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National lockdown: Stay at home

COVID-19 residents' survey results

COVID-19 continues to have big impact on our lives, including our health and wellbeing, education, jobs and the wider economy.

We ran a survey during August and September, asking Staffordshire residents to tell us how the pandemic is affecting you and your family, as well as what’s needed to help Staffordshire’s communities and businesses recover and thrive.

More than 3,900 of you responded - thank you to everyone who took the time to take part. We are pleased to share the results of the survey below.

As a council committed to listening and working with individuals and communities, your feedback is already helping to inform how we work with other organisations, residents and communities to take action. Here is what you said and what we’re doing about them.

 


 

Local communities

  • Community Help Points in libraries and voluntary organisations providing practical help and support for people to live well and stay independent for longer.
  • Regular resident surveys that enable us to listen to what matters most to our communities.
  • Doing our Bit Community Fund, offering grants of up to £2,500 to groups that are making a difference to vulnerable older people and children and families.
  • Do-It Staffordshire online resource promoting community volunteering opportunities and linking volunteers to people who need support.
  • Staffordshire Connects online directory of community support is helping to bring local people together.
  • Working with our voluntary and community sector partners to support our communities, such as helping Mutual Aid groups become Good Neighbour Schemes.


Economic recovery / supporting local economy

  • Immediate support to businesses at the start of the first lockdown, including distribution of grants of up to £1,000 to small businesses to support their survival, one million pieces of PPE distributed to businesses and an ongoing campaign of support to keep businesses updated on both local and national financial support.
  • Establishing one of the first Redundancy and Recruitment Triage Service and County Wide Task Group to support businesses and individuals at risk of redundancy because of Covid-19, and helping them to transition into work in high-growth sectors.
  • The #StaffordshireMeansBusiness campaign aims to ensure all local businesses understand the support available to them through a series of newsletters and social media, resulting in a LinkedIn following of over 10,000 and currently 178 individuals taking action to access some form of business support.
  • Ongoing support to promote the government’s Kickstart scheme to businesses, encouraging those in growth sectors to take on six-month work placements for 16 to 24-year olds at high risk of long term unemployment. This supports young people to get on the career ladder where opportunities no longer exist as a result of Covid-19.
  • The survey showed that local people understand the importance of supporting local businesses. The #ThinkStaffordshireFirst is a direct response to this, aiming to raise awareness of how a small local spend makes a big difference to local jobs and communities, especially in economic downturns.
  • With an expected rise in the number of people wanting to start up their own business, Staffordshire County Council funded a new Start up Scheme supporting people with how to start up a new business, and preparing them to be more resilient to any future economic shocks.
  • Continued development of new strategic employment sites, creating the infrastructure to unlock economic growth, support co-ordinated growth, increase cash injection into the supply chain and create new and better paid jobs e.g. i54 South Staffordshire Western Extension , Stafford Western Access Route and the Stafford Eastgate Regeneration Scheme.
  • Continued support to tenants of Enterprise Centres with a rent-freeze, along with the extension and refurbishment of Cannock Chase and Silverdale Enterprise Centres to provide more opportunities for small businesses to start up and grow.
  • Helping younger people and those at risk of redundancy with the skills needed for a more digital future through the promotion of a Skills Toolkit, delivering a Community Learning Offer and continuing with the apprenticeship programmes for the county and our schools


Environment and local area

  • Investment of £100,000 to improve the Rights of Way network to support safe and enjoyable access to the countryside, encouraging more residents to enjoy their local area and contributing to the health agenda.
  • Recent bid for funds to improve facilities at country parks, as well as improving an all ability route on Cannock Chase and creating a dementia-friendly trail at Chasewater Country Park.
  • Continuing to deliver an intensive highways maintenance programme, including the investment of an additional £2m to improve community highways maintenance, such as problem road drains, roadside grass cutting and more road sweeping. Alongside an additional £8m in LED street lighting, helping to reduce annual carbon emissions and provide savings.
  • New Climate Action Fund to fund new projects that reduce the amount of carbon produced, improve air quality or help people deal with climate change events.
  • £2.5m of Active Travel Funding to provide additional walking and cycling infrastructure and the move to a greener economy, contributing to the carbon neutral agenda.
  • Electric Scooter trials in Stafford and Newcastle under Lyme, introducing an alternative and environmentally friendly mode of transport for commuters, supporting the transition to green travel.


Using more digital

  • Health app finder, making it easier for people to find apps that can help them to stay healthy and well.
  • Rolling out virtual social work practice where appropriate, such as video and telephone social care assessments and reviews to prevent the spread of infection to vulnerable people.
  • A new Assistive Technology campaign has been launched, with online resources available to help people remain independent in their own home.
  • Staffordshire libraries continue to offer a successful digital service, with downloads of e-items increasing by 159% in the last 12 months.
  • Staffordshire History Festival was delivered online, promoting wellbeing and networking. The event successfully engaged a significant number of local people, including a Facebook reach of over 66,000.
  • Introduction of a new digital IT Support Service, in partnership with Adult Community Learning, which will make digital support more accessible to people who are digitally excluded.
  • Investing in superfast broadband, helping to transform day-to-day life for people living and working in Staffordshire, whilst providing a timely boost during this Covid period.


Health and wellbeing

  • More than 3 million items of personal protective equipment (PPE) have been delivered by the County Council to front line care staff, social workers and other roles in direct contact. This has helped ensure every care home/provider has what it needs to care for the most vulnerable.
  • Implementation of an Emotional Wellbeing in Schools programme, that is supporting children’s emotional wellbeing following their return to school, including training for school staff and promoting ways in which schools can access support for children and young people. 
  • Increased funding made available to the Staffordshire Emotional Health and Wellbeing Service, delivered by Action for Children, to support children’s emotional wellbeing.
  • Children’s Centres remain open to those families most in need.
  • Creation of Family Hubs are providing vital support to families, including working with partners to deliver over 4,000 survival kits to families most in need and offering virtual activities for families to take part in. Children’s Centres also remain open to those families most in need.
  • The #TalkSuicide campaign aims to bring individuals, organisations and businesses together to help prevent suicide in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, increasing awareness and giving local people easy access to support and training.
  • Refreshing our Public Health & Prevention Strategy, with a £750,000 investment to mitigate ongoing public health risks from Covid-19, such as obesity, mental ill health and addiction.
  • Everyone Health service is supporting people to stay healthy long term, including weight management, exercise and more. A recent Stay in Touch programme is also helping to combat loneliness during lockdown.
  • Staffordshire’s Obesity strategy, aimed at increasing the number of people engaging in physical activity, includes a range of local initiatives already underway to improve people’s health.


Building public confidence

  • Implementation of Covid-19 Local Outbreak Control Plan to facilitate the effective management of outbreaks.
  • Providing expert public health information, advice and guidance in areas such as testing to help contain the spread of the virus.
  • In response to people wanting there to be more ‘enforcement’ of the rules, we continue to work with Staffordshire Police to check compliance with isolation where we have intelligence that people are not following the rules. We are also working with District and Borough Councils to support businesses to maintain Covid security and enforce restrictions on those that are non-compliant.
  • Established a dedicated contact tracing team which carries out local contact tracing for all cases in Staffordshire, contributing to much more rapid isolation of contacts and reducing further transmission of the disease. This intelligence also allows us to act upon outbreaks more quickly.
  • The County Council has 7 day specialist advice and response to local outbreak control, including an NHS infection control and swabbing team that can be arranged as and when required.
  • Successful roll out of a flexible and responsive testing model across Staffordshire, including most recently the use of lateral flow rapid testing, with results in approx. 30 minutes.

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