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Staff praised for life-saving crisis response

Swansea Council staff have been praised for saving lives and keeping the city running during the Coronavirus crisis.

Guildhall

The council has responded to the crisis by transforming the way it works to meet the changing needs of the public who include thousands of vulnerable people told to stay at home by the Government for the next 12 weeks.

Council Leader Rob Stewart said: "We are facing unprecedented challenges due to the Coronavirus crisis but we are rapidly changing the way we work to meet these challenges head on.

"We need to continue providing vital services like home care, social services and collecting refuse, but we also need to support the most vulnerable in our communities.

"Our workforce is stepping up to the plate and many of our staff are being re-directed and re-trained to support the vulnerable and deliver new services that really matter. Services that will save lives.

"I cannot speak highly enough of their commitment and willingness to adapt to a situation that is changing by the day. I am immensely proud of their response and I would like each and every one." 

Phil Roberts, the Council's Chief Executive, said: "We are facing the biggest challenges of our lifetime. All households are finding themselves in unchartered waters and everyone is having to change their daily routine and their way of life to stay safe.

"The people of Swansea need their council more than ever, but they need us to provide services in different ways and to provide totally new services.

"This means we have had to respond by changing the face of the council, what we do and the way we work.

"These are massive challenges and all of our staff have been magnificent. I cannot praise them and thank them enough for the way they have responded.

"Without this commitment and willingness to go the extra mile I have no doubt that more lives would be lost during this crisis.

"The challenges are going to get bigger in the coming weeks, but I couldn't be prouder to lead such a dedicated workforce who are here for Swansea."

Many critical services like refuse, social services, home care and emergency home repairs are carrying on in the face of huge pressures, while hundreds of other staff are switching from their usual roles to provide support to local communities and the vulnerable.

This includes a new phone line dedicated to those who have been told to "shield" and stay at home for the next 12 weeks.

Martin Nicholls, the council's Director of Place, said: "We are operating on two levels to ensure we protect lives and support those vulnerable people who need help with basic daily activities such as getting food and essential supplies.

"We are continuing to provide those critical services like refuse, social services and child care for key workers the NHS staff that are more important than ever.

"And at the same time we are switching other staff into new areas to take calls from vulnerable people, staffing food banks, arranging food deliveries to the vulnerable at home and getting free school meals across the city.

"Our staff and the members of the public who are volunteering are local heroes and I thank them all."

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