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Coronavirus: Community support, Hampshire helpline

Tuesday 31 March 2020 

Coronavirus Hampshire Helpline - How can I get help?

A new helpline is now available to provide information and advice, as well as practical support to frail or vulnerable Hampshire residents.

The Coronavirus Hampshire Helpline (Hantshelp4vulnerable) can be contacted on

0333 370 4000

The helpline* is available seven days a week, from 9am-5pm, and is for vulnerable people who do not have support from families, friends or their local community, and who need urgent assistance with practical issues

The Government has also identified some people who are 'extremely vulnerable' to getting seriously ill from Coronavirus because of an underlying health condition such as COPD, certain cancers and auto-immune conditions, and pregnant women with underlying health conditions. Those in this group will have been contacted by the NHS to request that they should not leave home for at least 12 weeks, and have been advised that if they do not have friends, family or neighbours who can provide support, they can register for help to access food, medicine and social contact via gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable.  

What sort of help will I get?

The Hampshire helpline is for frail or vulnerable people who need urgent assistance with essential food or household supplies, collection of medication, or who are at risk of loneliness. Please discuss your requirements with our friendly advisors who will ensure you get the help you need.

If you need urgent food supplies, you can expect to receive a food box, typically containing:

  • Pasta
  • Cereal
  • Soup
  • UHT milk
  • Long life orange juice
  • Bread
  • Apples
  • Biscuits
  • Plus urgent household necessities if needed eg shower gel

Wherever possible, special dietary requirements will be met. 

Keeping safe

It is vital that if you are giving, or receiving help, you take precautions to ensure your safety and those of others.

We urge all volunteers to adhere to Government's (LINK) guidance on how to volunteer safely.

Your local Council for Voluntary Service (LINK) will also be able to provide information and support.

If you are receiving help, you should follow the Government's social distancing and hygiene guidance. Do not let anyone into your home, unless you have confirmation that they are a registered professional or representative of a recognised Voluntary / Community sector organisation. Be cautious and curious and ask volunteers for proof of ID.

You can keep up to date with the latest Government guidance via   www.gov.uk/coronavirus 

If you're worried you have Coronavirus, follow the NHS advice   www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

*Please note the service is for people currently residing in the county of Hampshire. If you are a resident of Southampton, Portsmouth or the Isle of Wight, and call the number above, you will be signposted to their respective local support numbers.


Friday 27 March 20202: How to help people safely, guidance for volunteers

teal bullet Public Health England (PHE) has published new guidance on how to help people safely. This is for people who are providing essential support, for those who are formally volunteering and those who may be helping to care to friends, family, neighbours who are in isolation. 

teal bullet Volunteering and support for the vulnerable in Hampshire

Thank you to the many people who have volunteered their help to support our county's vulnerable residents during the Coronavirus pandemic. Local people and community groups across Hampshire are showing great strength and resilience, working hard to assist one another.

We all have a part to play in slowing the spread of Coronavirus and helping to save lives. We urge all residents to heed the Prime Minister's statement on 23 March to observe strict social distancing, limit going out from our homes unless for essential activities, to keep ourselves, our families and loved ones, and our communities safe.

Thousands of people across Hampshire have been asked to stay at home for an extended period. This applies if you are over 70, would usually get the flu jab as an adult for medical reasons, or are pregnant. 

The Government has also identified people who are 'extremely vulnerable' and likely to become seriously ill from Coronavirus. Individuals will have been contacted by the NHS if they are in this group. For them, it means not leaving their home for at least 12 weeks from the point that they were contacted.

teal bullet Access to support

Many people will have trusted friends, family and neighbours they can call on for support. Where this is not the case, the County Council is working closely with national Government, local authority partners, the Voluntary and Community Sector, the NHS and other partners to ensure help is at hand. 

If you are 'extremely vulnerable' you should register your support needs via the national Government website - gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable.

If you are vulnerable and have an urgent need that cannot be met through existing support networks, you can contact the County Council's Adult Social Care Service on 0300 555 1386. This should only be used if you are without food or need urgent assistance.

In addition, partners are working urgently to establish additional support arrangements as soon as possible. These include a new Coronavirus Hampshire Helpline - Hantshelp4vulnerable- due to launch shortly.

This will provide a central point of contact for information and advice to residents, as well as practical support should you need it. Depending on these, you may be directed to the County Council's specialist support team, or one of several district-based Local Response Centres.

Based in the heart of our communities, these Response Centres will bring together professionals and local volunteers to provide help - such as with access to food and basic household supplies, as well as social contact for those at risk of loneliness.

teal bullet Keeping safe

It is vital that if you are giving, or receiving help, you take precautions to ensure your safety and those of others.

We urge all volunteers to adhere to Government's guidance on how to volunteer safely.

