."
For details of Exeter Community Wellbeing visit https://exeter.gov.uk/wellbeing/ or call 01392 265000.
To find out more about the work of Exeter CITY Community Trust visit www.exetercct.org
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