Due to essential maintenance our online planning, building control and licensing services may be unavailable for short periods between noon and 2pm on Wednesday 4 November 2020.

Looking after yourself or a vulnerable resident

Shielding

The national shielding programme has been paused. However you should still practise social distancing and if you are at increased risk due to underlying health conditions, limit your contacts with others where possible.

Visit our information about shielding page for advice and guidance.

Get help and support

Community support
We have created a directory of the community support groups in South Gloucestershire, where you can find the specific help and support available in your area. Each listing in the directory includes contact details for the group so you can get in touch with them directly.

Visit our get help and support page.

If you have been unable to get the support you require call our Covid-19 freephone number 0800 953 7778 open 08.45 to 17.00 Mon-Thurs and 08.45 to 16.30 Fridays.

Well Aware
The Well Aware website provides information on a wide range of organisations; support groups and community groups that can help you access basic services and support in your area. Visit their page: Basic Services & Support – South Gloucestershire.
For further information and advice check their Coronavirus (Covid-19) – Information, Advice & Guidance page.

Support for adults receiving care or looking for their care needs to be met

If you have questions and concerns about your care or you are worried about a friend or family member, there is a lot of helpful information on our Find information for adults, children and families website. You can call our Adult Care team on 01454 868007 to talk to someone about your care needs.

Direct payments

Guidance for people who receive direct payments is available on our direct payments and impact of the coronavirus page.

Priority supermarket food delivery

Some supermarkets are offering priority delivery slots for elderly and vulnerable people who need extra support to get food. We are part of the Government scheme run by Defra (Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and may be able to refer you directly for a priority supermarket delivery slot. These are only available to residents who need extra support to get food.

You can read our privacy notice for the supermarket referral scheme.

If you are healthy and able, and not at greater risk of coronavirus (such as for health reasons), supermarkets encourage you to shop in store, following guidance from staff and signage on social distancing, wearing a face covering and regularly cleaning your hands.

Eligibility criteria

To access the priority supermarket delivery scheme you must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • you are an elderly or vulnerable person** who does not have a support network to get food (like family, friends, neighbours)
  • you are self-isolating at home as you have symptoms of Covid-19 or have had a positive test and unable to go out and buy food

Note that you (or a carer or family member) must be able to do online shopping and pay for the food.
If you are eligible, you can choose between Tesco and Iceland deliveries.

  • for Tesco deliveries, the minimum spend is £40
  • for Iceland, the minimum spend is £25

If you are considering an Iceland delivery, please first check with Iceland’s website that they deliver to your postcode.
If you would like to contact us about referral to the scheme you can call 01454 868364 or email Prioritysupermarketdelivery@southglos.gov.uk

We are able to help from Monday to Friday 9.00 am – 5.00 pm

** You may be a vulnerable person if you were shielding due to being clinically extremely vulnerable and you are having difficulty getting food, and or you have a disability or have a long-term health condition and you are having difficulty shopping

Care homes and care you receive at home

Protecting everyone in South Gloucestershire is our highest priority, especially the most vulnerable.

You can read South Gloucestershire’s care home support plan, which sets out what we are currently doing, and what we plan to do, to support all our care homes and enable resilience across South Gloucestershire.

For local policies and procedures in care homes, such as visiting arrangements contact the care home direct or contact your social care provider for further information.

The Government guidance for care homes is available to read on the GOV.UK website: Coronavirus (Covid-19): admission and care of people in care homes. The Covid-19: guidance for supported living and home care is also available on the GOV.UK website.

Care Home visiting guidance

The national guidance on visiting arrangements in care homes published on 22 July 2020 requires the local authority Director of Public Health to make a risk assessment about visiting care homes in their area. This involves considering the circumstances of the individual care home and the local Covid-19 context, such as local risk and the presence of outbreaks in the community.