Your local Council for Voluntary Service will also be able to provide information and support.

If you are receiving help, you should follow the Government's social distancing and hygiene guidance. Do not let anyone into your home, unless you have confirmation that they are a registered professional or representative of a recognised Voluntary / Community sector organisation. Be cautious and curious and ask volunteers for proof of ID.

teal bullet You can keep up to date with the latest Government guidance via www.gov.uk/coronavirus

teal bullet If you're worried you have Coronavirus, follow the NHS advice - www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/


Thursday 26 March 2020: Fraud warning.

Criminals are using the Covid-19 pandemic to scam the public - don't become a victim. Our residents are warned to be vigilant against fraud during this time, please use the following links to educate yourself against some unfortunate known criminal activity and look out for the signs. https://nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/news/fraud-scams-covid19 and https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/a-z-of-fraud/online-shopping-fraud.

If you think you have been the victim of a scam, then speak to your bank immediately and report any fraud to Action Fraud (www.actionfraud.police.uk) on 0300 123 2040.

You can get further information on dealing with scams and fraud by calling the Citizens Advice Consumer helpline telephone number via 0808 223 1133. (www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/get-more-help/if-you-need-more-help-about-a-consumer-issue/).

Tuesday 24 March 2020: Coronavirus (COVID-19) - helping Hampshire residents most in need

Thank you to the many people who have volunteered their help to support our county's vulnerable residents.  New Forest District Council is working closely with local authority partners, as well as the community and voluntary sector across the county of Hampshire, to ensure we are able to provide help to those who most need it during the coming weeks. We are working hard to ensure offers of support are co-ordinated, and will respond to offers of assistance we have had.  

We urge all residents to heed the Prime Minister's statement on 23 March to observe strict social distancing, limit going out from our homes unless for essential activities, to keep ourselves, our families and loved ones, and our communities safe.

National support - The government has identified a group of people who are extremely vulnerable because of their medical needs.  If you are in this group, you will have received a text or letter confirming this.  This means that if you do not have friends, family or neighbours who can provide support, you can register for help at gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable to access what you need.  This includes help with food, shopping deliveries, additional care and medication services.

Local Support - If you do not have friends, family or neighbours who can provide support, a range of services is being organised by local partners working together.

What to do next  

  • If you are a Hampshire resident and need additional help with practical support or more specific needs, details of who to contact and how this will be arranged will be published here by 27 March.
  • In the meantime, for urgent practical support requirements, please get in touch with your local Council for Voluntary Service - www.hampshirecvs.org.uk

We want to do everything we can to help those who need it during what will be a very challenging period for us all.  


Community hubs:  22/03/2020: The Prime Minister has this evening announced a network of community hubs being set up across the UK to ensure the delivery of food supplies to the 1.5 million people with serious medical conditions told to stay indoors for 12 weeks because of Coronavirus.  Working with other Hampshire organisations, we have plans underway to make sure people in our community get the support and help they need.  We are working quickly but please give us a short time to get this underway and check back here for updates.     


Community volunteering: There's lots of amazing community voluntary support happening in the New Forest and across the UK and many people are wanting to help those who are self-isolating or vulnerable. The safe coordination of this community volunteering is happening nationally, and locally with the lead Local Resilience Forum (LRF). We are working with our partners on how best to coordinate efforts and at the same time keep people safe and will be in a position to advise on how best to volunteer soon.  For now, please remember that one of the best things we can do for each other is to follow the government's advice on self isolation advice, social distancing, and hand washing www.gov.uk/coronavirus


20 March 2020: Appletree Careline community alarm service continues to operate 24/7 and have retrained some staff from other services to help out, should it be needed.  For new alarm installations when visiting people's homes, we are taking all the necessary precautions around social distancing, self-isolation, and hand washing.  http://www.newforest.gov.uk/appletreecareline 


20 March 2020: The government has agreed measures with the energy industry to support the most vulnerable.  For information about the support available see https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-agrees-measures-with-energy-industry-to-support-vulnerable-people-through-covid-19

If you are self-employed and temporarily unable to work, or your hours have reduced, contact our Benefits Team on 01590 646121 between 8.45 and 1pm for advice and information.  You may be entitled to help with your Council Tax through the Council Tax Reduction scheme.  You can claim online at newforest.gov.uk/benefits If you are claiming Universal Credit or other state benefits visit www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus/ for some important information.


Has your local community or area set up a Facebook group specifically to support people during the Coronavirus outbreak? If you have, are an admin of that group, and would like it listed here here, please email communications@nfdc.gov.uk

Please note these groups are independent of the Council and have been set up by local individuals.  The listing of them here is not an endorsement and we would urge everyone to be aware of potential fraud and to follow advice at https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/

 

 

Updated: 2 Apr 2020
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