Support for vulnerable people
Edition 11 – Wednesday 3 June
Weekly supermarket update
A weekly supermarket update is available here, (kindly provided by Rushmoor Borough Council & Rushmoor Voluntary Services). No significant changes this week, but Asda, Iceland and Tesco were all showing available delivery slots on Monday morning.
National Carers Week 8-14 June 2020
Hot on the heels of Volunteers Week, comes Carers Week. Princess Royal Trust for Carers in Hampshire would like to invite all Hampshire Carers to enjoy the following interactive events:
- Tuesday 9th June 10.30am—Zoom—Estate Planning/Wills/POA
- Friday 12th June 10.30am—Zoom—Singalong with Maddison
Lockdown Art Competition
Running until 10th June
- What has lockdown meant to you and your caring role?
- Can you express this in a piece of Art, a photo or a poem?
Send them in virtually to us by the 10th June and we are delighted to say that BBC Breakfast Presenter Mike Bushell will judge them and award a prize to the winner. For more information on how to log into the virtual sessions or about the competition please contact 01264 835246 or email
LifeSkills, the free employability and financial capability programme, has created easy-to-use virtual resources to supplement your support package for adults and families. The programme offers short, flexible modules and virtual learning sessions to help beneficiaries identify and achieve their goals.
Lifeskills aims to support people of all ages, and has tailored support hubs for:
Edition 10 – Thursday 28 May
Weekly supermarket update
A weekly supermarket update is available here (kindly provided by Rushmoor Borough Council & Rushmoor Voluntary Services). There are no major changes this week, however Iceland, Tesco and Morrisons were all showing available delivery slots on Tuesday morning. This is the first week where delivery slots have been available.
For those managing community food groups, Morrisons has launched a wholesale spin-off service to not-for-profit organisations and councils who are in need of food supplies during the Covid-19 crisis. The service will provide bulk food supplies more cheaply and conveniently for distribution to those in need in the local community.
Asda is trialling a new virtual queuing system, as it plans to keep social distancing measures in place for the rest of the year. The new system lets shoppers virtually join Asda queues from their phones, allowing them to wait in their cars instead of standing in line outside store entrances. The supermarket has trialled the system in Leeds, and is planning to roll it out to other stores.
Referring vulnerable people for food deliveries
DEFRA has launched a system which allows vulnerable people to be referred for reserved food delivery slots with Tesco or Iceland.
It says that the referrers can be local authorities and a small number of charities. They are rolling this out across 35 local authorities this week, and the rest over the following 2-3 weeks. The form for local authorities to register an interest in the scheme can be found here. DEFRA also has a live document listing the alternative grocery delivery services available which is being regularly updated Click here to check it out.
Universal Credit Transition Fund
DWP have notified stakeholders that due to the current pandemic, they have not been able to proceed with the £10m Universal Credit Transition Fund as planned. It is not known when they will be in a position to re-launch the fund.
They go on to say that they do still have their Flexible Support for Partnerships Fund “and the autonomy to grant awards to local partners to enable projects to support disadvantaged customer groups. I would encourage you to get in touch with Kerrie Honey or Leone Hill should you wish to discuss further.”
New ‘Home and Well’ Service
Home and Well Remote NHS Direct Service provides wrap-around Citizens Advice support for patients being discharged from hospital. Citizens Advice Hampshire are delivering the service in partnership with a CCG and utility companies. The service can help with fuel poverty, debt, unemployment, benefits (including Universal Credit), housing or relationship issues as well as sign up to the Priority Services Register.
Making an online referral (as explained in the 3 minute training video) is simple. It takes just 1 minute to complete & submit the H&W online referral form, and an Adviser will respond within 3 working days.
Support for single parents
Single Parents Support and Advice Services (SPSAS) have just been awarded a grant from Tescos Bags of Help fund to help vulnerable families with a care hamper containing a week’s worth of meals and essentials delivered to their door. Anyone who meets their criteria and are within the Hampshire and Dorset borders can apply for these. This new funding is also to help families struggling for gas or electric on prepay meter so they can top up.
If you would like to apply for support from SPSAS, please email
Join the Reading Revolution
National charity The Reader aims to create a Reading Revolution, bringing people together over a really good book.
