We hope this page proves helpful for anyone needing support during the coronavirus outbreak.
GENERAL ADVICE AND INFORMATION
What is the coronavirus? It’s a type of virus and can cause more severe symptoms in older people, those with weakened immune systems and those with long-term conditions such cancer, diabetes, heart disease and chronic lung disease (e.g. asthma and COPD).
What are the symptoms? The following symptoms may develop in the 14 days after exposure to COVID-19: high temperature, a new and continuous cough, loss or change to your sense of smell or taste, headache, fever, muscle pain and shortness of breath.
IF YOU ARE CONCERNED THAT YOUR OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW HAS THESE SYMPTOMS, PLEASE CALL NHS 111 OR VISIT: NHS CORONAVIRUS – DO NOT GO DIRECTLY TO YOUR GP, PHARMACIST, HOSPITAL OR ANY OTHER HEALTHCARE ENVIRONMENT.
What are the current government guidelines? For the latest social distancing and self-isolation rules, take a look at the BBC’s overview.
For more advice you can check out the following government information:
PORTLAND BASED SUPPORT
ICA – Help for those aged 65+ (and those in identified high risk groups) who are self isolating. Whether you need support with shopping, prescriptions, errands or even a friendly chat over the phone, we have a group of volunteers ready to help across Portland and Wyke Regis.
Portland Foodbank – Providing food and other essential supplies for those in need. Food deliveries also possible.
Call: 07913 170495, email: email@example.com or drop-in at St John’s Church Hall, Ventnor Road, Fortuneswell (Tuesday and Friday / 9.30am-11.30am).
Royal Manor Health Centre – For the latest information regarding appointments and ongoing treatment, please visit the RMHC website. Alternatively, call: 01305 820422, where one of team will be able to assess your medical needs and how they can best be managed.
Portland Hospital – The Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) is currently closed.
If you have an injury that is not life-threatening, you can get help from a minor injuries unit (MIU) rather than going to an A&E department. This will allow A&E staff to concentrate on people with serious, life-threatening conditions and will most probably save you a longer wait for treatment.
If you live on Portland, your nearest MIU is Weymouth, call: 01305 760022. You can find more information, including opening times and services offered on the Dorset Health Care website.
If you are concerned about your symptoms but not sure what support you need, call: NHS 111 (or 999 for anything life threatening).
WIDER DORSET and OTHER SPECIALIST SUPPORT
The Lantern Trust – A Weymouth based charity set up to help vulnerable and marginalised people across Weymouth and Portland.
The Lantern offers support for those who have a varied range of personal concerns, including mental health problems, offending behaviour, addiction, homelessness and all personal crises.
Support includes advocacy, crisis response, front line practical assistance and welfare benefits, housing and accommodation support and help through the Lanterns assisted rent deposit scheme.
Mental and physical health – The following organisations offer free and confidential advice for all:
- The Samaritans – Support for those in distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide. Visit: Samaritans, call: 116 123 (24/7) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org (24 hrs response time)
- Mind – Advice and information about all aspects of mental health, from where to get help to treatment options. Visit: Mind, call 0300 123 3393 (Monday-Friday / 9am-6pm, except bank holidays), text: 8463 or email: email@example.com
- You First – Local support for victims of domestic violence. Visit: You First or call the Domestic Abuse Helpline for Dorset on: 0800 032 5204
- Refuge – Additional support for anyone experiencing domestic violence. Visit: Refuge or call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247 (24/7)
- Childline – Help and advice for those aged 18 or under. Visit: Childline (operated by the NSPCC) or call: 0800 1111 (Monday-Sunday / 9am-midnight).
In an emergency please phone 999. If you cannot speak, dial 999 55. You will then be connected to police call handlers who will try and establish if there’s an emergency by asking questions that can be answered by tapping the handset, or with verbal responses.
Financial advice and support – If you have experienced a reduction in earnings due to the Coronavirus outbreak, you maybe entitled to additional help. The following websites provide information and details of how to apply for a wide range of support.
- Universal Credit – Monthly payments to support living costs. For more information, visit: GOV.UK – Universal Credit
- Council Tax – Visit: Dorset Council – Council Tax Support
- Housing Payments – Visit: Dorset Council – Discretionary Payments for advice and support about rent payments not covered by other benefits
- Money Saving Expert – For general advice and information across a wide range of subjects.
Age UK – Free benefits advice for those aged 55+. Call: 01305 269444 and ask to be connected to the Welfare and Benefits team.
Citizen’s Advice Bureau – Free, independent and confidential advice and information, whatever your question, across a wide range of subjects, including:
- Benefits entitlement and claims
- Debt management and budgeting
- Employment advice, including Statutory Sick Pay and rights when laid off work
- Advice for the self employed
- Law and courts
Visit CAB’s Coronavirus Advice Hub or call: 0344 411 1444.
Other useful websites and sources of information:
- BBC – Latest information and updates
- Guardian – Live updates
- Telegraph – Live updates
- GOV.UK – For employees
- GOV.UK – For employers
- National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) – For employers
Information taken from a range of sources, including the Portland Resilience Committee Support Information Leaflet, which can be downloaded here.