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?

  • Anyone who has to self-isolate

We are working to support those who are self-isolating as a result of coronavirus. We are doing this in partnership with District and Borough councils, voluntary organisations and volunteers in the community.

What about people with more serious health conditions?

Those with medical conditions that make them more vulnerable to COVID-19 are part of the Government’s shielded list. The support to those who shielded during the height of the pandemic has been paused.

Government advice is to continue to remain at home as much as possible but to resume normal activities where they need to. For those who were shielding and who still feel vulnerable, we can still try to match you with a volunteer.

What support can you request?

If you are self-isolating because you have coronavirus symptoms (or have been advised to isolate) and have no other forms of support, you can contact us to request help with:

  • Urgent food deliveries
  • General support with loneliness
  • Help to get online
  • Posting mail
  • Prescription medication collection. If you need a prescription delivery, you should speak to your pharmacy first and/or call NHS Volunteer Responders on 0808 196 3646 (8am to 8pm). If it is an emergency and the Volunteer Responders are unable to help, you should contact us.

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.

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

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.

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.

Yes, everyone will be expected to pay for any food, but the delivery will be free and supported through our volunteer network.

If you are struggling to buy food you will be forwarded to a team that can talk through your situation.

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 situation we cannot vet all volunteers and are relying on the goodwill 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, however, have 'professional' volunteers (British Red Cross, Northamptonshire Seach and Rescue and 4x4 Response) 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 approved volunteers.

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.