During the pandemic they have created a number of online groups and services you can use, including a daily reading of a topical poem, twice weekly shared reading sessions and a weekly Storybarn Live which reads children’s books and nursery rhymes. Take a look around their website to see if there’s anything that could help you or your beneficiaries.
Edition 9 – Wednesday 20 May
Weekly supermarket update
A weekly supermarket update is available here (kindly provided by the lovely people at Rushmoor Borough Council & Rushmoor Voluntary Services). Changes this week include:
- Morrisons has introduced a ‘speedy shopper’ queue. Customers who want to do a smaller shop (with one basket) will gain quicker store entry and checkout.
- Iceland has prioritised its online delivery slots for ‘carers in communities’ between 8am-9am and 2pm-3pm on Fridays.
- Tesco has launched a dedicated volunteer gift card.
The Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority
The GLAA is asking that any concerns about labour exploitation should be reported to its Intelligence Team – 0800 4230804 or email During the present situation, there is a need to continue maintain standards and ensure that some of the most vulnerable and hidden members of society are being treated fairly.
HantsHelp4Vulnerable – automated calls
The Covid-19 Hampshire Helpline is contacting people designated by the NHS as ‘extremely vulnerable’ to offer support, should they need it. A new automated service is contacting more than 1,200 people each day to offer support. Unfortunately, some calls are not being answered, possibly due to concerns about their authenticity. Please ask your clients not to hang up if they receive a call from Hampshire County Council – they are offering support.
More information is available in HCC’s press release
Hampshire domestic abuse advice line – extended hours
Between 11th May and 9th October, Stop Domestic Abuse are extending their Advice Line to be open 9.30am – 8pm Monday to Friday. The Advice line is for victims, perpetrators, family / friends and professionals on 03300165112, email; secure email address. Refuge accommodation can be accessed 24/7 by calling the advice line for the on call emergency service.
Thriving in the garden
Interest in gardening has taken off during the Covid-19 crisis with big rises in demand for plants, seeds and know-how. To help people get the most out of their gardens, including the considerable mental and physical health benefits, Reading-based therapeutic gardening charity Thrive has launched a Gardening Club.
It’s a free weekly email with:
- How-to guides for gardening jobs
- Activities for children
- Tips to help you garden if you have a disability or long-term health condition
- Ways to benefit from nature if you don’t have a garden
To receive Gardening Club emails, click here. Also, to stave off lockdown boredom, Thrive is offering activities and games to get children interested in nature and gardening. Scavenger hunts, quizzes, word searches and crosswords are all available to download from the Thrive website
In this fascinating blog, Sabine Goodwin (Coordinator of the Independent Food Aid Network) talks about coping with “a tsunami of need and the Government’s £16m aimed at food charities”
Edition 8 – Wednesday 13 May
Weekly supermarket update
A weekly supermarket update is available (kindly provided by Rushmoor Borough Council & Rushmoor Voluntary Services).
Changes this week include:
- Asda, Waitrose (through John Lewis) and Home Bargains have all launched new essentials food boxes, with short delivery times
- Morrisons has updated their food box offer to include i) a gluten free and ii) a BBQ box
What small act could you do to create a kinder world?
This is the question Inclusion Hampshire are asking as part of their ’Little act of Kindness Pledge’, to help promote mental health and well-being.
The campaign, being run as part of Mental Health Awareness Week (18 -24 May) is looking for people to pledge a small change they will make during that week to make the world a kinder place, creating lasting change. Inclusion Hampshire, a specialist education provider, are promoting this idea as a way of showing their learners in particular how creating positive changes and being kinder to one another can create a real difference to the way we see the world, our families and community.
If you would like to get involved and share your stories of kindness or make your own pledge by video or written, then please email with details or visit the website to see some of the stories and pledges already made. The webpage will go live from 18th May.
Stay at Home Band
Home-Start Hampshire received a lovely surprise recently when local singer songwriter Richard Walters approached them with a fantastic song he had written with his 4-year old daughter Addy. Richard wrote the song with his daughter as a way of helping to pass the time and share how they are feeling during lockdown. Richard decided to involve Addy’s nursery friends in the recording and as the response was so positive, they decided to use the song to raise money for Home-Start Hampshire.
