Help for you during Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Find help and support available during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Emergency help

If your situation is an emergency please dial 999. For other urgent situations you can contact us on 01609 780780.

We are working with community groups to put people in touch who need support with simple tasks such as getting food or collecting prescriptions during a period of self-isolation. However these are not emergency responses, much of the help will be given by volunteers who will try to respond as quickly as possible but it might take 2-3 days and many volunteers will not be available at weekends. So please try to plan ahead to help them help you.

Help from family, friends and neighbours

If you’re self-isolating you may need help with things like shopping or looking after pets. If you can, please contact family, friends or neighbours and let them know how they can help you. To avoid physical contact we suggest that you get in touch by phone or using email or other technology. This will help us to focus on the most vulnerable and protect people who don’t have anyone who can help them.

Find out more about how you can help.

How we can help if your family, friends and neighbours can’t

Contact us

If you don’t have anyone who can help you can contact us on 01609 780780 every day between 8am and 5:30pm and we will direct you to the right support.

We’re working closely with our borough and district council partners and have a network of community support organisations across the county that we can connect you with.

Help and support is available for you if you need it with a range of things such as:

  • shopping deliveries of food or other essentials
  • collecting and delivering prescriptions
  • caring for pets
  • help for you to get online and using thing like Skype to talk to friends and relatives
  • people to talk to via telephone or video on things like FaceTime or Skype that will avoid physical contact
  • delivering books and magazines or materials to support hobbies such as wool for knitting or art materials

Shopping and money

We are also working with supermarkets to help key workers and food banks as well as setting up arrangements for bulk-buying by people who are shopping for others in their area who can’t get to the supermarket. 

If you don’t have money to pay for food, either because you don’t have enough or can’t access the money you have you can access emergency help. Please call us on 01609 780780.

You can find  information on how to safely pay volunteers or other suppliers here (pdf / 612 KB).

Help for people who are “shielded”

People with underlying health conditions need to take even more precautions to protect themselves from the coronavirus and stay at home for 12 weeks, this is known as being shielded.

If you are in this category the NHS will have sent you a letter or a text message to give you information about accessing support. You need to register with them that you need this support and instructions on how to do this will be included in the letter.

As part of the shielding scheme, parcels of food and other essential items will be delivered directly to your doorstep from a national distribution centre.

Those most at risk include:

  • Solid organ transplant recipients
  • Some people with cancer who are undergoing treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy
  • People on immunosuppression drugs
  • Women who are pregnant and have heart disease
  • People with severe respiratory conditions - cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and COPD
  • Some people with rare diseases such as severe combined immunodeficiency

If you believe you are in this category but have not yet received a letter from the NHS or been contacted by your doctor to confirm it please get in touch with your GP or hospital doctor by phone or online.

Mental health support

It’s more important than ever to look after your mental health during these times. You can find a range of help support on our look after your mental health pages.

Support is also available from volunteers in the community support organisations who can put you in touch with people to talk to if you just want a friendly chat.

Support for victims of domestic abuse

Along with our partners, we commission the Independent Domestic Abuse Services (IDAS) to provide help and support. IDAS are extending their live chat service to provide additional support to people who are afraid of their partner or a family member. An additional chat service for professionals, agencies and our partners has also opened.

You can find more information on our domestic abuse page