A FLEDGLING support hub for residents, volunteers and organisations in Portsmouth has 'stepped up a level' with the addition of two new resources.
The Hive, based in the ground floor of the Portsmouth Central Library, has launched its new accessible van service and telecare centre to increase the amount of help it is able to provide.
Established in December last year the Hive acts as a 'one stop shop' to help residents with issues ranging from mental health, debt, loneliness and physical illnesses.
Its network structure allows local voluntary, community and social services to share resources more easily with the council and the city's Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
So far the scheme has proved a success, interacting with the public 234 times and recruiting 249 volunteers.
Hive board member and Chief Officer of Citizen's Advice Portsmouth, Sandy O'Neill said: 'We are so thrilled at all that the Hive has achieved so far. It shows just how much this is needed in Portsmouth and just how important it is to be working collaboratively. I can't wait to see what more can be achieved to help those living and working in the city.'
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The new Hive van is fitted with an accessibility ramp to transport mobility scooters and will help those who are isolated to get out and about around the city.
Councillor Jeanette Smith, the council's resources boss, said: 'Portsmouth has always been a kind and considerate city and the Hive's purpose is to build on this and bring this all together into a one-stop-shop.
'The introduction of the Hive van and telecare centre is vital to continue the fantastic work that is already happening.
'This is an opportunity to help some of the most vulnerable in our community, and I personally look forward to seeing how these extra services will benefit the people of Portsmouth.'
Residents will also benefit from examples and information about telecare equipment that can now be found on the second floor of the library.
For Ellie O'Day, telecare and home safety manager at the council, it could help provide peace of mind for some residents. 'As we get older or become ill it can be hard to cope, and feelings of freedom and independence can give way to worries about personal safety,' she said.
'Telecare equipment automatically alerts the monitoring centre if someone is unable to, and includes falls detectors, smoke detectors, pull cords, door exit sensors and many more pieces of equipment to allow you to live independently in your own home.'
The Hive is open during the library's normal opening hours.