Working together to support our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic

Warwickshire public, voluntary and community services and members of the public are pulling together to support those in our society who are unable to help themselves at this time.

Thousands of people have found new and innovative ways to keep in touch, check in on neighbours in need and do their bit to support those feeling lonely and scared in light of Government advice to stay home and stay safe.

A number of people in the county with serious underlying conditions have been asked to shield themselves for twelve weeks. This is critical to keeping individuals safe and well, and protecting crucial NHS capacity.

This extremely vulnerable group must stay in their homes so services are working together to support them during this difficult time. Working in partnership, the county, district and borough councils, supported by the voluntary and community sectors, police and the military, have rapidly established a distribution network to distribute essential items and co-ordinate wider support to clinically vulnerable people who are self-isolating.

Packages of food will be delivered weekly to these people, starting on Monday 30 March. The prospect of remaining indoors for an extended period of time is daunting so advice to help them maintain physical and mental health and access services to combat social isolation will also be offered. Guides about staying safe and well and signposting to listening services will be included in the packs.

Anyone identified as extremely vulnerable and without access to existing support networks can call the dedicated support number 0800 4081447 for support and advice.

The Warwickshire local welfare scheme can also help people at times of unavoidable crisis when they have no other means of support. The scheme provides basic and essential help for food and energy and more information is available at https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/localwelfarescheme. People can check if they are eligible and apply to the scheme by calling 01926 359182 or emailing warwickshirelocalwelfarescheme@warwickshire.gov.uk with their contact details.

Monica Fogarty, Chief Executive at Warwickshire County Council said: “Our vibrant communities are making fantastic effort to support people as they follow social distancing guidelines. Various neighbourhood networks have popped up, volunteering has surged, and in streets around the county people are helping one another to stay safe by ensuring access to food and support.

“Public services in Warwickshire are providing targeted support for the extremely vulnerable and wider help to others identified as in need, by providing food, other supplies and support while people self-isolate. Your public services and community and voluntary groups are here to help; we are committed to doing our best to ensure the people of Warwickshire can get through this difficult time together.”

The county council remains open for business and general enquiries can be addressed online at www.warwickshire.gov.uk or through the contact centre on 01926 410410. Enquiries can also be directed to the relevant district or borough council.

North Warwickshire Borough Council – 01827 715341 www.northwarks.gov.uk

Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council – 02476 376376 www.nuneatonandbedworth.gov.uk

Rugby Borough Council – 01788 533533 www.rugby.gov.uk

Stratford-on-Avon District Council – 01789 267575 www.stratford.gov.uk

Warwick District Council – 01926 450000 www.warwickdc.gov.uk