Helping people during Coronavirus

6 April, 2020

Volunteers are needed to help in our community, for example to deliver shopping, pick up prescriptions, help care for pets or simply phone a neighbour to support them during their isolation.

For more information on volunteering, local community groups or to get involved visit  www.corona-helpers.co.uk  or phone 01460 202970 or email support@sparksomerset.org.uk

Somerset Coronavirus Support Helpline launched

6 April, 2020

A single phone number is now available for anyone in Somerset who needs Coronavirus related support from their councils.

The Somerset Coronavirus Support Helpline number, 0300 790 6275, is now live and will make it easier for people access any local authority help they may need, including emotional support, in the current crisis.

It links together the district and county council contact centres and will be operating seven days a week, 8am to 6pm, making it the one number you need to remember for Coronavirus-related enquiries. The district and county councils usual phone numbers will be running as normal alongside the new number for non-Coronavirus related issues.

The new number won’t cover medical advice, for which people will need to continue to use the 111 NHS online service and only ring 111 if they cannot get help online.

Anyone who can’t find help within their own local networks and volunteers, can use the new number to get help and advice around:

  • Personal care and support including food and delivery of prescriptions
  • Support for the homeless
  • Emotional support if you’re feeling worried or anxious
  • Transport to medical appointments
  • Waste collection and disposal
  • Financial support

Callers will be asked to describe the support they require and will be connected with others for resolution.

The 0300 790 6275 number is being staffed by the five councils in Somerset and will be available seven days per week, 8am to 6pm.

Meanwhile, the five councils in Somerset are getting in touch with people on their data base that may be vulnerable to see if they need assistance with anything like supplies of food, help with transport and other support.

If people are interested in volunteering for example helping people out with shopping or picking up prescriptions they can go to https://www.corona-helpers.co.uk/ to register.

Stay at home and save lives this Easter

6 April, 2020

Residents and would-be tourists are being urged to stay away from Somerset’s beauty spots and visitor attractions this Easter.

With fine weather forecast and the Easter holidays about to start, it’s essential that the public is not tempted to travel to take advantage of the beautiful Somerset outdoors.

Somerset’s local authorities oversee Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and other public and open spaces. They’re are working together to manage the impacts of Coronavirus and encouraging everyone to follow Government advice.

Even open spaces can fill-up quickly making social distancing difficult, and the public is being urged to heed the ‘Stay Home, Save Lives’ message.

It advises people to stay local and not to travel for their once-a-day exercise, and when you do you should go out, it should be alone or only with others in your household.

By doing that until the crisis is over, you’ll be limiting the spread of Coronavirus – savings lives and protecting the NHS.

John Turner, Chief Executive of Visit Somerset, said: “This is a difficult message for someone in my position to be giving, but these are difficult times.

“I know it’s disappointing and hugely tough on businesses, but there will be plenty of time to come and visit us and explore our great county. Now is not the time. We have to protect our NHS, our key workers and our county.

“People must listen to the advice from the Government and its medical experts and take every possible step to stop or slow the spread of this virus. Right now, that advice is not to travel and to stay at home unless it’s absolutely necessary.”

The full Government advice can be found here

All  help and information is now available in a single place on the SCC website: www.somerset.gov.uk/coronavirus