A CITY hostel is carrying on helping people stay off the streets despite having to deal with the coronavirus, one of the most difficult challenges it has ever faced.

Jonathan Sutton, chief executive of St Paul's Hostel in Worcester, paid tribute to the staff who he said were doing brilliantly in a very testing time as they do all they can to prevent the virus from spreading.

Mr Sutton said the hostel currently had enough food and sanitary products to cope and had put measures such as more frequent hand washing, removing comfy seats from communal areas and having four mealtimes of an evening to prevent people from being closer to each other.

"Our staff are doing absolutely brilliantly in what is trying circumstances for themselves not just personally but going above and beyond for the people we are here to serve as well," he said.

“I think the difficulties are yet to come really and we are yet to see whether Covid-19 really takes hold in the city because at the moment numbers are still quite low.

“We are doing everything we can to make sure a case of Covid-19 does not occur in the hostel but if it did, we have procedures in place to help someone self-isolate.

“We’re doing everything we can to keep going in what is probably the most challenging time anyone in the team has ever faced and is ever going to have in their lives."

He said the level of cooperation between the city council, volunteers and other charities as well as other groups in the city that helped people get off the street was “heartening” and the work they had done so far was “phenomenal.”

Mr Sutton also said the hostel would appreciate any donations for electrical good such as TVs, radios or tablets that would save the hostel's residents from boredom.

“The residents are more cooped up than they have ever been before, and if I could ask for anything, it would be donations of money so we can purchase things to keep them entertained in their rooms. Things like TVs, radios, digital gadgets which can keep them occupied," he said.

“We have a good food supply, the chefs are doing brilliantly, it’s really about keeping the residents occupied. We don’t need smellies and soaps, we need money so we can get stuff like tablets so people can do stuff.”

Mr Sutton said the help of more volunteers may be needed in the future if staffing levels become affected by the coronavirus.

“It’s not business as usual but we’re making the most of what is a trying and difficult set of circumstances for people who have got nowhere else to go," he said."

To donate visit stpaulshostel.co.uk.