A number of advice and support services are available in this area during the coronavirus pandemic. Details are as follows:
Lowestoft based non-profit organisation Access Community Trust are battling food poverty for free school meal families during the coronavirus pandemic, with their development of the PINK Orange initiative. Delivering healthy, nutritional ingredient kits, creating a number of family meals throughout each week, to those in need around Suffolk and Great Yarmouth’s NR30/NR31 postcodes. For a better understanding of what this service is about, the PINK Orange Initiative winter video has all the information needed. Access Community Trust will support anyone to make an application to the Local Welfare Assistance Scheme (LWAS) who will then make referrals to PINK Orange.
Applications to LWAS need to be made by a named trusted partner organisation, a list of which can be found HERE.
The ‘Home But Not Alone’ campaign aims to connect people and groups who want to volunteer in their communities with neighbours who are most in need. All details and offers of support can be logged and matched using a new app, Tribe Volunteer, and the freephone helpline 0800 876 6926 will be staffed from 9am to 5pm, seven days a week. Click here for more information.
If you need to talk to someone about your finances and how you can access help, call the Suffolk Advice and Support Service.
Call: 0800 068 3131
Offering a telephone service on 01473 400785 on a Monday, Tuesday and Friday 9.30am - 4.30pm (their normal drop in hours) for refugees and asylum seekers. Clients will be asked to provide their name, number and a reason for calling and then a designated member of the advice team will call them back.
Suffolk Refugee Support is also regularly calling those clients who they believe are most vulnerable and thinking and working towards remote ways to continue to engage those clients who had been attending their groups.
Advice for visa applicants is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-uk-visa-applicants-and-temporary-uk-residents
Is offering a telephone contact service – for people who are disabled, carers or anyone in isolation that wants someone to chat to. They can be contacted via the methods below, Monday - Saturday 8am - 8pm:
Call: 07718 563751
Contact page of the website: www.scodp.org.uk/contact
They will be able to call people back so long as they have an individual's name and telephone number – they do not need other details. They are also happy to accept referrals if given the permission to pass on the above details.
The Government has set up a dedicated helpline for businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Visit https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs/contact/coronavirus-covid-19-helpline for further advice.
Call: 0800 024 1222
Business in the Community (Lowestoft branch) - National Business Response Network identifies national and local community needs from community groups, schools, local authorities, local resilience bodies, charities and alliances such as the British Red Cross Voluntary and Community Sector Emergencies Partnership and small businesses.
The National Business Response Network is already delivering business support to direct to communities. FareShare is a charity aimed at relieving food poverty and reducing food waste in the UK. It does this by rescuing good quality surplus food that would otherwise have gone to waste and sending it to almost 11,000 charity and community groups across the United Kingdom. Visit www.bitc.org.uk for more information.
For assistance with your Universal Credit claim you can visit citizens advice for online support.
Call: 0800 144 8444
Are you a victim of domestic violence and abuse? Call the Suffolk 24-hour Freephone Helpline
Call: 0800 977 5690
Is your abusive behaviour costing you your relationship? Help is available through the Respect Phoneline.
Call: 0808 802 4040
Suffolk Healthwatch has direct communication with commissioners and providers of local services, including senior NHS and social care leaders. They can share the things people tell us to help them adapt what they are doing to tackle coronavirus in Suffolk.
This virus is new territory for the NHS and social care services. No one knows exactly how it will impact on the delivery of local care, but people will have different experiences depending on their needs and the severity of their symptoms.
Suffolk Healthwatch is interested in hearing about how this virus outbreak may be changing the way in which you access local services, particularly if you rely on them for regular care. You can also tell them about how services responded to you if you have become unwell with COVID-19 symptoms.
Please be considerate when you are visiting services and follow NHS advice. We all need our health and care providers to remain safe in order that they can look after us.
The Silver Line is a free confidential helpline providing information, friendship, and advice to older people. Open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Visit https://www.thesilverline.org.uk/
Call: 0800 470 8090
GYROS is a local organisation who can offer advice and support to those for whom English is a second language. Please visit their website https://www.gyros.org.uk/ for more information.
Call: 01493 745260
The Neighbourhood Partnership Team at Suffolk Police are aware of the wider impact of the Coronavirus on its communities. From a policing perspective, please be assured that their role remains the same. Police officers and police staff will continue to protect the public, investigate crime and bring offenders to justice.
The control room staff will continue to assess every incident reported to the police and will deploy resources accordingly. As you would expect, priority will be given to incidents where the public are at imminent risk of harm.
The police would like to reassure the community that they will continue to have measures in place to ensure the most vulnerable people in the community are protected.
Like other organisations, the police are experiencing increased demand on its services. They would encourage the public to use online reporting wherever possible for non-urgent reports. If this is not possible, please use 101. However, if an incident is taking place at the time this should be reported immediately on 999.
The police's diverse communities coordinator, Ginny Shoesmith is also still available for you to contact.
Suffolk County Council is offering advice and support for carers, via the telephone on 0808 800 4005 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Suffolk Family Carers is also available for advice and support, via the telephone on 01473 835477 or email: email@example.com
The Carers UK website has advice for creating a contingency plan, visit https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice/practical-support/planning-for-emergencies for further advice.
Support can be requested from East Suffolk Council through the following link: https://my.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/service/Covid_19_communities_referral or by telephoning 0333 0162 000. If you are part of an existing community group, or looking to set up a community group, to offer practical local support for vulnerable members of your community during the coronavirus pandemic, East Suffolk Council has community grants funding available and may be able to help you. Please use the following link for further advice: https://www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/community/community-grants-and-funding/
Shelter can offer advice and support to those facing eviction, or seeking a place to stay during the coronavirus pandemic. Please visit
https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/coronavirus for more information.
If you need to talk to someone about your mental health and wellbeing, get in contact with the following:
First Response is a 24/7 helpline offering immediate advice, support and signposting for people with mental health difficulties. If you are experiencing something that makes you feel unsafe, distressed or worried about your mental health you can now call the helpline.
Call: 0808 196 3494
Suffolk Mind phones are manned most weekdays (except for bank holidays) between 9.00am and 3.30pm.
Call: 0300 111 6000
Samaritans offer confidential and non-judgmental emotional support whenever you need someone to talk to. They're available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Visit Keep Moving Suffolk for ideas to improve yours and your family’s physical activity levels. www.keepmovingsuffolk.com
The Source offers information and advice for young people in Suffolk. Are you 16-18 years-old, are you feeling stuck? Do you need to talk to someone about your options? Head to https://thesource.me.uk
Support for young people, or visit Emotional Wellbeing Gateway
Call: 0345 600 2090
This document contains some important information about how to stay safe whilst accepting help from others.