Swindon & Wiltshire Business News

Telephone hotline receives almost 1,000 calls for support during pandemic

Claire Brewerton

 

Family-run company The Virtual Business Centre has supported the local community by taking almost 1,000 calls from people shielding or isolating during lockdown.

Co-founder Claire Brewerton offered to set up and man a hotline for the charity HEALS free of charge, when the country went into lockdown during March.

She said: “When we went into lockdown, I realised this was an effective way to give back to a very local charity which provides support to people in difficulty in our community.

"Many families and residents have faced additional challenges at this time and the hotline was set up to help anyone who was isolating or shielding and who needed support.”

Since the hotline was set up, Claire’s team have taken almost 1,000 calls from people around the North Wiltshire town and surrounding villages.

Malmesbury mayor Campbell Ritchie, has nothing but praise for Claire and her team.

He said: “The Virtual Business Centre has given tremendous support to its local community by offering and operating our Malmesbury Town Council and Heals Partnership COVID 19 emergency helpline. Dozens of calls a week have been received and seamlessly passed into our support network.

"The service has been responsive, professional and faultless. It has helped us so much knowing that this vital part of our community assistance has been in such capable and professional hands.”

Claire co-founded the Brinkworth-based business in 1999 with her husband Marc Brewerton. For most of its life, the Virtual Business Centre was based in Brinkworth House but moved last year to a purpose-built unit at Malthouse Cottage Farm.

Claire and her team provide services including telephone answering, intelligent telemarketing, outsourced customer service department, live chat, marketing via text service and email inbox management. They offer cover seven days a week from 8am to 11pm at night, Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm at weekends and only close over the Easter weekend & Christmas.

Their clients include high end shoe manufacturer Eves & Gray London, Aqueos which offers equine and dog products; Herbs on the Hill offering herb-based natural skin care products and locally supporting business owners like Chris Goodchild of Supportwise IT Services Ltd. They also provide telephony services for major sporting events.