Basic Services & Support – Bristol

If you live in Bristol and you’re isolating due to coronavirus (COVID-19), this page will keep you updated with information about where you can access basic services and support in your area.

This page is for information about basic services and support in Bristol – everything from if you need help getting food or prescriptions delivered, concerns about housing or home energy, and how to access emergency help, among others.

If you don’t know where to go for help, you can call the Well Aware team (0808 808 5252) or get in touch with us by email.

Please sign up here if you’d like to receive regular email updates from Bristol City Council about coronavirus (COVID-19)

Community Support Services & Mutual Aid Groups

There are many community groups and charities that are coordinating volunteers to support local people who are vulnerable or isolating due to coronavirus (COVID-19). They can help you access basic services such as getting food or prescriptions delivered, walking your dog, and getting your PAYG meter topped up, among others.

We Are Bristol Coronavirus Hotline – A dedicated free telephone hotline – 0800 694 0184 – to help Bristol’s most vulnerable citizens during the coronavirus pandemic. Call handlers will be available 8.30am-5pm, Monday to Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 2pm to provide support for people with a wide range of needs, including obtaining food supplies, other essential items and medication. They can also help arrange follow-up support with different organisations.

Register for support as an extremely vulnerable person – If you have a medical condition which makes you extremely vulnerable to coronavirus (COVID-19), register and tell the UK Government whether or not you need support. You may have received a letter from the NHS telling you that you’re clinically extremely vulnerable, or been contacted by your GP or hospital clinician. If this has not happened by Monday 30 March, contact your GP or clinician after you register with this service. You can register yourself, or on behalf of someone else.

NHS Volunteer Responders – The Royal Voluntary Service has partnered with the NHS to provide this community support service. Made up of reliable, registered and checked volunteers, this service will support people in England who are self-isolating because of specific health conditions or because they’re in a vulnerable group. These volunteers will support you by will carrying out simple, non-medical tasks – for instance, delivering groceries or medication to your home and wellbeing check-ins and phone calls, among others.

  • You can be referred into the service by a health and social care professional (e.g. GP, nurse, social worker etc.) – follow the above link for more information or contact a relevant health and social care professional for a referral.

Bristol Covid-19 Mutual Aid Groups – Every postcode in Bristol has a Covid-19 Mutual Aid Group that has started up in response to the epidemic. These groups are made up of volunteers from each postcode who are offering to help people who are vulnerable and isolating to get help with basic services (grocery deliveries, walking your dog, etc.).

  • Follow the above link to our specific page, find your the group closest to you, join the group, and get in touch to get support.

ACORN Coronavirus Community Support – ACORN is organising local volunteers to support people in the community who need groceries delivered, prescriptions collected, post and anything else you may need if you are stuck at home. 

  • Follow this link to read more and register for support.

If you need help with any of the basic services below – buying food, picking up your prescriptions, topping up your PAYG energy meter, or any other – reach out to one of the mutual aid groups or community support services listed above; they have have volunteers who can help.

Food

If you’re isolating at home because of coronavirus (COVID-19), you may not know how or where to get your food from. Here we’ll lay out a number of local options for you to get food if you need it. If you’re not able to get a regular delivery, try reaching to the above mutual aid and community support services – they have volunteers who can help get groceries delivered to your home.

Bristol’s Food Banks – Bristol’s food banks are all still running. You’ll still need to get a voucher from a health and social care professional to have access (although these are now available by email), but parcels need to be collected.

Bristol Community Meals – The council provides a food delivery and wellbeing check-in service for all residents who can’t prepare food or don’t have time to cook. You can arrange meal delivery for you or someone else and you don’t need a referral from social services or a doctor. They’re still taking orders and making deliveries.

Major Supermarkets & Deliveries – The major supermarkets and food retailers still have online delivery and click and collect services that are running.

Smaller Food Retailers & Deliveries – While smaller food retailers have experienced significant increases in demand too, many are still accepting new orders for regular food deliveries and veg boxes. Below we highlight a number of resources for information on smaller local food retailers offering regular grocery deliveries and veg boxes. Many are still taking orders across Bristol, but please their check websites and get in touch with them to verify they’re still taking orders.

