​Helping hand and a voice at the end of the phone for people isolated by the coronavirus

Care and support for people isolated as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak is being rolled out.

The government last week wrote to about one million extremely vulnerable people in England, advising them to isolate themselves for at least 12 weeks.

The individuals most at risk are being urged to stay at home to protect themselves from serious illness. 

They will receive support with food supplies, medication deliveries and combating loneliness.

In addition to those contacted directly by the NHS, there will be others around Redcar and Cleveland who are socially isolated and find themselves in need of help because they have no friends or family they can turn to for assistance.

The council is urging anyone who needs help and can't get it elsewhere to get in touch, as it plays its part in the fight against the coronavirus.

 A leaflet delivered to all homes in the borough will include:

  • Details of a new dedicated phone number - 01642 771122 - staffed by call handlers to help those in real need to access the support that they require
  • An email address - support@redcar-cleveland.gov.uk - that can also be used to request information on how to get help
  • Information on the Redcar and Cleveland Coronavirus Support Group, which now has more than 1,200 residents, businesses and community groups looking out for one another, as well as council staff monitoring messages and ready to provide support or advice.

As with many workforces around the country, a large proportion of council staff are currently working from home but many of them can be called upon to help maintain crucial services during the coronavirus outbreak.

The council is working with charities and voluntary and community groups, who are already doing a fabulous job of helping those in need. The council will harness that community spirit and will match volunteers to local organisations so help is co-ordinated across the borough.

The council has also received kind offers of volunteers from partners such as Beyond Housing and Cleveland Fire Brigade, and is working with other partners such as the local NHS and Cleveland Police to ensure a co-ordinated response is delivered.

Cllr Mary Lanigan, leader of Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, said: “We know there are challenging times ahead and things are going to be difficult for so many people.

“The council has a huge role to play over the coming months and we're going to do all we can to help the most vulnerable people in the borough. 

“We know that many people who are self-isolating will be supported by family, friends or neighbours, but there are others who may not be so fortunate and will need a helping hand or maybe just someone to talk to.  

“If that is the case, we'll do our best to help. That could be direct support from the council or one of the many established local voluntary and community groups, or our staff using their expertise to put residents in touch with any specialist services they need.

“We're very grateful to a number of local partners and other organisations, including Beyond Housing, Cleveland Fire Brigade and the North York Moors National Parks Authority, who have joined community groups across the borough in offering their support.

“Finally, I'd again urge everyone to continue following the government advice on staying at home and social distancing. It's so important that we do all we can to protect the NHS and keep people safe."

The council's website is hosting a range of information on subjects including mental wellbeing during the pandemic, keeping active at home and business support.

Anyone in Redcar and Cleveland needing support or advice relating to Covid-19 can contact the dedicated phone number 01642 771122, email support@redcar-cleveland.gov.uk or join the Redcar and Cleveland Coronavirus Support Group on Facebook.

Likewise, anyone who is able to volunteer time to help people in their community can use the same contact details.​​