Peterborough City Council shine during COVID-19 pandemic response
In April 2020, during the second month of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, Peterborough City Council's Regulatory Services were called upon to support the Authority's efforts to house the homeless in Peterborough's hotels to help protect them from the spread of the virus.
Working in conjunction with the charity Light Project Peterborough, regulatory officers, including a Trading Standards Officer, joined with charity workers working shifts at the hotels day and night, seven days a week. Their role included handing out food and drinks, room inspections, befriending residents and ensuring they settled in. At the peak of the project, there were 123 homeless occupants. The work has had a tremendously successful outcome, with 80 rough sleepers subsequently accepting offers of more permanent accommodation following this experience.
Catherine Pawson, Head of Operations for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Trading Standards, said: "The COVID-19 pandemic was an opportunity for officers to demonstrate their tremendous versatility and resilience. Our officers are gifted in their ability to persuade and influence, and at times, calm a situation and be a listening ear. These skills enabled them to shine in a new environment and make a tremendous contribution to this incredibly worthy venture. It has no doubt profoundly changed their outlook, as well as those whose paths they crossed."
John Herriman, Chief Executive of the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI), said: "The work of regulatory and trading standards officers in Peterborough during the pandemic exemplifies their dedication and desire to go above and beyond their daily job role to serve the public.
"This has been an enormously challenging time for everyone, but I cannot begin to imagine the additional strains that the pandemic has brought to the many homeless people across our country who are in a precarious situation at ordinary times, let alone during a pandemic. I am proud to see the trading standards profession and regulatory services playing their role in helping some of the most vulnerable people in the country. Their work speaks to the wider social duty that we all have in improving our communities.
"I commend their commitment and sense of duty to protect the public during what is not only an unprecedented and challenging period but also at time when trading standards resources in local authorities have been cut by half over the past decade. CTSI continues to highlight the crucial role that the profession plays protecting the most vulnerable, consumers and supporting business and the UK economy as a whole."
Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI)
CTSI is a training and membership organisation that has represented the interests of the Trading Standards profession since 1881 nationally and internationally. We aim to raise the profile of the profession while working towards fairer, better informed and safer consumer and business communities. CTSI's members are engaged in delivering frontline trading standards services in local authorities and in businesses. www.tradingstandards.uk