Finding the Words at home
Anvil Arts and Andover Mind are running a creative project for carers and people living with dementia. They would like to hear stories from your household that they will then turn into poetry. If you are interested, or think that a friend or relative might be, then please email Andover Mind or call 01264 332297 (Option 3). You can also visit their website to find out more about the project.
Let Us Entertain You
For those with dementia, their families, carers and friends…
Join Andover Mind for an hour of live on-line entertainment with music and magic from a special guest performer
- Thursday 14th May, 2pm – 3pm
- Email for joining details or call 01264 332297
When in isolation, how can human relationships continue without access to, or an ability to use, a smartphone? Reason Digital is now able to repurpose Android phones as a simple ‘one button video call service’. They call it HelpinHand. Could it benefit your volunteers or service users? If so, please contact them here
National Energy Action
NEA produces an annual investigative report of the state of fuel poverty in the UK. This year it wants to highlight the impact of Covid-19 on fuel poor households. NEA is therefore seeking the views and experiences of organisations to inform this and there is a call for evidence out (closing date 29 May).
Edition 7 – Wednesday 6 May
Weekly supermarket update
A weekly supermarket update is available here (kindly provided by Rushmoor Borough Council & Rushmoor Voluntary Services). Changes this week include:
- Aldi is now offering a volunteer gift card, with the option of sending vouchers by post. (Aldi is the only supermarket to offer a postage option, rather than delivery by email only).
- Tesco has increased their support for NHS and priority workers by revising their priority times.
- Morrisons has announced a special ‘VE Day Afternoon Tea Food Box’. Details are included in the document, but the web page isn’t showing the box as an option yet.
- Uber Eats are now offering grocery delivery from local stores.
Buying groceries online
Also from the lovely people in Rushmoor, a step-by-step guide to doing online shopping.
Supporting bereaved people
Southampton Voluntary Services have produced an online video on ‘Supporting the Bereaved’. You may find this particularly useful if you are telephone befriending someone who has been bereaved.
New Coronavirus support line
British Red Cross has set up a helpline to support people facing a range of issues because of coronavirus and lockdown. The helpline can provide practical and emotional support for anything from accessing food or medicines, to dealing with loneliness. The phone number is: 0808 196 3651 and is available daily from 10am to 6pm. The service is free and completely confidential.
Virtual Village Hall
Royal Voluntary Service have set up a ‘virtual village hall’ with links to various activities. There are both live and pre-recorded activities to join in with, plus some downloadable guides to print off and share with family members or friends who may not have internet access.
Time for reflection … and music
At stressful times like these, music can be a source of relaxation. Live music is not currently available but all is not lost. Weyhill Electronic Organ Society usually run monthly concerts, but some of their music is now available on their website and YouTube. The concerts are aimed particularly at people who prefer their music to be melodic, easy listening and tuneful. Until their concerts return, just visit Weyhill Electronice Organ Society… and enjoy the music.
Connected Living (part of Aster Group) have a wide range of wearable devices, smart appliances and lifelines for the home, available for rent. Their devices and wearable pendants connect to a monitoring centre at the press of a button, where customers can speak directly to a trained adviser or reach emergency services. They can also support patients returning home from hospital, and provide their services free of charge for the first four weeks. They are recognised key workers and safety is at the heart of everything they do. For more information call the team on 0333 4008299 or visit their website.
Buddy Dogs for children with sight loss
The Buddy Dog service from Guide Dogs is for children with sight loss, and their families. Applications are open in Hampshire. They are running Buddy Dog Discovery sessions via webinar for parents/carers who would like to find out more. Next webinars are: 12 May, 19 May and 26 May. To book a place on one of these sessions, parents/carers can contact our advice line on 0800 781 1444 – full instructions of how to access the webinar will be provided. More information here
Home-Start Hampshire’s team of dedicated staff and volunteers are still working and providing remote support to families in need, and are still accepting new referrals. They are currently only able to accept referrals electronically. The referral form can be downloaded from Home-Start’s website, where you can also find email addresses for each of their offices or you can email completed referrals.
