Community Ambassadors have taken to the streets of Darlington to help the fight against the spread of coronavirus and support the efforts of local businesses to operate in a safe manner.
The four-strong team will be carrying out patrols around the town centre and other key areas of Darlington reminding everyone about the restrictions, social distancing, wearing a face covering and providing advice where needed.
The community ambassadors will work in partnership with Darlington Borough Council’s civic enforcement officers and the CCTV unit, to ensure they can focus on the areas that require their presence the most.
Their aim is to ‘engage, educate and encourage’ everyone to follow the guidance so that the town has the best chance of bringing infection rates down – keeping schools and colleges open, supporting businesses that remain open during lockdown and taking pressure off our local NHS services.
The ambassadors will wear high-visibility jackets and are equipped with body cams that record footage and they can escalate problems via their contacts with the civic enforcement officers and the olice if further action is required. Patrols will be carried out seven days a week, 10am to 6pm.
Councillor Jonathan Dulston, deputy leader of Darlington Borough Council, said:
“The council has supported the town centre through initiatives like the recent pavement cafes and free parking periods in council car parks and this is another step we have taken to make the area a safer place to shop and do business.
“You will see the community ambassadors in and around the town centre and at key pinch points, providing a visible presence and giving friendly advice about following guidance which after all, is there to keep everyone safe, particularly the more vulnerable who may otherwise not feel comfortable getting out and about.
“In their first week on patrol the team have also assisted at three separate medical emergencies. On each occasion they have cleared away the onlookers around the unwell person, checked that an ambulance was on its way and stayed with the person until it arrived.”
For more information and advice on local Covid-19 restrictions visit our website at www.darlington.gov.uk/coronavirus