Community Support update
Latest update from the Vale DC
We’re expecting this week to get increasingly busy, as we head into the bank holiday weekend, so there are a couple of things we’d like your help with.
First of all, we’d like to reassure you that our dedicated Community Support service will be operating over the bank holiday weekend but on slightly reduced hours – 9am to 5pm Friday – Monday. It’s clear from the appeals for help we’ve had so far that people are contacting us when they’re in urgent need of help, and we don’t want anyone to be without essential supplies over the bank holiday.
Now that our community service has had a chance to bed in properly, we’ll be publicising it a bit more widely this week. This publicity will focus on explaining the support pathway that’s in place for residents that need help, which starts with them reaching out to family, friends or trusted neighbours first and then approaching community groups or our dedicated service if there’s no support network around them. The other key message, which we’d value support in getting out to residents is to encourage people to seek help before situations become urgent. Leaving appeals for help too late can make sourcing certain items very difficult especially if it’s outside of normal working hours and could risk delays to planned deliveries if these need to be prioritised at the last minute. So far, we have been able to support all of the residents that have contacted us for help getting essential supplies, including the urgent last-minute calls, and we want this trend to continue as the demand for our help increases.
This week, we’ll be publishing a series of frequently asked questions that our Community Support service has been receiving from a number of different groups – including vulnerable residents needing help with essential supplies, people and businesses worried about their finances, and volunteer groups looking for guidance and support. Some of the most recent questions have been around food parcels.
If you’ve received a letter from the NHS saying you’re considered high risk and have been advised to self-isolate, then you’ll receive a food parcel directly from the government. The letter explained what to do to receive a food parcel if you didn’t have a support network around you to help. Unfortunately, we’re not part of this distribution process so cannot tell you when you can expect yours. However, if you need food now and you’ve nowhere else to turn (no friends or trusted neighbours you can call on) then please contact our dedicated support service on 01235 422600. We will arrange a food parcel delivery within 24 hours, unless you need anything urgently.
If you’ve received a food parcel that you don’t want or need then you’re on the government’s distribution list for receiving one. To remove yourself from the list you’ll need to update your requirements, which are currently registered with the government. Go to www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable, type in your NHS number, which you can find on the letter you received identifying you as being high risk and needing to self-isolate for 12 weeks,.
Any food parcels we deliver will carry a sticker identifying them as coming from South and Vale DCs and will be in response to a specific request for help.
As far as we’re aware there’s no process for returning a government parcel, so please check to see if you have a neighbour or a friend or family member who might benefit from it.