A national scheme is providing food and other essentials to those most at risk from coronavirus. If you are in this category of 'shielded' households, you may have received a letter from the NHS telling you that you’re clinically extremely vulnerable, or been contacted by your GP or hospital clinician. If this has not happened, contact your GP or clinician after you register with this service (tel: 0800 0288327).
Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council is also offering support to this group and others who are vulnerable or cannot get help from friends, family or neighbours. Our scheme includes:
- A dedicated Community Support telephone line 01732 876152 – open 08:30-17:00 Monday to Friday and 10:00-16:00 at weekends.
- Delivery of food and basic supplies to shielded medically vulnerable people and those in self-isolation who are not receiving assistance from elsewhere or who need additional help.
- A befriending telephone service to provide reassurance and support to vulnerable individuals who are feeling isolated.
Anyone in need of help or willing to sign up as a volunteer can register online or call us on 01732 876152. Please note we are only able to recruit volunteers who are DBS checked.
We are working with a range of organisations across Tonbridge and Malling who can help those who may be struggling. Local groups are being promoted on Facebook and Twitter so you may find it helpful to search for those operating in your area. Many parish councils are also offering help - please contact your local Parish Clerk for further details.
Protect yourself from fraud
While there is a great deal of goodwill and voluntary support out there, please also be aware of the risk posed by fraudsters who may use social media or cold calling to target the elderly and vulnerable.
- Do not give your bank card and pin number to anybody
- Do not give cash to a volunteer
- If you suspect you or someone you know is being targeted by a criminal, contact Action Fraud or call 03001 232 040
Where to get help
Support if you are vulnerable
Tonbridge and Malling Community Hub (01732 876152) - Register for support or sign up as a volunteer.
Kent Together (03000 41 92 92) - 24-hour Kent County Council helpline for vulnerable people who need urgent help, supplies or medication.
Citizens Advice in North & West Kent (0300 330 9001) - free, confidential and impartial advice on issues, including money, benefit, housing or employment.
Age UK Sevenoaks and Tonbridge (01732 366100) - day centres closed but phone service available.
Churches (Church of England) - access to live streaming of services while churches are closed.
Carers UK - Guidance on being prepared for emergencies, protecting those you care for and information for working carers.
Imago - Support for young carers, children with disabilities, adults with complex needs or isolated older adults.
Involve (03000 810005) - a telephone befriending service available for the most vulnerable and isolated members of the community who are self-isolating.
Hi Kent - free replacement hearing aid batteries. Send a stamped (2x first-class) addressed envelope to Hi Kent, 18 Brewer Street, Maidstone ME14 1RU, enclosing details of batteries required and a contact phone number.
Mental health and mediation
Mind - get information about how you can look after your wellbeing at this time and to plan for staying indoors or at home.
Aspirations Telephone Service (0333 880 2730) - Support for those struggling with their mental health and well-being through a telephone service. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Calm - free resources to reduce anxiety.
Reachout Youth - A charity providing support to 13-19-year-olds experiencing emotional or mental health difficulties.
Maidstone Mediation (01622 692843) - help for those suffering due to conflict or dispute.
West Kent Mediation (01732 469696) - help for those suffering due to conflict or dispute.
Crosslight Advice - Free debt advice and money education.
Entitled to - find out what benefits may be available to you.
Sustain Community Food Bank - Tonbridge Baptist Church 12 noon-2pm Monday to Friday.
Ofgem - Advice from the energy regulator about managing and paying for your gas and electricity supply during the outbreak.
Help for charities
Kent Community Foundation - providing grants to support charities with income up to £1m.
Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) - offering a rapid response fund to help smaller charitable organisations affected by the impact of coronavirus with grants of up to £10,000.