Help on hand for the extremely vulnerable during lockdown


A telephone service for Tamworth residents who need any extra support during the second nationwide lockdown has extended its hours from this week.

The Tamworth Telephone Support helpline, co-ordinated by volunteers from Tamworth Community Together CIC with support from Tamworth Borough Council, will again act as a signposting, befriending and emergency food service for the most vulnerable.

This was incredibly successful during the first lockdown and provided a lifeline to hundreds of lonely and isolated Tamworth residents as part of the Tamworth Volunteer Support Group.

Call handlers from the charity and the council will again be on hand to provide support with things like:

  • Information and support for access to food if worried about supplies
  • Access to befriending/check in calls
  • Signposting to services that can help such as unemployment support, debt and financial advice 
  • Meals on Wheels Service – operating on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday for deliveries. The cost is £7 per Meals on Wheels which includes a main and a pudding delivered to your door between 12pm-3pm. 
  • Information on virtual activities. 

The helpline is available Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm on 01827 59646.

While fewer people are being advised to shield during this second national lockdown, the Government is writing to those who are identified as ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ with some additional precautions to take.

People with a range of serious conditions, such as cancer, respiratory illnesses and diseases affecting the immune system, are advised to stay at home as much as possible and only go outdoors for exercise or to attend essential health appointments. Shopping should be done online or by friends and family, and the same for prescriptions.

They may wish to meet up with one other person outside their household or support bubble, for example for exercise in a public place, but safety and social distancing is vital.

Those identified as clinically extremely vulnerable are also strongly advised to work from home and to not attend work during the lockdown period if this is not possible. People may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay, Employment Support Allowance or Universal Credit in these circumstances.

A new online service is available where people can register themselves, or on behalf of someone else, to receive additional support, including priority supermarket delivery slots. This can be found online at www.gov.uk/coronavirus-shielding-support. People are asked to register even if they don’t have any support needs at this time.

Tamworth Borough Council advisors can help people with the registration. Simply call 01827 709709, email enquiries@tamworth.gov.uk, or log on to web chat via www.tamworth.gov.uk.

More information about local sources of support in Tamworth, including free or reduced price food, supermarket delivery information and advice is available on the Tamworth Borough Council website at www.tamworth.gov.uk/coronavirus-support-vulnerable.

Cllr John Chesworth, Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Environment and Culture, said: “A fantastic amount of work was carried out during the first lockdown earlier in the year which saw the coming together of community groups, charities, volunteers and the council to help look after the most vulnerable among us.

“Thousands of calls have been made to hundreds of residents over the last several months, as well as hundreds of food parcels delivered and lots of advice and support provided.”

“This means we now have a pretty good understanding of who might need our help, but if there’s anyone out there who hasn’t made contact, or whose circumstances have changed, I would urge them to get in touch and use the support available.

 “Our thanks go again to the team at Community Together CIC for stepping up the operations again to provide additional support during the second national lockdown.

“Times do continue to be tough, but I know we can get through this as a community together.”

Lee Bates, Community Together CIC project co-ordinator, said: “We are pleased to be supporting Tamworth again working as part of a partnership with other organisations to provide a gateway of support during this second lockdown, connecting people to the services they need, at the time they need it. 

“We took over 6,000 calls during the first lockdown and as we approach the Christmas season and being in the winter months, we urge people to use our service for support and to not suffer in silence.”

 

 



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