MORE THAN 30 members of staff at New Forest District Council (NFDC) have been retrained to help in other areas during the coronavirus pandemic.

The retraining has been for those in services like grounds maintenance, electoral services, and health and leisure.

Council chief executive Bob Jackson, said: “Staff members from our 1,200-strong workforce, who are not carrying out their usual roles in less essential areas, have volunteered to help out and work where they are most needed. The response of so many of our staff makes me proud of what all in the public sector are doing to step up to the challenge at this time.”

They have been helping process claims for business grants, monitor CCTV cameras, driving dustcarts, and delivering food parcels, and answering questions from vulnerable people in the community.

Mr Jackson added: “NFDC provides lots of important services for our residents who are affected by the coronavirus, such as benefits, housing support, business grants, and community alarms, as well as refuse collections, and staff in these services are continuing in their roles despite the difficulties we are all facing as a community. We are getting so many thanks on social media, waves to our refuse crews, and pictures drawn for our staff and it really is uplifting and helps us all to see this positive reaction.

“One thing we are asking people to do is to look out for their neighbours who may be more vulnerable and keep them up to date with the latest news and guidance about our services. Remember do this safely and keep to the social distancing guidelines. All the information about our services is on our website at and residents can also sign up there to receive the latest on email.”