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‘Overjoyed’ at Helpline cash support

Unity Andover minibus drivers wanted

The charity behind the Coronavirus Helpine is ‘overjoyed’ having been awarded a grant of £10,000 to enable them to continue their work.

Unity based at Andover bus station have been awarded the grant fom the National Lottery Community Fund.

The Coronavirus Helpline was set-up in March to help people with questions, advice and to signpost them to relevant support groups. The team at Unity were also on hand to offer advice and assistance to new groups.

The grant money from the Lottery will enable them to build on work from their Helpline which had twelve people answering calls every day of the week from 9:00am to 5:00pm.

This funding will enable Unity to offer more than just signposting support but to provide help to those who may need direct support as well as linking to groups, businesses and other services in the heart of the community.

Christianne Ireland from Unity was highlighted as a Lockdown Legend by Andover Radio in recent weeks. Christianne manned the phones at Unity each day and kept radio listeners informed of each day’s work while encouraging people to ‘stay positive’ while following government advice.

Unity volunteers come from a range of ages and social backgrounds, while most of the people needing help tend to be older people living alone, this project will add to a longer-term community cohesiveness by creating new links and relationships between individuals.

Unity Chief Executive Terry Bishop said, “The Covid-19 crisis has created real hardship and our volunteers and the local groups are doing everything they can to ensure people have everything they need.

“This funding will also enable us to strengthen these relationships, engage these volunteers and communities in the longer term to build on the fantastic ‘community spirit’ we have seen across the Borough”.

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