Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall visited Wiltshire Council yesterday to thank staff for their work to support the COVID-19 response.
The visit, hosted by Wiltshire Council Chief Executive Terence Herbert, at County Hall, Trowbridge, highlighted the integral role of the council during the local response to the Coronavirus pandemic, including the successful partnership working with education and healthcare providers, community groups and public sector partners.
During the pandemic, the impact on Wiltshire was significant. The focus during the period of response was to work innovatively and effectively to protect the vulnerable, support the economy and mobilise staff for where they were most needed during very challenging times. For Wiltshire Council this included the redeployment of just under 400 staff from a wide range of services including Pest Control and HR.
Her Royal Highness, accompanied by the Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire, Mrs Sarah Rose Troughton was introduced to the Leader of Wiltshire Council, Cllr Philip Whitehead and Chairman Cllr Richard Gamble, before meeting staff who were critical to the council's response.
This included staff who were redeployed to the council's seven-day contact centre the Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub. During the pandemic the hub made direct contact with over 24,000 of Wiltshire's most vulnerable residents, as well as working with over 450 voluntary groups to distribute over 1,400 food parcels.
Her Royal Highness also met with staff who worked to set-up and support over 420 community and voluntary groups across Wiltshire during the pandemic as well as staff supporting the council's education and care providers and staff who like so many others have had to adjust to significant changes to the way they work during COVID-19.
Terence Herbert, Chief Executive, said: "It was a huge honour to welcome The Duchess of Cornwall to Wiltshire Council. I am incredibly proud of the work undertaken by our staff during the pandemic and this visit provided us with an opportunity to publicly acknowledge the many services who have contributed to the council's response.
"Many staff were working seven days a week during the pandemic and many services are still operating a seven-day rota now as we continue to see cases increase again across the country. I am extremely grateful to my staff for all the hard work and commitment they have shown and continue to show during the current crisis. It was wonderful to see this recognised in such a way today."
During her visit to County Hall which was undertaken under strict COVID regulations, Her Royal Highness also met with Wiltshire Police Chief Constable Kier Pritchard and the Mayor of Trowbridge, Cllr Peter Fuller.