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Coronavirus (COVID-19) For information on changes to our services, how to get help, support your community, advice and grants for employers and businesses visit our Coronavirus pages.

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Coronavirus - Community support

Community support and what you can do

There are a number of Community Mutual Aid Groups being set up across the country. You can volunteer to set one up if there is not already one in your area.

If you are, or know someone who is in need of help and support but are not classed as high risk there are local volunteer groups in your immediate area who can help. Or you can get help by calling 01993 861077 or emailing community.support@westoxon.gov.uk. The support lines will be open 8.30am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Support for the extremely vulnerable

If you have been identified as being at high risk, or you think you have a medical condition that places you at high risk, you can register on the government website for coronavirus support as an extremely vulnerable person. This support can be in the form of getting food, basic needs and prescriptions delivered.

Local support

If you or someone you know has been identified as extremely vulnerable by the NHS and have nobody around to help with day to day tasks, like shopping, please call 01865 897820 or email shield@oxfordshire.gov.uk.

Accessing food and essential supplies

Find information on how to get food and other essential supplies during the coronavirus pandemic.

DEFRA has produced a list of food options for vulnerable people to help you get food when you need it.

Benefits and foodbanks

If you are struggling financially find out where you can access free or subsidised food.

The Department for Work and Pensions are regularly updating their website with information on how to claim benefits for people who have been affected by Coronavirus.

Health and wellbeing

The charity Mind have lots of useful advice and tips about how to protect your mental health and reduce anxiety about Coronavirus. 

The Conversations has an article on staying connected and reducing loneliness whilst you are in isolation.

Age UK have launched a new telephone service for older people who need support if they are self-isolating. Call 01865 411 288 and leave your name and number, someone will call you weekly to see how you are, chat and offer practical support if needed.

One way you can help improve your mental health if you are self-isolating is by staying active. These organisations have produced tips and guides for people to stay active:

Town and Parish Councils

If you are a Town or Parish Councillor you can check how many people in your area are over 65 and so may be self-isolating and need extra support. 

The Oxfordshire Association of Local Councils is providing regular updates on how you can manage core services.

Voluntary groups and organisations

Oxfordshire Community and Voluntary Action provide advice, information and support for voluntary and community groups.

The Oxfordshire Community Resilience Fund is now open to applications. It provides grants to community organisations to help them meet new needs and keep going.

NHS Volunteer Responders Portal

An “army” of hundreds of thousands of volunteers has stepped up to support vulnerable people in England who are at most risk from the virus. These volunteers are matched via the GoodSAM app with members of their community who need support to stay well at home.

The help on offer ranges from support with grocery shopping and collecting prescriptions to ‘check in and chat’ phone calls. The volunteers will also help the NHS with patient transport and transport of medical equipment and supplies.

Health and social care professionals can refer people into this service whose medical conditions make them particularly vulnerable and at risk. It will be used by doctors, nurses, pharmacists, local authorities and others where there is no alternative local support and where friends and family of the individual are unable to help. This keeps hospital beds free and provides health professionals with a trusted, national database of volunteers.

NHS Volunteer Responders is being delivered by Royal Voluntary Service one of the country’s largest and longest-standing volunteering charities.

Scams

For more information on scams related to Coronavirus visit the Friends against Scams website. They have more information on different types and how to protect yourself.