It’s Pony time!
Bodster Equine Assisted Learning C.I.C. have set up virtual sessions to replace their normal face-to-face activity. They can run sessions of approximately ½ hr via Skype, Whatsapp or Facetime.
Contact Jo/Giles on 07887 876138 or by email
Deaf/hearing impaired children
Elizabeth Foundation are still here to help families with deaf or hearing-impaired children aged 0 -5, who are struggling to support their child at home. Families can enrol (free of charge) on our online Let’s Listen and Talk programme. They can benefit from advice, guidance and information, with lots of learning materials and the opportunity to discuss their child’s needs and development with a Teacher of the Deaf by telephone, skype or email. The programme also provides hundreds of games and activities to use in the home so parents can support the development of listening and talking whilst having great fun with their child. No family needs to feel alone. Sign up for FREE today here
Age Concern Hampshire
Age Concern Hampshire are determined to ensure no older person feels alone. ACH have developed a range of services to ensure that older people and their carers can stay safe during this challenging time. Their services include: prescription collection and delivery, shopping services, daily wellbeing calls, befriending calls, sitting services (to give carers a break), information and support, exercise programmes, and a pen-pal scheme with children. To find out more, visit their website or contact local centre teams for more information on services in your area. Or contact us on: 0800 328 7154 or email
Seek help for cancer symptoms
Cancer can’t be put on hold. The NHS has launched a campaign encouraging people to contact their GP if they are experiencing any signs of cancer. GP surgeries are still open and many are using online and telephone consultations. “The earlier a cancer is diagnosed, the more likely it is treatment will be successful and the higher the chance of survival. So even in these stressful times it’s vital people don’t delay seeking help with cancer symptoms.” Michelle Mitchell, CEO of Cancer Research UK. Please help to make sure your service users are aware of this message.
The NHS is urging the public to attend all regular vaccination appointments to prevent outbreaks of serious diseases and reduce pressure on the health service.
Edition 6 – Wednesday 29 April
Domestic Abuse in Hampshire during lockdown
Shonagh Dillon from Aurora New Dawn and Claire Lambon from Stop Domestic Abuse talk to Kirsty Rowlinson about domestic abuse in Hampshire during the lockdown. “In entrenched domestic abuse situations, the abuse and control will have been happening before, and lockdown will have exacerbated those problems and made it harder for victims to come forward”. “We are expecting a lot from our staff currently, but we know that when we go back to any kind of near normal, we’re going to be expecting even more of them. So we really need to recognize the amazing contribution that these key workers are making and will continue to make.” “Whilst working from home brings its own set of unique challenges, working in refuge during lockdown and Covid-19 brings a whole other set of challenges”!
Watch the interview here
A weekly supermarket update is available (kindly provided by Rushmoor Borough Council and Rushmoor Voluntary Services).Changes this week include:
- Morrisons have created a food box specifically for Ramadan
- Sainsburys will be updating their store hours this week. The advice is to check the local store before visiting, until hours have been standardised
- Asda have reduced their opening hours and are now closing at 8pm rather than 10pm (on weekdays), with Sunday times amended to 11am-5pm
Priority home deliveries
Government plan to extend priority home deliveries to wider group. In Sunday’s daily coronavirus briefing George Eustice recognised that some people outside the ‘shielded’ group may need help getting food because of a disability or medical condition and lack of local support. He announced some supermarkets will be working with Government and Local Authorities on a referral system so that when someone is not ‘shielded’ but vulnerable for another reason and in “desperate need”, their Local Authority can refer them to a supermarket priority delivery slot. RNIB and other charities have lobbied for this change.
Alternative options for food delivery
A list of local suppliers across the county offering home delivery has been compiled by Hampshire Fare, and is available here
NHS volunteer responders: Self referrals now open
As of this week, people can now refer themselves for help from an NHS volunteer. If you meet certain criteria and need help collecting shopping, medication or other essential supplies or are feeling lonely, call 0808 196 3646 (8am to 8pm). Carers can make a referral on someone else’s behalf, and can self-refer if this will enable them to continue in their caring role.
