Torbay Council’s COVID Community Champions initiative is the first of its kind in Devon and Cornwall. The champions are volunteering to share the latest facts and advice on tackling the virus, and to be reliable sources of information.

David Birchmore and Stacey Harris, who started Evolve Cleaning during the pandemic and both come from a background in healthcare, have volunteered. David said: “We’ve signed up both personally and as a company. As cleaners we are visiting homes and businesses across Torbay, and following all the guidance to keep both us and our customers safe. During their visits, we hear all kinds of rumours about the virus and are well-placed to share the latest facts or let people know about the support that’s available.”

Steve Darling, Leader of Torbay Council, said: “We’re building on the sterling work of the last nine months, where we worked together with our communities to support people through the pandemic. Our Community Champions initiative is leading the way in Devon and Cornwall, and I hope it will become one of the positive legacies for both the council and our community. I’m really pleased to see key cornerstones of our community are joining the movement.”

So far, around 100 people or organisations have signed up. Local schools are working with the Community Champions initiative to develop networks for staff and pupils alike. Several community groups, such as Healthwatch Torbay and Rotary, are sending people to the first Community Champions forum on 26 November. Alison Hernandez, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall, who is Torbay born and bred, has pledged her support as well.

We are inviting anyone over the age of 16 who lives or works in Torbay to volunteer as a COVID community champion. You’ll be helping us keep your family, friends and colleagues safe by keeping them up to date on how to stop the spread of the virus. We’re looking for people who love to communicate, in person or online, and who are able to motivate people to make a difference.

The first open forum for the champions will be in the evening on Thursday 26 November so there is still time for people to join the growing movement to reduce the spread of COVID.

Find out more and sign up at www.torbay.gov.uk/covid-champions.


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