As the incidence and rate of community transmission was low in South Gloucestershire, the Director of Public Health advised that care homes could develop and implement a visitor policy. The guidance requires that this decision is regularly reviewed, taking into account local circumstances.

As of October 2020, testing data shows that the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases, both nationally and locally, is continuing to rise. In view of this, care home providers are being advised to exercise extra caution.

South Gloucestershire Council’s Director of Public Health’s current advice is that care home visiting can continue in line with individual care homes visiting policy and subject to care homes’ own individual risk assessment. However should the infection rate continue to rise, this advice may change at very short notice and care homes should be prepared for this.  The position will remain under review and we will update providers immediately of any changes.

Our Covid-19 dashboard provides the latest published Covid-19 figures for South Gloucestershire. The first priority must remain preventing infections in care homes and this means that visiting policies should still be restricted, with alternatives sought where possible. Care home visitor policies must be in line with government guidance on visiting care homes and on working safely in care homes.

In the event of a suspected outbreak in a care home, the care home should report this to the South West Public Health England (PHE) Health Protection team immediately. The home should then rapidly impose visiting restrictions to protect vulnerable residents, staff and visitors in line with advice given by our Director of Public Health and the South West Public Health England (PHE) Health Protection team.

On occasion, a local situation may arise where the advice from Public Health England is that visiting should be suspended. Under these circumstances care homes will be notified. We are monitoring the situation closely and if any restrictions are required we will communicate them directly to affected providers.

Individual care homes will share their visitor policy and arrangements with families, including infection control measures for visits. You should contact the care home directly if you have any queries about visiting.

Vulnerable children

Vulnerable children include those who have a social worker, and children and young people up to the age of 25 with education, health and care (EHC) plans.

Visit the GOV.UK website for further guidance: Coronavirus (Covid-19): guidance on vulnerable children and young people.

Support for carers, children and families

Visit our support for carers page for advice on the support available for carers, including young carers.

For information and advice on the support available to children and families, visit our education and support for children and young people page.

Mental health support

For mental health information and support visit our Health and wellbeing page.

Beware of scams

Criminals may use the coronavirus pandemic to carry out scams online, over the phone, or in person. Visit the Action Fraud website for the latest advice.

Watch out for fake GOV.UK emails about council tax reductions. Never respond to emails or texts that ask for your personal or financial information.

Age UK have published information and advice on what you can do if you are worried about being scammed.

Visit the South Gloucestershire Safeguarding Adults Board website for information and advice on protecting vulnerable adults from crime including fraud, scams and rogue traders.

Emergency food aid

Support is available for those experiencing food poverty. There are a number of food banks in South Gloucestershire for emergencies. Visit the One You South Gloucestershire website food support page for more information.

Southern Brooks Community Support Helpline can put you in touch with people in your local community to help you while you are isolating or need support for food and basic provisions.
Contact Communitysupport@southernbrooks.org.uk , telephone 0333 5774666 (Monday- Friday 9am-5pm)

Financial support

We have been given access to Emergency Assistance Grant funding by the Government in order to support people who are struggling to afford food and other essentials.

To be eligible, you must be:

  • a South Gloucestershire resident
  • on a low income
  • in an emergency or crisis due to Covid-19

Examples of an emergency or crisis could include families that are:

  • homeless or threatened with homelessness due to being in mortgage or rent arrears
  • unable to afford food
  • vulnerable due to physical or mental health conditions
  • in a position where there is no alternative and there is no existing support scheme available to support with the circumstance(s)
  • going through bereavement

You can find out more and apply for this support, if eligible, by contacting one of our One Stop Shops.

You can also contact Citizens Advice South Gloucestershire by calling 01454 334961. They may also be able to offer help on other broader issues, advising and providing information to help people access longer term support they might need such as benefits.

If you are experiencing financial difficulty as a result of reduced income due to coronavirus, check our information for residents page for information and advice on the support available.

