COVID-19 - community support
COVID-19 - community support
What help is on offer?
Many people are being supported by family, friends, carers or neighbours during the pandemic.
If you don’t have anyone to support you, or need extra help in coping with the effects of coronavirus, this page tells you about some of the different options available to you.
If you are registered as clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus and have received a letter from the national government, read our advice for clinically extremely vulnerable people.
COVID Winter Grant Scheme
The scheme was announced by the government in November 2020. Funding is being provided to Councils to support those most in need with the cost of food, energy and water bills and other associated costs.
In East Sussex the funding is being used for schools, colleges and early years settings to provide food vouchers for children and young people eligible for free school meals.
Funding has also been given to a range of local community organisations and charities to provide immediate support to households in need that they are working with.
Finding support for specific issues
Support is available if you need to:
- access mental health support in East Sussex
- get support if you’re a carer
- get support if you’re experiencing domestic abuse
- get shopping, food deliveries or afford food
- stay active and improve your health
- find employment – contact the Work and Health Programme East Sussex – call 01273 516347 or email WHPreferral@sussexcommunity.org.uk
- get help or advice about benefits - contact the East Sussex welfare benefits helpline
- get help or advice with your finances
- get advice on keeping warm and well, and the Warm Home Check Service.
If you need advice on a health issue and aren’t sure what to do, you can use the NHS 111 online service or call 111. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones. You should use the NHS 111 service if you urgently need medical help or advice but it’s not a life-threatening situation.
Extra support information leaflet
For information on who to contact if you need extra support and other useful information, please download our leaflet:
Coronavirus: no on left to cope on their own [1.3 MB] [pdf]
Please email Support Services Admin to request this leaflet in a different format or language.
Getting help from NHS volunteers
You can get help directly from the NHS Volunteer Responders. This service is available for people who have ever been advised to shield, are vulnerable to coronavirus, have caring responsibilities or are self-isolating.
NHS volunteers can help with shopping for food and essentials, collecting prescriptions, or just provide a friendly chat.
If you, or someone you know, would like to register for support from the NHS volunteers please call 0808 196 3646 (8am to 8pm, 7 days a week). Visit the website for more information: NHS Volunteer Responders.
Get help or advice with your finances
If you’re struggling or worried about finances or debt:
- Find out what support you can get on GOV.UK
- Visit our benefits pages
- Get in touch with the local welfare benefits helpline
- Visit Citizens Advice
- Find other local organisations that can offer support and advice on 1Space East Sussex
- Get in touch with a local organisation that has been given extra funding to offer advice and support to people who are facing financial pressure or debt as a result of COVID-19: 1Space East Sussex - finance advice
If you need extra help or information, contact Health and Social Care Connect.
Communication support and BSL for D/deaf people
DeafCOG can support D/deaf people with BSL or other communication. Their volunteers can help if you don’t have people local to you that can sign, or if you are feeling lonely or worried.
Support for ethnic minority people in East Sussex
People from ethnic minority background who are affected by Covid-19 and would like to access bilingual or outreach support can receive help from Diversity Resource International. Their outreach workers and bilingual advocates will contact those in need, and provide over-the-phone or video support whilst signposting them to further organisations, if required. For further information or support, please contact them:
Telephone: 07775 332 866
Transport support for vaccinations
During the current restrictions, family and friends of elderly patients are permitted to take them to their COVID-19 vaccine appointment under the exemption of ‘providing care for the vulnerable’.
If this is not possible then you may be able to access community transport.
Free transport option
East Sussex residents who have no means to get to their COVID-19 vaccination appointment can book a free return journey to help them attend.
To book free travel please book your vaccination appointment first and then call 01444 275 008 to speak to a travel coordinator. The booking service is available Monday to Friday, from 10am to 1pm, and from 2pm to 5pm.
The travel coordinator will ask you the following questions:
- Do you have access to transport to attend your vaccine appointment?
- Do you have a family member, friend or carer who can help with transport? They do not have to be in your bubble – for details see government travel guidance.
If both of these options are not available the travel coordinator will arrange transport for you, including any additional needs such as wheelchair-friendly vehicles.
All transport providers have signed up to a COVID-19 safety policy to ensure that all precautions are in place for a safe journey.
Getting help from a community hub
Community Hubs are here to help people affected by the pandemic who have no one else to turn to.
The trained staff in the hubs will listen to your needs and put you in touch with the group or person best placed to help locally. They can help you with things like:
- supporting you with options to help you get food and essentials
- organising a volunteer to help you with shopping for food or essentials, or collecting your prescriptions
- putting you in touch with a local organisation or group who can help you cope with the impact of coronavirus
- referring you to local befriending services if you are lonely or isolated and would like someone to talk to.
Community Hubs are a partnership between the voluntary sector, health service, County Council and District and Borough Councils in East Sussex.
Who can use a community hub?
Anyone who feels they need extra support to cope during the pandemic and has no other way to get help can use a hub. If you’re not sure where to start, the hubs can help signpost you to local options.
People who can arrange online deliveries or get help from family, friends and neighbours should do so.
You might need help because you:
- are isolating with symptoms of, or have been confirmed as having, COVID-19
- have been told to isolate as a result of Test and Trace
- have been abroad and are required to quarantine for a period of time
- are due to undergo an operation and need to isolate prior to the procedure
Contact your local community hub
Website: Lewes and Eastbourne Councils
Phone: 01323 679722
Website: Hastings Borough Council
Phone: 01424 451019
Website: Lewes and Eastbourne Councils
Phone: 01273 099956
Website: Rother District Council
Phone: 01424 787000 (option 4)
Website: Wealden District Council
Phone: 01323 443322