I need help or I know someone who needs help - coronavirus information
Many vulnerable people in Dorset will have received a letter from the NHS, telling them they are at high risk of catching coronavirus and advising them to stay at home and strictly self-isolate for 12 weeks. From 6 July, the guidance for shielded residents changed and a letter was sent out to all those identified as high risk. Please follow the advice given to you in this letter.
If you need help and don't have any support
Complete our online form
If you don’t have family, friends or a support network that can help you get the things you need we can help you. Let us know the support you need by completing our online form:
Alternatively, you can call us on 01305 221000, 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
Update for people who are shielding
Many residents have been shielding during the lockdown period. The government has announced plans to relax advice to those shielding. We know this may cause some concerns and want to reassure you that it’s still your choice. We will be issuing more guidance as soon as it comes through, but in the meantime, if you still need help and support to get food, medicines or even access to befriending services, you can still contact us.
NHS Test and Trace
See the Gov.uk website for an overview of the NHS Test and Trace service, including how it works and what happens if you, or someone you have been in close contact with, tests positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).
Food parcels from the government
The government food parcel scheme has ended with the end of National Shielding but the other forms of food support (Supermarket Delivery, volunteer Support) still remain, see more information. If you’re on the supermarket priority list for food delivery slots, you’ll stay on the list after 31 July.
You should talk to family, friends or your support network to see if they can help you get food and medicine.
We have been working closely with local support groups and charities to help provide communities with the best support possible. If you would like to find out more about the types of community support available, you can search for your local area on the Help and Kindness website
Who should I go to for support?
Help with food shopping and delivery, collecting medicine, dog walking, befriending
If you are finding it difficult to manage your personal care, or the care of a family member
Please continue to contact your GP.
For urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 online service or call 111.
For life-threatening emergencies, call 999 for an ambulance. If you’re advised to go to hospital, it’s important to go.
Wellbeing support and local mental health and therapy services
Please visit the Dorset Healthcare website. You'll find information and advice and helpline numbers to deal with the stress and distress of facing COVID-19.
If you are in urgent need of mental health advice and support, Dorset HealthCare's Connection service offers a 24-hour helpline on 0300 123 5440.
Virtual befriending service
You can register with the Volunteer Centre Dorsetto become a befriender and chat to others, or you can chat to someone because you’re feeling lonely. Call 01305 229214 or firstname.lastname@example.org to register for either service.
Community-based schemes and support groups
If you want to know what’s happening or what is available in your local area, please visit the Help and Kindness website.
Age UK North, South and West Dorset can also help with accessing community support as well as helping get essentials such as food and medicine. Call 01305 269444 or email@example.com
Finance related, claiming benefits or employment advice
Call Citizens Advice. Call the Dorset Adviceline on 0344 411 1444.
Heating or energy costs
Call the Citizens Advice Dorset Energy helpline on 01929 775500.
Safe & Well
Safe & Well is a completely free service offered by Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service to help keep our residents safer from fire in their homes. To request Safe & Well advice please call 0800 038 2323.
We have set up a regular e-newsletter specifically for people who are self-isolating during this time.
Sign up to the newsletter
You can contact your local foodbank for guidance on required items and how to drop off or collect items. Find details of your local foodbank.
Post Office cash schemes
The Post Office have made it easier for those self-isolating to access cash products with the following schemes:
- ‘Payout Now’ - this is a voucher sent by text, email or post to a self-isolating customer who can then share it with a trusted individual to withdraw cash on their behalf
- ‘Fast PACE’ – this is a service that allows a self-isolating customer to arrange for a trusted individual to collect the cheque from them, cash it at Post Office, and return with the cash
Please see the following websites for further information:
Dorset Digital Hotline- free digital support
Do you need help getting online?
Dorset Council are now offering IT support over the phone. No problem too small. Ring 01305 221000 between 10am-12pm weekdays except Bank Holidays and we’ll put you through to the most appropriate advisor.
See more information about how we can help you get online.
Staying safe – if someone else is doing your shopping
- do ask for help – work with trusted organisations and volunteers
- make arrangements for help over the phone with a trusted organisation, not with a stranger on the doorstep
- don’t hand money over without having your shopping and a receipt
- have your food left on the doorstep, do not let the person in your home
- put money in an envelope and give to the volunteer at a distance
- ensure you keep a 2 metre distance from the person delivering your shopping
- wash your hands (for 20 seconds) and surfaces after unpacking the shopping
- thank your lovely volunteer
We have created the following self-isolation posters for you to print and display in your window/front door if you are self-isolating. For safety, we advise using these resources and not the red,amber,green posters being shared online or similar posters that suggests only one person/someone vulnerable lives in the property.
Coronavirus - Self-isolation poster
Coronavirus - Weak immune system poster
Coronavirus - lockdown poster
Staying safe if someone else is doing your shopping - poster
Think twice before visiting Dorset poster