Attention
We are currently asking people to only come into our offices for essential visits. Where possible, people should contact us by phone or email or through our website. If you are a resident and need help or support relating to COVID-19, please call our Help Hub on 01508 533933.
For up-to-date information about our services and links to useful advice, see our Coronavirus page

Support for residents

It’s important you stay at home as much as possible and follow the rules to help suppress the virus.  Find out everything you need to know on the Government website here.

We are working with our partners to provide as much support to our communities as possible and we will keep you updated on the situation as changes occur.

Please follow advice from Central Government and Public Health England on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus.

The Government has announced a large expansion of the number of people being asked to shield, adding an extra 1.7 million people to the list. If you have received a letter asking you to begin shielding and you need help with things like accessing supermarket delivery slots, prescription collection, befriending, loneliness and wellbeing support please call us on 01508 533933 or email helphub@s-norfolk.gov.uk. .Find out more here.

 

Surge Testing in Diss and Roydon

Following the fantastic response from residents in Diss and Roydon, Wednesday 3 March will be our last day of Coronavirus surge testing in the area. Residents and workers can still get tested at our Mobile Testing Units:

  • Diss Leisure Centre,  9am to 3pm with a booked appointment

  • Diss Church of England Junior Academy, 10am to 4pm without a booked appointment.

If you haven't been tested yet, we strongly recommend you to come and be tested. If you are unable to get to a Mobile Testing Unit, we can drop off a test to your door.  Please call 01058 533933.

Bookings can be made from 8pm for the following day via the link below. Please only choose one of the above locations.

 
lf you need help booking a test call the Help Hub on 01508 533933.
 
If you don't have COVID symptoms, click 'yes' when asked 'is the person who needs a test part of a trial or government project? and then select 'taking part in community testing'.

 

How we can help

The following services are available for residents who have been advised to isolate and don't have access to support through friends or family:

  • For all ages
  • To obtain basic essentials
  • If you’re feeling isolated or lonely
  • If you’re worried about issues at home including relationships
  • Money worries.

We can help to:

  • Provide food parcels, help to collect food from the shops, access to food banks
  • Pick up medication from pharmacies
  • Provide information about alleviating loneliness/isolation
  • Provide information about support to reduce tension in the home, domestic abuse, children
  • Provide debt and welfare advice for individuals and families who have are in financial difficulty due to the coronavirus.
  • Provide practical advice for older people who find themselves more vulnerable as a result of coronavirus, and we will work closely with adult social care to do this.

You can find out about the range of services offered and help available from our Help Hub section on the website. If you need support please email helphub@s-norfolk.gov.uk or call 01508 533933.

We can also offer practical support to residents depending on your circumstances:

  • Working age and currently claiming benefits: if you lose money as a result of the coronavirus, we will look to our existing systems to top up your support. There will be a criteria around this but our aim will be to reduce red tape to a minimum in order to speed up the process.
  • Working age and not claiming benefits: we have created a hardship fund to ensure we can deal with loss of income due to the coronavirus. This will be in the form of payments and advice (some payment may come from DWP).

We have created a fund to support our residents who are experiencing severe hardship due to the coronavirus crisis. 

The hardship fund is limited and is to support those who need it for a short period only, for example to help with food and daily essentials whilst you wait for you welfare benefit to be awarded or receive any advanced payments. If you or any members of your household (including partners) have any savings, capital or investments it is unlikely that you will qualify for any hardship payments.

When considering your application we will also be looking at yours and your households circumstances and  if you have taken steps to maximise your income and decrease your outgoings, for example if you could potentially qualify for any welfare benefits or other discretionary payments already available, if you have contacted your landlord, mortgage provider and other debtors for payment holidays etc.

The amount you can receive will be limited and the fund will generally not be able to cover bills such as phones, television subscriptions, sky, virgin, utility bills, credit cards, car loans etc. It is for essentials for daily living such as food.

Working age households that are in receipt of Council Tax Support will automatically receive up to £150, which will be used to reduce your Council Tax bill from April 2020. You don’t need to apply for this, we will amend your account and let you know.

For help and support with the form please call the benefits team on 0808 178 7143.

Every one of our residents is important to us. But some residents are ignoring national advice and going out when we should all be staying at home. This puts us all at risk of COVID-19, especially people who are over 70 or who suffer from ill-health.

We know this is a worrying time, especially if you live alone, and we really want to help. There are lots of volunteers in our communities who want to help too. So instead of going out, please think about other ways to do things. For example:

  • Call or video call a friend
  • Ask a friend or neighbour to leave some shopping outside your door
  • Order an online shop if you can
  • When you are shopping please only buy what you need.

If you are sharing information with a resident who is not online, and they need support, they should call 01508 533633. Please only call us if you aren't able to get the help you need online.

It is important that we stay physically and emotionally well during this time.

View our the Resilience at Home Guide for 10 tips to help your overall wellbeing.

For more tips and to get a personalised Mind Plan visit Every Mind Matters website.

If you're worried about your own mental health at this time you can call the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust 24/7 First Response freephone helpline on 0808 196 3494.

If you are concerned about the mental health of someone aged 0-25, please see the Just one Norfolk website. You don’t need a referral, you can get in touch straight away for advice and support.

The best way to avoid catching COVID-19 is to:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available. Follow the NHS guidelines on good hand hygiene.
  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue and wash your hands or use an alcohol-based sanitiser gel.
  • Keep your distance from other people – at least 2 metres wherever possible.

If you have a new persistent cough or a high temperature, you must stay at home and away from other people for 7 days. If someone in your home has symptoms you should self-isolate for 14 days. Please see the stay at home guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection.

And remember, if you are very unwell or have symptoms that last longer than 7 days visit the NHS website, call NHS on 111.

Please follow the below guidance about medicines during this time:

  • Before ordering medication, check on what medication you already have, and only order the items you really need. Do not seek to stockpile.
  • Order your prescription as normal, which should be 7 days in advance of running out.
  • Do not order early, or seek to over-order.
  • The supply chain is robust.
  • Collection/Delivery- is there anyone at all who can collect medication for you or is delivery offered?

General advice

The coronavirus outbreak is a rapidly evolving situation so it is important to make sure you stay up to date with the latest official advice.

We have been meeting with other Norfolk Resilience Forum partners - including other councils, NHS, and Police - to discuss the potential risks and impacts for our county and we are well-prepared to respond to any potential incident.

We wrote to all our district households at the end of March with advice about the support available to residents and businesses.

We will continue to review the situation and are following all advice from Public Health England. 

If you have any health concerns, check the NHS website for up-to-date advice and guidance, and for regular updates on travel information, symptoms and precautionary measures.

Latest Government advice

The Government has published its coronavirus action plan, which outlines what the health and social care system across the UK has done to tackle the outbreak, and what it plans to do next.

Regularly updated information for the public on the outbreak, including the current situation in the UK and advice about the virus and its symptoms, as well as statements from the Chief Medical Officer on confirmed cases in the UK.

Public Health England has produced a dashboard with information on confirmed cases of coronavirus.