Two of the most vulnerable groups in Surrey who have been experiencing especially tough times during lockdown are the Gypsy Roma Traveller (GRT) community and homeless people. Recognising common problems they share, experienced Health Visitor Lisa Gavin acted swiftly at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to combine the two teams who normally support these groups in order to strengthen the offer of support.
This joint team have worked together to share COVID-19 messages, keep the GRT and homeless communities safe and to minimise their risk of spreading the disease. Key to achieving this has been the time the team have spent gaining understanding of the problems these vulnerable groups face. Problems such as poor sanitation. A lack of running water in a caravan makes it difficult to follow the all-important hand washing public health guidance. That’s where the practical support by Lisa’s team of providing buckets to a traveller site and advice on how best to wash hands while safely keeping dogs and dirt away has been indispensable.