Request help and support - Coronavirus

See how you can get help and support if you are self-isolating in Northamptonshire.

Updated on 6 October 2020

Test and Trace support payment (also referred to as self-isolation payment)

If you receive a positive Covid-19 test result or are told by the NHS to self-isolate because of close contact with someone who has Covid-19 and cannot work from home during this period, you may be eligible for a Test and Trace support payment.

To be eligible for the new Test and Trace Support Payment, you must:

  • Have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace either because they've tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has
  • Be employed or self-employed
  • And be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
  • You must also be currently receiving:
    • Universal Credit
    • Working Tax Credit
    • income-based Employment and Support Allowance
    • income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
    • Income Support
    • Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit

To apply for this payment please contact your local district or borough council.

Requesting help if you are self-isolating in Northamptonshire

Who can request help?

  • Anyone who is self-isolating

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.

Under the latest advice, the government advises clinically extremely vulnerable people to consider shopping or visiting the pharmacy at quieter times of the day. You can further protect yourself by strictly observing good hand hygiene and maintaining social distancing as much as possible. If you are clinically extremely vulnerable and still fell you need support, we will still try to match you to a volunteer.

What support can I 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, 9am to 5pm). 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 9am to 5pm.

Any information you provide will be used to support you. We may share this with charity partners and local councils, with your consent. We may share your details with other statutory bodies where this is necessary to maintain public health.

They will respond to you directly within 48 hours of you contacting us. We cannot guarantee that you will be offered help but we will do our best to make sure you do.

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

The volunteer will agree with you how they can help, how to pay and they date and time that is suitable.

Shopping deliveries

The volunteer assigned to help with your shopping may come from a formal voluntary group or be a local individual.

Many areas have set up ‘Covid-19 support groups’ which are often based on social media. They have often been set up by existing local groups or parish councils.

Your local District or Borough Council may use these groups to help us find a volunteer local to you.

Yes. You will be expected to pay for the food you buy. Delivery of the food is free and will be collected and delivered by a local volunteer. The volunteer will agree with you a suitable means of payment.

If you are struggling to buy food, we can share your details with local groups who can discuss your situation and may be able to help.

This can be agreed with your volunteer. Many volunteers are able to shop with cash or accept an electronic transfer. Some supermarkets have a ‘Volunteer Shopping Card’ scheme.

Some volunteers and voluntary groups may be unwilling to accept certain payment types. Please tell us your intended means of payment when contacting us, we will pass this on to the volunteer.

Volunteers should give you a receipt when taking cash to pay for shopping. They will also give you the shopping receipt and change when they drop off your shopping.

The volunteer will take precautions while delivering your shopping. They will clean their hands regularly while shopping and leave your shopping on the doorstep, giving plenty of space.

We recommend you take similar precautions. Wash your hands with soap and water after unpacking your shopping.

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.


​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.


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.