Community support for people who have to stay at home

During the Coronavirus outbreak, many people have been told to self-isolate at home as they have medical conditions that could put them at risk or are over 70. Some of these people have relatives or friends who are able to help out by dropping off shopping or prescriptions safely without coming into contact with them.

But for those who don’t have anyone to support them, Basingstoke Voluntary Action (BVA) are working with Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and a number of community organisations to set up the Basingstoke and Deane Community Hub to co-ordinate the volunteers wanting to help. Since the community hub was launched, 53 local neighbourhood groups have registered and volunteers are being put in touch with groups, with more volunteers on standby to help if needed.

Hampshire County Council is acting as the main co-ordination point for all district community hubs in the county with a hotline. The Coronavirus Hampshire Helpline – Hantshelp4vulnerable – can be contacted on 0333 370 4000. The helpline is available seven days a week, from 9am to 5pm.

Vulnerable residents who need help, and do not have support from family or friends, should call the helpline to register for support. The county council will resolve complex cases and will pass on most other enquiries to the Basingstoke and Deane Community Hub to arrange support, such as deliveries of food.

Any residents who still want to volunteer or local groups who haven’t already registered should visit http://www.bvaction.org.uk/coronavirus-volunteering or call 01256 423852. BVA has published an interactive map on its webpage www.bvaction.org.uk/basingstoke-deane-community-hubs/ showing the location and contact details for all the local groups.

Those people identified at risk of severe illness as a result of underlying medical conditions, that have been written to directly by the NHS, should register for help via https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable as per the instructions in their letter. They have been told that they should not leave home for at least 12 weeks.