The Blue Lamp Trust continue to accept referrals to the Bobby Scheme for clients who are at serious risk of harm or victims of Domestic Abuse. They can provide crime and fire prevention support to improve home security. They can also fit key safes for clients who need to allow access to carers. All visits can be conducted in a manner that protects the health of both client and the fitter. Complete the form on the website or ring 0300 777 0157
Chat to a friend
During the current crisis, Carers Together are also running Chat to a Friend. If you are feeling isolated or lonely, ring us for a chat about any concerns, maintaining a sense of wellbeing or to get information on services and facilities available to support you. Ring free on 0800 032 3456 to speak with someone who can help. They can also arrange to telephone people who are unable to call themselves.
Carers in Southampton
Carers in Southampton is a free service for adults who give their time, unpaid, to look after someone who needs additional support, such as a family member, a friend, or a neighbour. Their services are available to those living in areas served by Southampton City Council. Their website has information on many support services. They can be contacted by phone on: 0238 058 2387 or email
Support for carers
Carers Together’s CALL line is still open every day for unpaid carers to have a chat, offload concerns, share worries or access information. Ring free on 0800 032 3456
Our doors may be closed but we’re still open! Our friendly and supportive staff are on hand Monday to Friday 9.30am – 5pm. Or leave us a message outside these hours and we’ll get in touch. We are providing advice, information and support to carers and people with dementia and memory problems. Contact us if you have any concerns either by calling 0126 433 2297 (option 3) or email
Lockdown exercise classes from Parkinson’s UK
Parkinson’s UK has launched a series of online exercise classes. The charity says exercise can be as important as medication to help people with Parkinson’s manage their symptoms. The new virtual classes, shared on their Facebook page, include a mix of cardio, balance and chair-based strength and flexibility training. All the classes will be uploaded to the charity’s YouTube channel over the coming weeks so people can watch on demand at a time that’s right for them.
Hampshire Macmillan Citizens Advice Service (HMCAS) is open for any clients who are affected by cancer and live in or receive treatment in Hampshire. Whether that is the patient, family members or someone who is caring for them. They have extended their telephone helpline 0344 847 7727 so you can speak to a caseworkers between 9am and 4pm, Monday – Friday (except Bank holidays). They can help with benefits, grants, blue badges, housing, employment issues and more.
Edition 5 – Wednesday 22 April
Butterflies Bereavement Support remains fully operational is still open and has increased its services, with dedicated online bereavement counselling and support, virtual support groups and also a lonely persons support service in addition to all the other services that remain active. They cover the whole of Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton. Email or call Tel: 07889009393
Covid-19: Making payments safely in lockdown
Many people will be relying on others to make purchases for them during lockdown. Whoever it is, it is important to take steps to keep money safe when providing them with the means to pay, or reimbursing them. Particularly as criminals are looking at new ways to target people during the COVID-19 crisis. UK Finance has set out the different ways that payments can be made and the precautions that should be taken to protect money.
During the current crisis, Carers Together are also running Chat to a Friend. If you are feeling isolated or lonely, ring us for a chat about any concerns, maintaining a sense of wellbeing or to get information on services and facilities available to support you. Ring free on 08000 3 23456 to speak with someone who can help. They can also arrange to telephone people who are unable to call themselves.
Carers’ Resource says the Covid-19 pandemic has created huge uncertainty for informal carers, so having a plan for this and other emergencies is crucial. It says: “Download our simple Plan B document and use it to keep the key information about you and those you care for that others might need to know. And use it as a springboard for planning what you might need to do in the event of an emergency.”
Carers UK have brought together the questions they have most frequently been asked by carers, to help address the main concerns and help put carers’ minds at rest, reassuring them that they’re not alone and guiding them to what support there is to help.
Alzheimer’s Society have created advice and practical tips for people living with dementia and those supporting them – either in their own home or from a distance, to help during the coronavirus pandemic. They also have advice for people with dementia living alone.Alzheimer’s Society can answer all your questions about dementia and give you tips if you find it difficult to follow the NHS advice about coronavirus.
- Call the Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Connect support line on 0333 150 3456
- Visit the Alzheimer’s Society website for the most up to date information and advice
- Join the Alzheimer’s Society online community Talking Point where you can connect with others affected by dementia in a similar situation.