  • Bristol Food Network – They’re curating a list of local, smaller food retailers and suppliers that are offering home delivery services around Bristol.
  • The Soil Association – They’ve curated a list of local food retailers who can provide regular veg boxes around Bristol and the South West.
  • IndieMap – Indie-Map is a website that’s been set up in response to coronavirus (COVID-19) for people in Bristol to find independent businesses that are still delivering around the city. Listings include restaurants, bakeries and cafes, bars and breweries, local food retailers delivering fresh produce, and various shops selling other goods (crafts, books, etc.).
  • Meat Box Shop – Local meat box delivery and collection service. See website for more details. Free deliveries to local postcodes only: BS1 – 9, BS11, BS13, BS14, BS20 – BS26, BS39 – BS41, BS48, BS49 and BS99. For orders over £50 – call 01761 462367 or order online.
  • There are various other local food retailers offering food deliveries and veg boxes:
  • The National Food Service – Their Food Package Helpline offers free access to meals delivered to your door for anyone in Bristol. Call (0117 325 0450) and leave a message and a volunteer will get back to you. For more information follow the link above.

Prescriptions

If you’re isolating at home, you may now be unable to pick up your prescriptions. Pharmacies are still open and offering repeat prescriptions as usual, and some offer a home delivery service. Get in touch with your GP or local pharmacy for more information. However, many pharmacies are struggling with present demands and there are things you can do as a patient or customer that can help:

  • Don’t expect to pick up your script from the pharmacy for at least 5 to 7 days after ordering.
  • Don’t over order medications as this could lead to supply problems – for instance, if you are currently receiving medication at monthly intervals, this should continue.
  • Don’t order medications just in case – for instance, inhalers should only be requested when there is a clinical need.
  • Don’t bulk-buy over the counter items such as paracetamol or other items such as soap, hand gel, toilet rolls, etc. There will be enough for everyone if people don’t purchase more than they need.

If you’re not able to get a regular delivery for your prescription, try reaching to the above mutual aid and community support services – they have volunteers who can help get prescriptions delivered to your home.

Housing

If you need advice or support around housing because of concerns about coronavirus (COVID-19), you can reach out to the organisations and services highlighted below.

Housing & Homelessness Support – If you need advice or support on issues related to homelessness, unsuitable housing, renting, housing benefit or eviction, the below organisations can provide support.

  • CHAS – Offering advice on anything housing or homelessness related, they are still running their phone advice line.
  • Shelter – Specialising in supporting people with any housing or homelessness related issues, they’re still running their national phone advice lines. Shelter has also put together this page of information covering various concerns – from benefits to evictions – you might have on housing as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Home Fire Safety – If you have any concerns about your home fire safety – whether faulty alarms or cooking and electrical safety – you can reach out to the Avon Fire & Rescue Service for support.

House Repairs & Handyperson Services – If you need support or help with any house repairs or adaptations and you don’t know where to turn, We Care Home Improvements are still offering their services – which includes subsidised fees for people who are elderly or disabled – across Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

Home Energy Advice & Support – If you have any issues or questions around home energy, you can reach out to or use the below organisations and resources.

  • Centre for Sustainable Energy – Offering support and advice on emergency energy payments, helping to save on their energy bills, and reducing energy debts, CSE continue to offer their phone support services.
  • PAYG Energy Meters – If you’re concerned about how to top up your PAYG energy meter when your isolating at home , the UK government has recently announced a number of measures to support you. Speak to your supplier – they can help you find a third party for credit top ups, get a discretionary fund added to your credit, or arrange to send a pre-loaded top up card so that your supply is not interrupted. Read the link provided or contact your energy supplier for more information.

Emergency & Crisis Funds

If you’re in financial crisis or need an emergency payment for things like food, gas and electricity, or household goods, there is help available.

Mutual Aid Groups – Bristol