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 issued 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?
The Dover District Community Hub is here to help
We're working with the county, district and borough councils across Kent to support the most vulnerable people in the community at this time. The priority is to help the most vulnerable with urgent needs that cannot be met through existing support networks, such as family, friends, neighbours, or community groups
We are directing resources to where they are most needed, and making sure that people who are not already receiving support can get urgent help. Council staff will make an assessment to prioritise those in urgent need.
Before you contact us:
- If you have been “shielded” as extremely vulnerable due to an existing medical condition you will receive food parcels direct to your home from central government suppliers.
- Do you have family, friends, neighbours or a local community/voluntary group that could help with your basic needs?
- There are a wide range of local community and voluntary groups who could help, including Age Concern (Dover, Deal and Sandwich), Connect Well Kent, and Kent Coast Volunteering.
- We’re focussing on the people most at need and without any support network. Please only contact the hotline if you are not able to access help elsewhere
Kent Together - Kent County Council
- The KCC Kent Together service operates 24-hours a day, seven days a week. The service can be contacted online at www.kent.gov.uk/KentTogether or by calling 03000 41 92 92
Contact the Dover District Community Hub
- The Dover District Community Hub operates 9am to 5pm, seven days a week. Call us on (01304) 821199, or email us at Covid19@dover.gov.uk
Contact your local MP