Since The Highland Council’s dedicated helpline went live last Wednesday afternoon staff have dealt with over 1,600 calls.
The helpline has been set to give assistance and to collect details of individuals and community groups looking to provide volunteering support.
In the first 7 days the majority of the callers have been seeking support for businesses, along with providing offers to volunteer.
Already there are over 240 groups offering assistance.
The single line helpline – 0300 303 1362 – is open between 8am and 6pm and is staffed by volunteers from Eden Court and the Council.
As well as directly assisting callers, staff, who are all home based, are also signposting people to other organisations that can provide help and assistance too.
All calls are free.
The Council is encouraging people to also continue to use their online forms to make payments, report problems and request a service.
There are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from www.highland.gov.uk
To make a payment visit https://www.highland.gov.uk/pay
To report a problem visit https://www.highland.gov.uk/report
To request a service visit https://www.highland.gov.uk/request
A council spokesman said:
“The statistics for the first week show how busy our staff are.
“This is a helpline for customers requiring or offering support during the coronavirus situation.
“If anyone has a query relating to other urgent council business, they should contact our Service Centre on 01349 886602 or continue to use on-line forms and resources as much as possible to ensure those most in need of assistance can be supported.”
If anyone receives a Shielding letter from NHS requiring them to self- isolate for 12 weeks and they require support, they should contact the Council’s dedicated shielding helpline at 01349 886669 and if they require food support, they should telephone the number provided in their letter.