Cumbria County Council’s Emergency Support Helpline launched on Monday 30th March 2020 and has already helped over 3,000 vulnerable or isolated people in need of urgent help.
The county council is receiving around 200 contacts a day, via the telephone helpline, online form and email, and seeing around 50 contacts a day on weekends. The most common contacts are for medication and prescription collections, food supplies and from family members who are isolating or live far away from their elderly loved ones who they would normally care for.
The helpline exists to provide support to people at ‘high risk’ who aren’t able to rely on neighbours, friends or family members, and may be struggling for food, medicines or other essential supplies. The requests for help are matched with local support which is being offered by a network of community groups, volunteers, redeployed council employees, and local businesses.
Letters and text messages sent to highly vulnerable people
The council is continuing to work alongside partners, local business and volunteers and using a wide range of communications and media to help raise awareness of the helpline. Text messages and letters have been issued to thousands of people who have been identified, by the county council and NHS, as being at high risk from Coronavirus and who should be staying at home as much as possible. 2,442 texts were sent this morning and 4,500 letters are now in the post, on their way to vulnerable people, and should arrive in the next few days. The county council urges these people to seek support if they need it.
Councillor Deborah Earl, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Communities, said: “Our Emergency Support Helpline offers a lifeline to vulnerable people who are at high risk of becoming seriously ill, as a result of COVID-19, and who do not have support available from friends, family or neighbours.
“If people have no alternative support, they should call the Freephone number to request help getting food, medicines, essential supplies and home deliveries.
“It’s reassuring to see communities stepping up and supporting vulnerable people in their neighbourhoods and we’re seeing amazing examples of this right across the county. By continuing to work together I’m reassured that our residents are in very safe hands.”
How to contact the Emergency Support Helpline:
Phone – The emergency support helpline number is 0800 783 1966.
Online at cumbria.gov.uk/covid19form.
Email your request for help to [email protected].
The telephone call centre operates Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and 10am to 2pm at weekends. The service also accept referrals from members of the public who may be concerned about people in their community.
Members of the public, volunteers and local businesses can also help raise awareness of the helpline, by downloading a pack of useful resources to print and share from cumbria.gov.uk/coronavirus – see the ‘Download and share campaign resources’ tab. These resources are publicly available for people to share in their local communities, to raise awareness of the Emergency Support Helpline, promote safeguarding and other important messages.