Massive gaps in provision for people shielding

News / Sun 28th Jun 2020 at 08:36am

Harlow Coronavirus People Before Profit

Massive gaps in provision for people shielding

INITIAL research from the survey distributed by the Harlow Coronavirus Action Group has revealed a great number of shortcomings on the part of the government in providing support for those people who are shielding.

Early results have shown that 86% of all respondents have experienced financial difficulties during this pandemic with youngest people hit hardest as a result of being worried about employment and accommodation. Many young people are students or are employed within the gig economy or on zero-hour contracts and therefore, they have been hit hardest.

Perhaps most startingly of all, less than half (43%) of all respondents had received an emergency food parcel from the government. It has also been widely reported that Muslims have been sent pork, vegans have not been catered for and the food received has been less than nutritious.

It should be noted that 58.46% would struggle to cope being #shielded if they were asked to do this for a further 12 weeks. One respondent replied ‘Concerns for my health, possibly having to go back to work before it’s safe, impact on my family, not having proper information about a roadmap for #shielders’.

It was painful to read some of the comments made by respondents who are feeling ‘forgotten’, worried about other health conditions where treatment has stopped. Government advice to the shielding group was updated on 23rd June and this guidance suggests that shielding will be paused from 31st July but this seemingly ignores the advice from many leading scientific advisors who are warning that this easing of the lockdown is taking place too soon.
Our action group will be providing a space to hear the voices of those who are shielding. We will be exhibiting videos and testimonials from respondents to our survey on both our Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/HarlowCoronavirusPeopleBeforeProfitActionGroup/) and Twitter (@BeforeHarlow) pages.  Anyone from the shielding group who wish to contribute to this project, can contact us via these platforms.

It is vital that the shielded group are built into any recovery plans for the future. Professor Chris Whitty has already said that the UK is likely to have to live with this virus at least until spring 2021 and therefore, it’s essential that both local and national government consult those who are shielding and take into account their exceptional circumstances before forcing them back into unsafe working conditions.

Harlow Coronavirus People Before Profit

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