COVID-19 (Coronavirus) community support and advice

Your questions answered

I already have friends/family members who can support me. Should I be getting additional support?

We would encourage you to let your friends/family support you.

This will mean that we can focus on ensuring support is accessible to others who are in need and vulnerable.

I am looking for advice/information on how to do my shopping as I am self isolating or in the vulnerable group

Supermarkets have been responding to COVID-19 in a number of ways. These include:

  • Dedicated priority shopping hours to allow vulnerable people to shop more safely
  • Prioritising delivery slots for the most vulnerable
  • Introducing volunteer shopping cards/E-gift cards
  • Introducing food boxes

Find out more about food shopping  for vulnerable people and NHS workers.

In addition in a lot of the City, Community Groups are helping residents with their shopping if they are unable to get it themselves. Here is a map which will identify if there are any groups in your area that you could contact.

How do I find out what local support is available? I would like to know what support is available to me but would like to speak to someone, who should I contact?

There is a map available that has information about the community support groups we are aware of that are operating in the city.

If you are unable to find a group in your area you can contact: 08085 834333

I have a medical condition which makes me extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and have been receiving food parcels as part of Operation Shield. When will this stop?

Following the Government's announcement, Operation Shield will come to an end on 31 July 2020.

Find out more about what this means and what support continues to be available in Coventry: Operation Shield Support Service's next steps.

If you would like to stop an emergency food box now, you need to re-register with the Government and answer ‘yes’ to the question ‘Do you have a way of getting essential supplies delivered at the moment?’. This will not affect an individual’s supermarket priority status.  

I am part of a group or know of a group in my area that is helping support residents, how can I help spread the word?

If the group you are part of or aware of is not included on our community support map then please let us know using the online submission form.

I want to volunteer to help support residents in my area, how do I do this?

If you have not already volunteered to help a local support group or the NHS volunteers list and want to volunteer to offer your help locally please complete our online offer of help form and we will contact you when an opportunity is identified.

Please remember though if you are volunteering to help someone, you should take steps to make sure you don't contribute to the spread of coronavirus. These include:

  • If you feel at all unwell, do not volunteer to help others who are self-isolating;
  • Wash your hands regularly, especially before and after you deliver any items to a person in isolation;
  • If you make a delivery, stay two metres away from people you meet. Place the items outside their door and then step away;
  • Be careful about how you share personal information about yourself and other people. Avoid sharing your or a vulnerable person's address and other contact information in public groups or documents;
  • Try to support people who live close to you - so you don't travel larger distances.

GOV.UK safeguarding factsheet: Community volunteers during COVID-19 outbreak

I need help about my benefits/debt and I am not sure where to go?

You can contact the Benefits team for advice and support if your income has been affected by COVID-19 (Coronavirus), email [email protected] or call 024 7683 1800.

Find out about support grants or crisis awards online, email [email protected] or call 024 7683 3773.

The Coventry Independent Advice Service is also able to provide free benefits and debt advice to Coventry residents throughout the Coronavirus pandemic. Advice and support is now available via an online enquiry form, and by telephone on 07923 126 426 or 07923 126 430. Lines are open 9am to 7pm each weekday (except Wednesday afternoons when lines close at 1pm). They also have a ‘live chat’ option on their website. Visit their website for details of how to make contact. Their website also contains links to other sources of help and information that is available during this period

Coventry Citizens Advice are providing telephone advice through their Advice Line 03444 111 444 and email advice through the enquiries team. Most projects run by Coventry Citizens Advice such as the specialist debt advice and the Macmillan team, are still operational. Details on how to contact the project teams

Coventry Law Centre continue to provide legal advice services to the community and can be contacted for telephone enquiries Monday - Friday 10am - 3pm on 024 7622 3053.

I can’t pay my Council Tax. What can I do?

If you are concerned about making your Council Tax payments find out about the support available in relation to Council Tax if you have been impacted by COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

I need help regarding domestic abuse or violence/ I am concerned about someone who may be suffering from domestic abuse or violence what can I do?

The current situation with coronavirus can bring frightening and lonely times, you are not alone contact.

The Safe to Talk helpline is available Monday to Friday 8.30am - 5.30pm and Saturday to Sunday, 10am - 1pm. For support call 0800 111 4998.

If you are concerned about some who may be suffering from domestic abuse or violence then you can also contact this helpline.

English is not my first language can I access information in other languages?

Yes you can, here is information which has been made available in other languages and easy to read formats.

I want to donate food to Coventry Foodbank how can I do this?

You will find at many of the larger supermarkets there are foodbank donation points after the checkouts. These are still being collected and taken to the Coventry distribution centre.

You can find out more by asking your local supermarket staff or by visiting the Trussell Trust website. Their page on donating food also tells you which types of food they need the most.

I am concerned about fraud/scams related to COVID-19. What advice is available about this?

If you are concerned about scams related to COVID-19 you may find the tips below helpful:

  • Be cautious and listen to your instincts. If you receive an unexpected visitor use a safety chain when answering the door or speak through a window. Don’t be afraid to hang up, bin it, delete it or shut the door.
  • Avoid letting anyone you don’t know into your home.
  • Take your time; don’t be rushed.
  • If someone claims to represent a charity, ask them for ID. Be suspicious of requests for money up front. If someone attempts to talk you into accepting a service they are unlikely to be genuine. Check with family and friends before accepting offers of help if you are unsure.
  • If you are online, be aware of fake news and use trusted sources such as gov.uk or NHS.uk websites. Make sure you type the addresses in and don’t click on links in emails.
  • Only purchase goods from legitimate retailers and take a moment to think before parting with money or personal information.
  • Protect your financial information, especially from people you don’t know. Never give your bank card or PIN to a stranger.

Contact information

Please report any cold calling of doorstep traders and canvassers to the police non-emergency number 101 or the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.

  • If you think you’ve been scammed, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 and contact your bank.
  • If you are in immediate danger, contact the police on 999.
  • If you have vulnerable and/or elderly neighbours please keep an eye out to see who is attending their property and report anything suspicious to 101.

Read further information.

What businesses can remain open?

The Government has announced that from 4 July many businesses and venues will be permitted to reopen and will be expected to follow COVID-19 Secure guidelines.

Until 4 July the current guidance should continue to be followed

Here is the current government guidance on what premises have to close and the exceptions.

The Government have advised practical actions for businesses to take based on the below 5 steps:

  1. Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment
  2. Develop cleaning, hand washing and hygiene procedures
  3. Help people to work from home
  4. Maintain 2m social distancing where possible
  5. Where people cannot be 2m apart manage transmission risk

Further information

I am experiencing issues with:

  • Welfare Benefits
  • Housing
  • Health and Social Care
  • Child and Family Law
  • Immigration and Asylum
  • Employment
  • Discrimination and Public Law

The Law Centre is a charity that employs lawyers with expertise in social welfare law. This is the law that affects every day life and covers the areas mentioned. They can be contacted on between 10am and 3pm on 024 7622 3053, or via email to [email protected]

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