Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Who can help you during the coronavirus pandemic

Last updated at 10.27am on Wednesday 5th July.

Weymouth Town Council are working hard in our communities to make sure you have access to the information and support that you need. We’re supporting projects across the area as well as helping to fund local charities and community groups. So far we have allocated:

We’re also pulling together all of the local information that we can find and putting it on this webpage so that you can access everything in one place. Please let us know if there is anything you want us to add.

We are here to support you, contact us through email on office@weymouthtowncouncil.gov.uk or by phone on 01305 239839.

The current COVID-19 situation does not just give mental and physical stresses but can also bring on or exaggerate financial stresses and pressures. In the below document, we have broken down some information on resources that might be useful for you during this time. Please note, this information was correct as at 24/04/20 and is subject to change.

There are also additional and often major impacts on our Protected Characteristics communities. The Council will not tolerate any form of prejudice, hate crime or intimidation against Protected Characteristic communities, some of whom are particularly vulnerable and being targeted at this time, especially in regard to sexual orientation and gender identity, and race/ethnicity. Please see our full statement, in partnership with the LGB&T Dorset Equality Network, below:

UK Government & NHS

The UK Government coronavirus (COVID-19) page will keep you up to date with how the government is responding and the latest guuidance.

The UK NHS Coronavirus (COVID-19) page includes a wide range of health related information. This page gives clear information on when people need to self-isolate and how long for.

If you have coronavirus symptoms, you can apply for a test here: www.gov.uk/apply-coronavirus-test

You can also complete this survey to help the NHS understand more about how and where coronavirus (COVID-19) is affecting people currently: www.nhs.uk/coronavirus-status-checker

Coronavirus support is available to employers and the self-employed. You may be eligible for loans, tax relief and cash grants. Use this business support finder to see what support is available for you and your business: www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder

Dorset Council 

Please click here to visit Dorset Council’s main coronavirus webpage.

Dorset Council have set up a helpline to support vulnerable people who don’t have any support networks available to them: 01305 221000, open from 9am to 6pm, Monday – Saturday.

Emergency Local Assistance has been a valuable resource to Dorset residents for a number of years, providing practical and financial support to individuals and families in a time of crisis or extreme financial hardship. ELA can be accessed as a self-referral or with the support of another organisation and can be accessed via telephone, Monday to Friday 8.30am – 5pm on 0330 1234 225. Please see the below document to find out how this assistance can support you during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Guidance and information on the co-ordinated community response in Dorset can be found on Dorset Council’s website here: www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/emergencies-severe-weather/emergencies/coronavirus/co-ordinated-community-response.aspx 

Dorset Council’s business support page can be found here: www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/emergencies-severe-weather/emergencies/coronavirus/businesses-and-employers.aspx 

Dorset Digital Hotline

If you’re feeling a bit lost in this new digital-only world, help is on hand from the Dorset Digital Hotline. From Monday 30 March the new helpline will be available from 10am to midday each weekday – with no question too small.

Do you need help to use eConsult to reach your doctor’s surgery, or wonder whether video conferencing, like Skype, could keep you in touch with your grandchildren?  Are you working out how to work from home, or how to use online computer resources to help your children learn? 

Anyone can call the Dorset Digital Hotline with an IT question on 01305 221048. More information about this scheme can be found here: https://news.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/2020/03/27/digital-champions-ready-to-help/

NHS Volunteers

The NHS is “rallying the troops” for the war on coronavirus, with volunteers being called up to help vulnerable people stay safe and well at home.

NHS Volunteer Responders can be called on to do simple but vital tasks such as:

– delivering medicines from pharmacies;

– driving patients to appointments;

– bringing them home from hospital;

– or making regular phone calls to check on people isolating at home.

To find out more, please click here: www.england.nhs.uk/2020/03/your-nhs-needs-you-nhs-call-for-volunteer-army/

To request help from an NHS Volunteer Responder, please fill out the form here: www.goodsamapp.org/NHSreferral

Dorset Community Action 

Dorset Community Action is a charity that exists to support charities, voluntary groups and social enterprises across the local community. They are committed to helping your charity, community group or social enterprise through these unsettled times. They have set up a dedicated coronavirus helpline, which can be found here alongside further information and resources: www.dorsetcommunityaction.org.uk/covid-19-updates/ 

Volunteer Centre Dorset 

If you would like to volunteer to support your local community and local organisations, please contact Volunteer Centre Dorset: www.volunteeringdorset.org.uk/covid19 

Weymouth Community Volunteers 

Volunteers are on call to help with shopping requests or possible dog walking. The phones are only being answered between 10am and 11am for requests: 01305 830255

Veterans Hub

The Veterans Hub continues to support the local military community and is delivering parcels of food and other essential goods to veterans & their families.

