Everybody needs good neighbours - the Torbay Coronavirus Helpline

(Last Updated On: March 25, 2020)

HUNDREDS of calls have been made to a helpline set up to match people who need help with those who want to help in the current coronavirus crisis.

Charitable and voluntary organisations have come together to provide a steady stream of non-medical advice and support for people in the Bay who are self-isolating.

In the first week of operation, the Torbay Coronavirus Helpline took more than 200 requests for help and nearly 500 offers of help of everything from prescription collections and shopping, to dog walking and phone befriending.

The helplines – 01803 446022 answered by Torbay Community Development Trust staff from 8 am to 8 pm, seven days a week and the Brixham Does Care direct line – 01803 857727 – staffed from 9 am to 4.30 pm, Monday to Friday have been fielding calls in a bid to help self-isolated and vulnerable people across the Bay.

Healthwatch Torbay has continued to stay up to date with all the latest information on their website: www.healthwatchtorbay.org.uk alongside fielding calls from worried individuals and both Age UK Torbay and Citizens Advice Torbay have also been helping with individual’s pleas for help.

The Torbay Help Hub which started life on Facebook and has now become a website in its own right at www.torbayhelphub.com has joined forces with the helpline. The Hub is concentrating on exchanging practical information alongside coordinating offers of help from businesses and keeping up to date with supermarket opening times.

Volunteers can sign up online at: www.bit.ly/torbayhelpline, and people who want to coordinate their own neighbourhoods can express their interest at: www.bit.ly/torbaymicrovol

Bob Jope HEALTHWATCH TORBAYYou can join us on our social media pages, follow us on Facebook or Twitter and keep up to date with whats going on in South Devon.Got a news story, blog or press release that you’d like to share or want to advertise with us? Contact us


Apart from five years studying in Oxford I’ve lived most of my life in London where for many years I was Head of English in a prestigious girls’ school, but since taking early retirement and heading West to be nearer to my two daughters - settling in Torbay with my wife, Anna, in 2011 - I’ve worked in the voluntary sector. I took on the role of Service Provider, for example, promoting the Red Cross Torbay Navigators Project, while now I’m a Trustee and part of the Media Team for our local Healthwatch. I’m a governor at Torquay Academy, too, giving me the chance to stay up to date with what’s happening in the world of education. Other interests, aside from friends and family, include art and art history, reading - from contemporary fiction and poetry to Elizabethan/Jacobean literature - history, politics, cooking, walking, and music, in particular Bob Dylan, the blues, and early Elvis. I love writing, too, with one novel published so far – Elvis in Wonderland – and another, Who’s There?, that still needs plenty of work!