Lockdown support for the most vulnerable in North Devon

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North Devon Council is working to ensure the most vulnerable in the district get support during lockdown 3.0 - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Efforts are underway to ensure the most vulnerable people in North Devon get the help they need during the latest coronavirus lockdown. 

With the country facing a lockdown of several weeks until at least mid-February and possibly later, North Devon Council is working to ensure those most in need get help and support. 

The government is writing to extremely clinically vulnerable residents giving guidance on what to do during lockdown and asking them to register on the government website, even if they have already registered during the November lockdown.  

This will allow people to request support for things such as priority access to supermarket slots and help from their local council. 

But in the first instance, people are being asked to be self-sufficient if at all possible and seek help from family, friends and neighbours, as the council says resources are stretched and there is only capacity to support people with no other means of getting help.  

Unlike the first national lockdown, the government will not be sending out food parcels to the clinically vulnerable. 

Working alongside community support organisation One Northern Devon and town and parish councils, NDC is helping to co-ordinate a range of services for those most in need.  

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These include helping people to register on the government website, help with food orders and deliveries, collection of medication and hep getting to medical appointments, using local taxi form Driving Miss Daisy. 

There is also financial support available for those in serious hardship and ‘friendly ear’ phone calls to ease social isolation. 

To help people access these services, there is a dedicated phone line and webform and the council is urging people to ensure their vulnerable and elderly friends and relatives are aware how to contact the team.  

The number to call is 01271 388280 and the online form is at my.northdevon.gov.uk/service/Request_for_assistance

The council is also urging people to ensure they don’t leave requests until the last minute and to give them at least two working days’ notice because the service relies on volunteers and so cannot react any more quickly than that. 

The support service is available Monday-Friday during normal working hours. 

Leader of North Devon Council Cllr David Worden says: "National lockdowns are not easy for anyone but there are people in our communities who it hits particularly hard.  

“If you can get help from your friends and family then please do so, so that we can get help to people who need it the most. " 

A new government grant scheme to help local businesses that are affected by the lockdown will also soon be available. 

More information on the help and support available is at www.northdevon.gov.uk/coronavirus/communities-and-voluntary-sector-support  

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