MORE than 300 members of staff at Wiltshire Council staff have been redeployed to help with the county's response to Covid-19.

They have been supporting critical services, such as assessing business grants and welfare applications, the new Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub or partner organisations, while some council services have been temporarily stopped or reduced.

The council says that many staff are now working on a seven day working pattern to ensure support is in place for those who are the most vulnerable in our communities, and to support businesses.

This includes staff from across many council services who have been redeployed to deliver food and essentials and to take calls and contact the most vulnerable in the wellbeing hub, including from the council's libraries and leisure services, and many others who have also volunteered in their own time to contact and support our most vulnerable residents prior to the redeployment process being completed.

Wiltshire Council’s joint chief executive officers, Alistair Cunningham and Terence Herbert, said: “We are really pleased with the speed at which we have refocused our efforts to support our communities and protect the most vulnerable during this time whilst also continuing to deliver business as normal services.

“As we respond to COVID-19 it is so heartening to see the dedication and ingenuity of our staff. Many are delivering frontline services in difficult circumstances, excelling in completely new roles or volunteering their own time to go the extra mile for our vulnerable residents. This is a challenging time for all of us and we can’t thank them enough.”

So far:

• 75 staff volunteers from across the council have been making calls to vulnerable residents from March 27 March to April 9, including over the weekends while staff were identified for formal redeployment to the Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub. During this period volunteers received 566 calls, phoned 2466 people and 4716 letters were sent out

• 81 staff currently redeployed to the wellbeing hub, working on a 7 day rota. At its peak 122 staff were deployed. Through the hub 732 food parcels have been delivered, 8687 people have been contacted and the hub has received 2428 calls and 599 emails.

• More than 80 staff have been redeployed to assess business grant applications and help get vital funds to Wiltshire businesses. To date they have provided advice to more than 1,100 businesses, and issued over £50m in grants supporting more than 4,300 businesses.

• 128 leisure and libraries staff redeployed to provide support in the community, including delivery of food and other essentials

• Fitness consultants have been recording workout videos and helping people keep fit online.

• Three leisure centre duty managers redeployed to work in care

• Leisure PPE has been donated to Adult Social Care and Salisbury Hospital

• Food from leisure centre vending machines has been donated to local food banks

The total number of staff redeployed so far is around 375.