- Use the Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Connect online support tool to find dementia information and support that is right for you.
Edition 4 – Wednesday 15 April
Help for vulnerable Hampshire residents
The Coronavirus Hampshire Helpline – Hantshelp4vulnerable – can be contacted on 0333 370 4000. The helpline is available seven days a week, from 9am-5pm. The helpline will provide advice and information, as well as co-ordinate requests for practical help, passing them through to the appropriate Local Response Centre. There is one LRC based in each of Hampshire’s 11 districts.
Extremely vulnerable people
If someone has a medical condition that makes them extremely vulnerable to coronavirus, they should register here [insert link] and say whether or not they need support. Some people may have been contacted by the NHS already, but not everyone will have been. People can register themselves or you can register on behalf of someone else. More information
Edition 3 – Wednesday 8 April
We have all heard in the media that incidents of domestic abuse are increasing during these troubled times. In response, Stop Domestic Abuse are extending the operating hours of their Advice line, and introducing a service so victims can make contact via Messenger (for trial periods).
Virtual Drop-in Service
Victims of domestic abuse that cannot access a telephone due to isolating with a perpetrator will be able to contact a worker via messenger 9.30am – 11.30am, 3.00-5.00pm, 6.00-8.00pm Monday – Friday. Facebook
Victims and perpetrators (not professionals) will be able to call the advice line 9.30am – 5.30pm Monday – Thursday and 9.30am-5.00pm Friday. For professionals, the Advice Line opening hours remain: 11:30am – 14:30pm Monday – Friday.
Please note that refuges are still open and continue to be available 24 hrs by calling 033 0016 5112 and following the answerphone instructions.
Mobilise are holding ‘online cuppa’ sessions’. “We are a bunch of carers coming together for supportive chats to share practical tips and tricks, and sometimes just to vent. Looking after somebody who might be vulnerable to Coronavirus is really tough. There’s no right answer, but we can figure things out together.”
Coronavirus seems to be creating a perfect environment for fraudsters to thrive. City of London Police reported a 400% increase in scams as a result of coronavirus-related fraud. Which? have produced a helpful video “Coronavirus scams: how to spot them and stop them”
Edition 2 – Wednesday 1 April
Priority Services Register
Please encourage family/friends/neighbours/ service users who are eligible (eg. restricted mobility, deaf, blind, disabled, long term illness…) to register on the Priority Services Registers operated by their utility companies. If there is a major incident or problem, those who have registered should be offered extra information and practical support. When this current situation has eased, customers who are on the Priority Services Register will continue to receive extra assistance and support. Links to Priority Services Register (PSR) can be found on the websites of all utility providers.
Please check opening times of your local pharmacy, as their hours may have recently changed. You can find your nearest pharmacy contact details here
he government is helping pharmacies to deliver prescriptions. Prescriptions will continue to cover the same length of time as usual. If you do not currently have your prescriptions collected or delivered, you can arrange this by:
- Asking someone to pick up your prescription from the local pharmacy (this is the best option, if possible);
- Contacting your pharmacy to ask them if they have a volunteer who can deliver it to you (volunteers will have been ID checked)
Asking the pharmacy if they can deliver it to you.
Energy suppliers and self isolation
The government has agreed measures with energy suppliers to support customers self-isolating at this time. Customers with pre-payment meters can speak to their supplier about options to keep them supplied – including nominating a third party for credit top ups, having a discretionary fund added to their credit or receiving a pre-loaded top up card so their supply is not interrupted. More generally any customer in financial distress will also be supported by their supplier. The agreement between BEIS and the domestic energy supply companies can be found here
National Energy Action (NEA)
NEA are running a telephone advice line for people who are worried about paying their energy bills. The Warm and Safe Homes Advice Service is open Monday – Friday 9.00 am to 5.00 pm and can be contacted (free) on 0800 304 7159 or download a referral form here
The UK’s major telecommunications providers have agreed a set of commitments to support and protect vulnerable consumers including: working with customers who may struggle to pay their bills; removing data allowance caps on all fixed broadband services; offering new and generous mobile and landline packages and; priority repairs for vulnerable and self-isolating customers.