Assistive technology

Assistive technology is a term used to explain any device that can assist you to live more independently within your home.  It can support you to maintain a safer home environment or help you to complete daily tasks and reduce the risk of accidents.

For further information and advice visit the assistive technology to support independence within the home section on our Find information for adults, children and families website.

High risk situations

Report a safeguarding concern

If anyone is in immediate danger call 999 and ask for police assistance.

If you have concerns about your own safety, an adult at risk or a care service you must report it, contact our Safeguarding team:

Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm: 01454 868007 

Out of hours and at weekends: 01454 615165

If you are deaf or hard of hearing, text ‘EDT’ followed by your name and message to 60066.*

Visit the Safeguarding Adults Board website for more information.

If you are concerned about a child, contact our Safeguarding team:

Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm: 01454 866000

Out of hours and at weekends: 01454 615165

If you are deaf or hard of hearing, text ‘EDT’ followed by your name and message to 60066.*

Visit the South Gloucestershire Children’s Partnership website for more information.

*Texts will be charged at your standard network rate. You will be sent an immediate reply to confirm that your text has been received. An Emergency Duty Team Officer will contact you by text to discuss your concerns. This should happen within 30 minutes, although during busy periods it may take longer.

Domestic abuse and violence 

Coronavirus (Covid-19) may cause tensions to rise and domestic abuse and violence to increase.
Help is available – see the various ways you can get support for yourself or someone else on our domestic violence and abuse page.

If anyone is in immediate danger of harm call 999, if you are in the person at risk of harm and cannot speak, dial 999 and then 55. This will transfer your call to the relevant police force who will assist you without you having to speak.

Visit the GOV.UK website for further guidance: Coronavirus (Covid-19): support for victims of domestic abuse

NextLink

Due to Covid-19 Next Link, Safe Link and Missing Link are only carrying out essential external visits, meetings and interventions. However, they are still providing support over the phone.

If you are concerned about your safety and need help and support phone the Next Link domestic abuse help line on 0117 925 0680

Opening hours:10am to 4pm Monday to Friday

Avon and Somerset Family Law

Avon and Somerset Family Law are not conducting any face to face meetings so they will only be available by phone. You can call Avon & Somerset Family Law every other Tuesday between 9am-12pm on the numbers below for the advice you would usually seek at the SG drop in.

  • Zina Ruffino: 07767 102 390
  • Emma Wildblood: 07393 231210
  • Zina Ruffino: 07767 102 390

Substance misuse

If you are worried about yours or someone else’s substance misuse during this difficult time there is help and support available.

For young people and their parents and carers emailing ypservice@southglos.gov.uk is an easy option to use for questions, support or advice in relation to substance misuse worries.

If you, or someone you know feels like they are drinking too much and would like to cut down, visit the One You South Gloucestershire website drink less page for useful tips, tools and information.

For more information, including details of our adult drugs services, visit our drug information and treatment section.

Homeless and rough sleeping

If you are worried about someone sleeping rough during this time of uncertainty. Inform StreetLink or contact our Homelessness Team at Homelessness@southglos.gov.uk or call 01454 865496.

Information for landlords

Homeless households may be particularly at risk from coronavirus (Covid-19). As a landlord if you are considering serving notice or will be serving notice to any of your tenants, contact our homelessness prevention team first. The team can offer a range of help and support to landlords and to sustain tenancies.

Contact our Homelessness Prevention Team us at Homelessness@southglos.gov.uk  or call 01454 868005.

Contact us

If you have not found the information you are looking for, you can find the specific contact details for our services and teams in our directory. Check our contact us section.

We have also launched a new Freephone number for queries about the council’s Covid-19 response, including where to get help and how services are changing in light of staffing issues and other pressures. The number is 0800 953 7778 and it will be answered by our trained contact centre staff, who will be able to provide information and direct you to the right place for the right help.

This line is only for Covid-19-related queries and for all other enquiries, continue to use our main contact centre number: 01454 868009.

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