Coronavirus and caring
Updated 6 May 2020
During the Covid-19 emergency the service that Carer Support Wiltshire can offer has had to change. We’re proud to have put together the following support for carers with the help of our staff and volunteers, who are committed to helping carers at this deeply difficult time.
- Our telephone helpline is open for advice and support (Monday-Thursday 0930 – 1630 and Friday 0930 – 1600). We aim to respond to all enquiries within 24 hours. Please call us on 0800 181 4118 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need us.
- Wiltshire Council are still providing support for unpaid carers under the Care Act but this may be affected by the lockdown measures. If the support carers have in place for the person they care for has changed or they are unable to manage, we are still able to offer assistance. Carers should call 0800 181 4118 or Wiltshire Council on 0300 456 0111 during office hours.
- Our face-to-face carer cafes are moving online. With the support of staff volunteers from Zurich Insurance we are running virtual cafes for carers who would like to regularly connect with other carers – to discuss issues, share tips or just have a chat and a break. Trained volunteers will be available to talk to in virtual ‘break-out rooms’ should a carer have a personal issue they’d like to discuss or a request for specific support.
- We are keeping in touch with all registered carers via regular emails and posted communications, ensuring that carers are informed on the latest guidance for carers and help and services available to them. If you’re not already signed up to our emails you can subscribe here.
- Our support staff and a team of volunteers are contacting vulnerable carers by phone, to check in with them and provide support where needed. Our Talk and Support befriending scheme has recently been awarded a £8,500 grant from Wiltshire Community Foundation which will mean we can regularly check in with up to 350 of the county’s most at-risk carers, many of who are aged over 70yrs and may not have internet access.
- As funding becomes available from many different sources to help communities through this crisis, we are flying the flag for carers and will ensure any funds we can obtain go to help the most vulnerable carers. Examples include obtaining IT equipment and training to ensure carers are able to stay in touch with family and friends. Please talk to us about challenges and needs you are going through at this time as we will continually be looking for ways we can address these new issues.
Support in your local community
Wiltshire’s many voluntary and community organisations are working hard to support all the people they work with as best they can. In order to do that, we are all joining forces to work in partnership so that we can all cover the geographical spread to reach and support as many people as need us across Wiltshire.
The organisations we are working closely with are:
Age UK 01380 727767
Alzheimer’s Support 01225 776481
Wiltshire Citizens Advice 03444 111 444
Wiltshire Centre for Independent Living 0300 123 3442
Wiltshire Parent Carer Council 01225 764 647
Local communities are also now coming together to form support networks so please keep an eye out on social media and local press for details of how to contact them for help. Such groups are being asked to register with Covid-19 Mutual Aid so more details may also be available on their website.
Wiltshire Council has now produced a list of all the community groups who have come forward to help during the COVID-19 outbreak. They will be keeping this as up to date as they can so if you don’t find help in your do check back.
The Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub is there to help anyone self-isolating who needs help and not have family, friends or neighbours to support them. It can help with deliveries of food and other essentials and loneliness and wellbeing. You can request help by calling the helpline on: 0300 003 4576 or via email at email@example.com. It’s available from 8am-8pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm Saturday and Sunday.
Where to go for more information
The situation is changing rapidly and you can follow the most up-to-date Covid-19 information at the gov.uk website.
The government has issued advice for any households that think they might be infected with Covid-19.
Carers UK has also produced some helpful guidance specifically for carers.
We also have a frequently asked questions page which we’re updating regularly.