To donate items or to find out how you can access this service, please phone 07387 739628 or email theveteranshubweymouth@outlook.com. Further information can also be found on their Facebook page.

The Lantern Trust

The Lantern is an independent registered charity that was founded in 1983 to help vulnerable and marginalised people in the Weymouth & Portland area. Their customers have a varied range of personal concerns including mental health problems, offending behaviour, addiction, homelessness and all personal crises. They aim to meet these needs through a wide range of services including advocacy, crisis response, front line practical assistance and welfare benefits, housing & accommodation support and help through the Lantern’s assisted rent deposit scheme.

Apart from their drop-in sessions, they continue to offer a full service. To get in touch with them, please visit their website: www.lanterntrust.org.uk

Weymouth Food Bank 

Weymouth Food Bank, located in Weymouth Baptist Church, is still providing essentials to those most in need. If you want to contact the food bank, please visit their website for the relevant contact details: www.weymouthbaptists.com/foodbanksinweymouthandportland.htm 

Littlemoor Community Centre 

Littlemoor Community Centre is now operating 7 days a week as a food supply and delivery point from 17:00-19:00. They are offering to deliver to those in self isolation including the elderly and those with underlying health issues. People can also come in to collect or donate supplies as well. Please call 07809 905412 to get in touch.

St. Edmund’s Church Food Bank

Due to the added pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, a new emergency food bank has opened at St Edmund’s Church, Lanehouse Rocks Road. Distribution is on Thursdays 10:30am – 12.30pm and serves residents of Wyke, Westham and Lanehouse.

More information can be found on their Facebook page and on the below poster:

Age UK 

Age UK North, South & West Dorset are supporting people of all ages in the local area with issues such as loneliness, isolation and in accessing essentials such as food and medication. 

For contact details and to find out more, please visit their website here: www.ageuk.org.uk/northsouthwestdorset/ 

Other useful information can be found here: www.ageuk.org.uk/services/information-advice/guides-and-factsheets/

Citizens Advice Bureau 

Citizens Advice continues to provide support to people in the local area who need advice in these difficult times. Free, independent and confidential advice and information whatever your question is available over the phone or through email. Their contact details can be found here: www.westdorsetca.org.uk/contact-weymouth-portland 

Dorset Mind 

As well as your physical health, it’s important to look after your mental health during the coronavirus pandemic. Dorset Mind has published some information on how to look after your wellbeing, especially if you’re feeling anxious and/or are having to spend extended periods of time at home: www.dorsetmind.uk/news/coronavirus-your-wellbeing/ 

Help & Care

Help & Care staff are experienced advisers with excellent local Dorset wide knowledge and are fully DBS checked. If you’re struggling and just need someone to talk to, you can give them a call on 0303 303 0153.

Wessex Water

Wessex Water hold a list of their customers who are in vulnerable circumstances and who may need extra support from us from time to time. This is called the Priority Services register.

To sign up for this support, customers can visit the following websites and complete the online forms:

Wessex & SSEN – this can be used to sign up to both companies at the same time

Wessex & WPD  – this can be used to sign up to both companies at the same time

Cruse Bereavement Care

With the social distancing guidance, there are many tragic reports of people unable to attend funerals (or other grieving rituals) of loved ones.

In light of this, Cruse Bereavement Care provided some tips on what to do if you find yourself in this distressing situation:

STARS Dorset

The Dorset charity, Sexual Trauma and Recovery Services (STARS Dorset), is increasing the availability of its Telephone Support Line throughout the COVID-19 period.

STARS Dorset’s Telephone Support Line is for anyone who has been affected by sexual violence such as rape, child abuse and sexual assault at anytime in their life. As well as the charity’s existing clients, people who have not accessed their services before can call for support and those who are supporting survivors of sexual violence in a personal or professional capacity can also use the service.  In addition, the charity will be increasing the availability of their online Live Chat service, which is available through their website, www.starsdorset.org.

The Charity’s Telephone Support Line number is 01202 308855 and the service will be available at the following times: Mondays 10am -12pm and 3pm – 5pm, Tuesdays 10am -12pm and 3pm – 5pm, Wednesdays 10am -12pm, 3pm – 5pm and 7.30pm – 9.30pm, Thursdays 10am -12pm, 3pm – 5pm and 7.30pm – 9.30pm and Fridays 10am -12pm, 3pm – 5pm and 7.30pm – 9.30pm.

Southill Assistance Scheme

The Southill Assistance Scheme has been started by local Councillors, Pete Barrow, David Gray and David Harris, local businesses and numerous fantastic volunteers. The scheme is currently planning two services.

