Coronavirus: help for the community
Does your neighbour need help?
Many vulnerable residents may need a little extra help at this time. Please think how you could help an elderly or vulnerable person in your local community. They may need practical help with shopping or collecting regular prescriptions, or they may just need a friendly phone call to keep in touch with the outside world.
How to help safely
If you can help, it's important that we keep both you and the people you are helping safe. The government has issued guidance for those who want to help. Importantly, you need to be able to fulfil all the following criteria:
- You are well and have no symptoms like a cough or high temperature, and nobody in your household does
- You are under 70
- You are not pregnant
- You do not have any long-term health conditions that make you vulnerable to coronavirus.
Extra help for “shielded” groups
Some people with certain medical conditions have now been classified as “shielded”. These people will have received a letter from the NHS advising them not to go outside for the next 12 weeks.
Working in conjunction with Kent County Council, and partners from the Kent Resilience Forum, and with the help of local volunteers, we’re putting in place measures to help this particular group.
The Government has issed specific guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable.
Can you help?
If you are able to do so, please register now as a volunteer. This is likely to involve helping us to distribute food parcels and medicines to people in the local community who are "shielded" and have been advised not to go outside for the next 12 weeks due to their existing medical conditions. The health and safety of volunteers will be paramount.
Looking after you
Many people will be feeling anxious about the current situation. You may be feeling anxious and this can have an effect on both your mental and physical health. It's important that you take time out for you. Do something you enjoy or that helps you to relax. Tips on what you can do at home will give you some ideas.
For information and tips on coping with anxiety, and your wider mental health, see the One You website. You'll also find some great tips if you're specifically anxious about coronavirus.
Do you have financial worries?
With many people not working, we know that some may be struggling financially. The Money Advice Service has a wide range of information on what you may be entitled to during this difficult time. This includes:
- If you’re self-employed or a sole trader
- If you work in the gig economy
- If you’re employed
- If you run your own business
- If you can’t work because you have to look after someone with coronavirus
- If your child’s school has closed
- If you’re worried about losing your job
- Benefit changes because of coronavirus
- Coronavirus and disability benefits
Are you self-employed?
The government has announced a package of support for the self-employed. This includes:
- a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months
- deferral of Self Assessment income tax payments due in July 2020 and VAT payments due from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020
- grants for businesses that pay little or no business rates
- increased amounts of Universal Credit
- Business Interruption Loan Scheme
No one to turn to?
Have you been told by the NHS not to go outside for the next 12 weeks due to your medical condition? Do you not have friends, family, or carers that can help you? If not, call us on (01304) 821199, or email us at Covid19@dover.gov.uk