|Parks and tourist attractions across the Bay are being used as safe spaces in a unique scheme to help vulnerable people emerge from shielding in a safe and controlled way.
Government support for the most vulnerable people who have been self-isolating since the start of lockdown ended at the beginning of August, but some people are still reluctant to emerge.
Callers to the Torbay Community Helpline have said that although the restrictions have lifted, they would prefer not to return to normal routines until a vaccine is available.
In what is believed to be the only scheme of its type, parks, gardens and some tourist attractions are opening across the Bay, at set times, exclusively for people who are shielding.
Where appropriate the venues are carrying out deep cleans in the hours before opening with stewards on hand to ensure that only vulnerable people and their carers are allowed in.
Community Builders and volunteers have also set up a buddy scheme to accompany those who are worried about leaving their homes for the first time in five months.
Tracey Cabache, Torbay Community Development Trust’s community development manager, said: “From the conversations we are having it is clear that some people do not want to risk going out in public and are afraid to go into shops.”
“Having safe spaces in beautiful settings across the Bay will hopefully allow those that want to get out, but want to remain careful, the opportunity do so.”
“Others are ready to take those first steps, but would need just a little more confidence, which our buddy system is there to provide.”