Coronavirus

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 CORONAVIRUSDO 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.

Call: 01305 823789 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 2pm and Saturday, 10am to 12 noon), message anytime via: Facebook or contact us here.

Portland FoodbankProviding food and other essential supplies for those in need. Food deliveries also possible.

Call: 07913 170495, email: portlandfoodbank@gmail.com or drop-in at St John’s Church Hall, Ventnor Road, Fortuneswell (Tuesday and Friday / 9.30am-11.30am).

Royal Manor Health CentreFor 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

Dorset For county wide support, visit: Dorset Council Coronavirus Support Hub, call: 01305 221011 (8am to 8pm, Monday to Sunday) or email: communityresponse@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk.

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. 

Visit: The Lantern Trust, call: 01305 787940 or email: info@lanterntrust.org.uk (Monday-Friday / 9am-5pm, except bank holidays).

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: jo@samaritans.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: info@mind.org.uk
  • 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.

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
  • Health

Visit CAB’s Coronavirus Advice Hub or call: 0344 411 1444.

Other useful websites and sources of information:

Information taken from a range of sources, including the Portland Resilience Committee Support Information Leaflet, which can be downloaded here.