The first is a delivery service that residents can use to request the delivery of household essentials such as food, medicines, toiletries etc. The service is for any residents who have to isolate themselves at home and who do not have family and/or friends who can help. To make a delivery request, please call or text one of the following numbers:

David Harris – 07951 288 466
Pete Barrow – 07741 252 302
David Gray – 07889 752 224

The second is a phone contact service to help with isolation. The vicar of Emmanuel Church, the Rev Jo Haine, already has a team in place who offer a pastoral service. Any resident who is feeling isolated and in need of friendly chat is welcome to contact the team:

Rev Jo Haine – 01305 581 399
Norman White – 01305 774 167
Jill Miller – 01305 776 781

Extinction Rebellion

Extinction Rebellion have published a handbook which covers subjects such as self-care, staying connected and mutual aid. This can be found here.

Arts Council England

Arts Council England is ensuring that the people and organisations that make up our arts, museums and libraries are protected during the coronavirus crisis. Find out more about the support that they are offering here.

Dorset Race Equality Council

Dorset Race Equality Council (DREC) is the only independent organisation dealing with the issues that ethnic minority communities and individuals face in the whole county of Dorset. DREC will support any ethnic minority individual or community group that face the following:

DREC has a dedicated coronavirus page on its website: www.dorsetrec.org.uk/category/coronavirus-covid-19-2/

DREC staff team are available Monday to Friday – 9.00 to 5.00pm and can be contacted on 01202 392954 or on enquiries@dorsetrec.org.uk

Dorchester Trust for Counselling and Psychotherapy

DTCP & Colliton Street Psychotherapy Services are able to offer two free specialized services during this time of crisis to residents in Dorset:

They are able to offer 6 short-term counselling sessions free of charge to all those who are working in hospitals, health care, care homes, shops, in essential service industries and as carers in people’s homes. These sessions cannot be face to face and may be by telephone, Skype or Zoom.

If you or someone you know could benefit from a one-off talk to someone who does not know you and who has had a professional training, they have introduced a listening service. If you contact them, they will arrange for someone to call you back. They will be able to listen and speak with you for 50 minutes. The service aims to help you share some of the impact on you and to regain some sense of control. It is not an advice service and cannot be an alternative to regular counselling or therapy.

To access these services, please contact them via their website or by telephoning 07714 330120.

Coronavirus – a book for children

This is a FREE digital information book for primary school age children to help explain the coronavirus and the measures taken to control it. It answers lots of questions in a child-friendly way, and aims to both inform and reassure. You can find out more, download and read the book here.

Dorset Chamber

Dorset Council has commissioned Dorset Chamber to provide information and a helpline with advice for businesses on dealing with the disruption caused by COVID-19. This can be accessed here: www.dorsetchamber.co.uk/business-support/coronavirus-covid-19/ 

A message to Weymouth Town Council business tenants (March 2020)

The Town Council recognises the hardship that our business tenants are going through at this unprecedented time and we wish to be able to support you as best we can.

Some of you may be experiencing difficulties in meeting rental payments and therefore in the first instance the Town Council will be deferring payments due to be made to the Council for the next three months.

We will also be in contact with you shortly so that we can discuss your particular circumstances; together with future arrangements and any additional support that we could provide to help you and your business.

The UK Government has a range of business support measures available to UK Businesses and Employees including grants, loans, rate relief, employee retention schemes etc. www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support/

Dorset Council’s business support is also available – www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/emergencies-severe-weather/emergencies/coronavirus/businesses-and-employers.aspx

Can’t find the help you need?

If you have accessed the above resources and can’t find the help that you need, please contact communityresponse@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk.

The below councillors are happy to be contacted by those who are in need of support and are unsure of who to turn to. If you do not know who your ward councillor is or if your ward is not listed, please feel free to contact any of the below councillors:

Name of councillorContact number
Cllr Kate Wheller (Wyke Regis)07850 060947
Cllr Lucy Hamilton (Wyke Regis)07794 601834
Cllr David Gray (Radipole)07889 752224
Cllr Christine James (Westham North)07749 282337
Cllr Richard Nickinson (Weymouth West)07768 016771
Cllr David Northam (Wey Valley) 07899 337730
Cllr Colin Huckle (Weymouth West) 01305 768467 or 07771 632551
Cllr Mark Tewkesbury (Littlemoor) 07817 039172
Cllr Gill Taylor (Westham West) 01305 779936
Cllr Peter Barrow (Radipole) 07741 252302
Cllr Graham Winter (Wey Valley) 01305 839100 or 07445 400037
Cllr Jan Bergman (Preston) 01305 246960
Cllr David Harris (Westham North)01305 781660
Cllr Ken Whatley (Melcombe Regis)01305 520531