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When CV Life closed their doors to their leisure centres and sports facilities following the lockdown announcement, the team rallied together.
They have since taken over the setup, management and delivery of the support network for communities across the city – and ‘Operation Shield’ was born.
The Senior Management team at CV Life have nominated their teams of employees as unsung heroes in their huge undertaking of work alongside the Council to mobilise support to those 13,000 residents identified as an Extremely Vulnerable Person by the NHS.
Colleagues in ICT, Performance, Information Governance, Adult Social Care and Transformation came together to develop a fully functional database and front end case management solution to manage the huge logistical challenge this task presented.
Operation Shield pulled together 150 volunteers from CV Life, Culture Coventry, and City of Culture team. This enabled splitting the volunteers into five divisions, call centre team, HUB packers, food delivery drivers, pharmacy delivery drivers and a home visits team.
Paul Breed, CEO of CV Life said: “Operation Shield is a seven-day-a-week operation and some of our volunteers are up at 6am and doing up to ten-hour shifts, day in, day out, to ensure vulnerable residents receive the support they need. This might be essential food and drink, vital medicines, or just a listening ear.
“This type of work was completely different to our day to day roles and people have really stepped out of their comfort zones. The kindness and dedication all our volunteers have shown is incredible.”
According to CV Life figures, so far, the food packers and delivery drivers have delivered upwards of 120 food parcels a day - or more than 3,500 food parcels in a month, the call centre team have made over 17,000 phone calls in trying to reach a total of 13,000 people, with 10,000 vulnerable Coventry residents now spoken to with a further 3,000 to contact. The home visits teams have visited 200 people and the pharmacy team have ensured vital medicines are being delivered to those in need.
A Senior Management team spokesperson at CV Life said: “Every single one of our volunteers has gone the extra mile to show kindness to those who are in need during these uncertain times. The response from the communities we are supporting has been incredible, the gratitude and praise for our teams, who have shone light to people, many who have had nobody else. We have visited homes dressed up in VE Day costumes to raise a smile, singing songs with them on the door step and listening to peoples’ life stories.”
“The biggest impact of Operation Shield has been on us as the volunteers. We have become closer as a team, met people from across the city and motivated and supported each other every day to do as much as we can. We have felt like we have a purpose every day, to get out of bed and make a real difference to the people of Coventry.
“New friendships have been created within CV Life and across Coventry City Council and a great sense of pride has been established across the team to support our city like you have never seen before. We have created memories that each and every one of us will take away for this pandemic with a sense of belonging and togetherness.”