If you live in South Gloucestershire 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 South Gloucestershire – 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.
Mutual Aid Groups & Community Support Services
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.
South Gloucestershire Council Community Support listings can be found on their website. Click here
To view the South Glos Council Community Aid Information Pack click here
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.
South Gloucestershire Covid-19 Mutual Aid Groups – Every postcode in South Gloucestershire 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, find your the group closest to you, and get in touch to get support.
Southern Brooks Community Partnerships – Southern Brooks are supporting people across South Gloucestershire to find solutions in response to coronavirus (COVID-19). Visit the above web page to get in touch and for more information, their services and support include:
- Help accessing emergency food packages.
- Support from social prescribing link workers to access deliveries, medications, welfare calls, links with other agencies and getting food parcels.
- Employment, education and training support (with West of England Works) online and by phone.
- Phone calls for those who are lonely and isolated, and providing information about activities to do at home.
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 and services that can help.
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.
South Gloucestershire’s Food Banks – South Gloucestershire’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, and parcels still need to be collected.
South Gloucestershire 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 (26/3/20) and making deliveries.
Major Supermarkets & Deliveries – The major supermarkets and food retailers still have online delivery services that are running. However, many of these have been inundated with orders so they’re not taking any more at present (27/3/20). It’s worth double checking on the below links to see if and when this situation has changed.
- Iceland – Iceland is still taking orders but these are reserved for older or disabled people who are isolating and vulnerable (25/3/20).
- Sainsbury’s – Although oversubscribed, Sainsbury’s is still offering food deliveries to those who are isolated and vulnerable, elderly or disabled (25/3/20).
- Amazon Pantry
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. The below highlights a number of resources for information on smaller local food retailers offering regular grocery deliveries and veg boxes. Many are still taking orders across South Gloucestershire, 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 retails and suppliers that are offering home delivery services around South Gloucestershire.
- The Soil Association – They’ve curated a list on local food retailers who can provide regular veg boxes around South Gloucestershire and the South West.
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.
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 around issues related to homelessness, unsuitable housing, renting, housing benefit or eviction, the below organisations can provide support.
- Shelter – Specialising in supporting people with any housing or homelessness related issues, they’re still running their national phone advice lines (25/3/20). Shelter has put together this page of information covering various concerns – from benefits to evictions – you might have around 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, We Care Home Improvements are still offering their services (25/3/2) – 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 (25/3/20).
- 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.
- South Gloucestershire Council’s Welfare Grants Scheme – Visit the website for more information, to contact and apply.