Request help and support - Coronavirus

How to request support from volunteers if you are self-isolating in Northamptonshire and need help.

Who can request support?

You should be self-isolating if you:

  • are over 70
  • have existing health conditions; or
  • are pregnant

We are working to try to support people in these categories, in partnership with district and borough councils, voluntary organisations and volunteers in the community.

What about people with more serious health conditions?

The Government has tried to contact all shielded people and asked them to contact a call centre or register on a government website if they need support with any essential shopping or medication. Those that have said they need help will receive help directly from the Government based on their registration form.

This group includes:

  • people who have received an organ transplant and remain on ongoing immunosuppression medication
  • people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radiotherapy
  • people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia who are at any stage of treatment
  • people with severe chest conditions such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma (requiring hospital admissions or courses of steroid tablets)
  • people with severe diseases of body systems, such as severe kidney disease (dialysis)

If you were contacted and haven’t yet registered for help you can still do this on the Gov.UK website or by phoning 0800 028 8327.

If you need help with a food delivery, and have received an NHS letter, please make sure you contact the number provided to arrange this.

If you are in an at-risk group but haven't received a letter, please contact your GP surgery to request that you are added on the register.​

What support can you request?

If you are self-isolating due to the Coronavirus situation and have no other forms of support, you can contact us to request help with:

  • Urgent food deliveries
  • Prescription medication collection (delivered by our staff, district/borough council employees or registered volunteers)
  • General support with loneliness
  • Help to get online
  • Posting mail

How do I request support?

 

Call 0300 126 1000 and select Option 5 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm). If your call is urgent and outside these hours you will hear a recorded message telling you what to do.

For non-urgent queries, if you are unable to call us you can email us instead - this will be monitored Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm.

How does it work?

When we receive your request we will pass your details to your local borough or district council who will match you with local volunteers or voluntary organisations.

They will respond to you directly within 48 hours of you contacting us.

The volunteer will confirm with you:

  • what help you need
  • any special dietary or medical requirements you may have
  • how you will pay
  • a date and time for your delivery

We cannot guarantee that you will be offered help but we will do our best to make sure you do.

Urgent requirements

Please be aware that we will prioritise people in urgent need of food.

​If you are in urgent need of food, we will check if:

  • you are already on the list of high risk people who need to be shielded 
  • we can access anyone living close
  • you can make use of local food banks or food distribution networks
  • your District or Borough Council can assist by putting you in touch with a volunteer in your area or a voluntary organisation

Shopping deliveries

We are using a mix of formal volunteering organisations and individual volunteers across the county, some of who are already shopping for elderly or disabled neighbours. While we put more structured groups in place and coordinate any wide scale help, we will continue to encourage our local voluntary groups or individual volunteers to continue to fulfil this function on an informal basis.

Volunteers can leave their home to help a vulnerable person as long as they minimise time spent outside of the home and ensure they are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of their household.

We also know that many areas across the county have already established ‘community hubs’ via social media channels such as Facebook or through neighbourhood or parish groups, which will act as a conduit between food and medicine deliveries. These too can be used to connect volunteers to people in need.

Anyone that has received a letter from the NHS identifying them as being a “shielded person” and most at risk will not have to pay for their food or medication as the government will be funding any services agreed through the registration process.

Other residents, who haven’t registered with the government service, will be expected to pay for any food. But the delivery will be free and supported through our volunteer network.

Do you have cash in the home? If yes, the volunteer will collect this and then get what is required, and bring the change and receipt

If not, can you make an electronic transfer (via phone or PayPal)?

If you are unable to make an electronic transfer, please let us know when you contact us, and we will advise you accordingly.

​The volunteers will do the shopping and bring the items needed, as close as possible to what you require.

If the supermarket doesn’t have particular items, they will try to find the closest match to what you requested.

Please take the same precautions as you would with anything else: don’t come into close contact with the volunteer (if you can carry your own shopping, they will leave this at the door for you) and wash your hands with warm water and soap after putting the shopping away. ​

Please let us know when you contact us to request help if you can’t carry the shopping yourself. As much as possible, we will try to find a volunteer who can do this on your behalf.

Please ensure you let us know if you have any Covid-19 symptoms, and also ensure that you are careful when they come in – maintain at least 2 metres distance and wash your hands thoroughly after receiving the goods or money.

You will be contacted and told who the person or organisation is that will come and they will identify themselves as being from the community resilience team.

We will also try to use the same services and people to help over the coming weeks so residents know they can be trusted and can get to know them.

Volunteers

​Due to the scale of the current situation, and the speed of set up, we cannot vet all volunteers and are relying on the good will of people to support their communities. As such, food shopping and wellbeing calls will be completed by volunteers who haven’t been vetted.

We do have however have “professional” volunteers (British Red Cross) who will be deployed to assist where there are particular concerns, or where the customer has no cash available.

Where medication pick up and distribution is needed, this will be carried out by Council employees.

Please call our Customer Services team who will be able to advise you, on 0300 126 1000 (option 5).

​If you are a volunteer, and have concerns about what you have been asked to do, or the situation of a person you are supporting, please inform the team in the District or Borough Council you have been contacted by and they will make the necessary notifications.

If you are visiting someone as arranged, and there is no answer, please notify the District and Borough staff immediately, so they can ensure the person is safe.

Loneliness

If you have no family or friends, and feel lonely and anxious, contact us and we will arrange for district and borough councils to give you a call back. They will also offer a contact service via volunteers.

Our adult social services staff will also contact vulnerable people and follow up where we have concerns about someone.

Other help and support

If you need financial help and support, our library service has gathered online resources relating to benefits, money advice and consumer information.