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 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 local support to this group and others who are vulnerable and 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.
- 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.
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 including food parcels and befriending.
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) - Support and assessments for carers, support for over 55’s, including enquiries around benefits and social care, and Social Prescribing. There is also a 'safe and well' hotline for those who would like someone to talk to at this time.
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.
East Malling Community Larder - operates five days a week and can offer home delivery.
Red Cross - 0808 196 3651
- chat to a friendly Red Cross volunteer
- emotional support
- links to local organisations who may be able to help
- information and practical advice
Mental health and mediation
Relieve the pressure - Kent County Council service offering 24/7 free, expert support.
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.
Sustain Community Food Bank - Tonbridge Baptist Church 12 noon-2pm Monday to Friday.
Kent Savers – offering emergency loans of £300-£500.
Ofgem - Advice from the energy regulator on managing and paying for your gas and electricity supply.
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.