If you are in need of support, whether for yourself or someone else, we have put together a list of organisations that can help below.
NB: DUE TO ONGOING RESTRICTION CHANGES RELATED TO CORONAVIRUS, THE DETAILS SHOWN ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.
GENERAL ADVICE AND INFORMATION
The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
- A high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature).
- A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual).
- A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.
Most people who have the virus will have at least one of these symptoms, however, one in three people may have no symptoms.
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 of any age 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
Carers Support Dorset – A wealth of information and support for anyone in a caring role, from helpful resources to advice and signposting.
The site also features a COVID-19 Q & A section and the ability to apply for a Dorset Carer’s Card, which gives carers access to discounts across Dorset including at cafes, shops, attractions and with professional services.
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 – For an extensive list of organisations offering support around mental health visit: NHS Mental Health Support – A to Z. In addition, 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: 86463 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 (includes access to Refuge’s live chat facility Monday-Friday / 3-10pm) 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 / 7.30-3.30am).
- Shout – A free, confidential, 24/7 text messaging support service for anyone who is struggling to cope. Visit Give Us A Shout or text Shout to 85258 anytime.
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.