This page includes information and contacts if you need help during the coronavirus pandemic. It features support for a variety of things, such as financial support, mental health support, safeguarding information, and much more. It also includes information about Northumberland Communities Together, our response hub; they can offer help to vulnerable residents,

This information was last updated on 8 January 2021.

 

Northumberland Communities Together

We're here to keep you safe and well. If you or anyone in your family needs a bit of extra support please get in touch.
 
  • Perhaps your financial circumstances have changed with reduced hours, redundancy or benefit
  • Worried about winter bills or financial pressures, we are working with Citizens Advice Northumberland to connect and support families
  • Feeling lonely, overwhelmed or struggling with mental health
  • If you do need food or medicine, please order it online or by phone or ask friends and family to drop it off at your home.
  • If you don’t have family or friends nearby please contact: Northumberland Communities Together on 01670 620015 and we can support you.
  • Children and young people eligible for free school meals will continue to receive support whilst learning at home. If you as a parent or carer are unsure what is in place for your child(ren) please contact their school directly. If you are not in receipt of free school meals already but think your child(ren) may be eligible, please apply for free school meals here
  • Worried about someone experiencing domestic abuse or concerned about a neighbour.
Phone the Northumberland Communities Together Response Hub on 01670 620015 9am-6pm, 7 days a week or email: NCT@northumberland.gov.uk

 

 

Other types of support available

Click the type of support you'd like in the list below to find out more:

Bereavement support

The death of a loved one is one of the most difficult moments that any of us have to face. That is why the Government have created a leaflet which will help bereaved families, friends, or next of kin make important decisions.

Please click here to view the Government leaflet.  

This hub was created to provide support to all affected by the COVID-19 pandemic by working closely with the NHS Trusts and other relevant organisations.

Please click here for more information about The National Bereavement Partnership.

You can call their free helpline on 0800 448 0800, open every day from 7am - 10pm.

Business support


Please visit our dedicated Northumberland business hub section of our website to access all of the support available.

Citizens advice


Citizens Advice provides free, confidential and impartial information and advice on a range of issues, including money, benefits, housing, and employment. If your circumstances have changed due to COVID-19, they may be able to help you.

Communication

How to recieve the latest updates from the council

The council's public Facebook and Twitter pages will provide comprehensive updates as they are known. The staff Facebook page will also have useful information. 

Employment support


Click on the boxes below to learn more. 
 

If you are newly unemployed or are concerned about your job, you can get help through a range of Northumberland Council employment and skills programmes, or be referred to other support. One of our Employment Coaches can give you advice and guidance about what is right for you. You can call us on our freephone helpline 0808 196 3936 or email us at employmentandtraining@northumberland.gov.uk.

Please click here for more information on our Employability Support page for advice about our programmes.
If you are worried about your job security, going back to work after being furloughed, finding a new job, finances, and that this is affecting your mental wellbeing, freephone helpline on 0808 196 3933 can give you confidential advice and direct you to online self-help or one-to-one counselling.

You can call 0808 196 3933 free between these hours: 
  • Monday 10am-2pm
  • Tuesday 1pm-5pm
  • Wednesday 3pm-7pm
  • Thursday 1pm-4pm
  • Friday 10am-2pm

Financial support for vulnerable residents


This section provides information regarding financial support for Northumberland residents during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.Click on the boxes below to learn more.

We have a hub dedicated to testing and self isolation information and support. 

You may be eligible for financial help if you need to self-isolate - click here to see if you meet the criteria for the standard support scheme or our discretionary support scheme. 
 
All individuals will be offered the opportunity to be supported to access benefits in line with government guidance.

Click here to learn more about claiming benefits during the coronavirus outbreak. This page includes information about statutory sick pay, universal credit, jobcentre appointments, and more.
Click on the links below to know more about applying for council tax support, housing benefit and Universal Credit:

If residents are otherwise experiencing hardship but are not entitled to benefits they may choose to contact the Northumberland Community Bank.

Northumberland Emergency Transition Support (NETS) provides crisis support to residents of Northumberland. 
Residents can also telephone 0345 600 6400 and follow the options for Benefits then NETS team. Lines are open:
  • Monday to Thursday 8:30am to 5:00pm
  • Fridays 8:30am to 4:30pm
The Government’s Hardship Fund will be used to reduce bills further for those already receiving council tax support, new claimants of council tax support and to establish a hardship fund in the county.
 
PLEASE NOTE: Residents already receiving support through the Council Tax Reduction Scheme don’t need to contact us, as the additional help will be automatically applied to bills.
 
The Council Tax Hardship Fund will be allocated to qualifying residents. This is an additional £150 of funding for those who already receive support due to their financial situation.
 
The scheme will help towards the cost of Council Tax for people on a low income or those who claim certain benefits including Universal Credit. It means that those who may have lost work or money due to coronavirus, could now benefit from this means of help.
Find out what you support you can get if you're affected by coronavirus here - this link will take you to gov.uk, where you can select what issues you are having and find support. 

Health and wellbeing support


We recommend that you seek general health and wellbeing advice online from NHS.uk and NHS 111 online. Click the links below to find out more:

Housing support

Click on the boxes below for the answers to some of your housing questions.

There currently no plans to give tenants a rent and council tax holiday, but this will be reviewed in line with any national guidance recieved, and the council will carefully consider how they communicate with residents over any outstanding rent/council tax at this time.
We would like to reassure tenants that we will not be evicting people who are in rent arrears as a direct result of the coronavirus.
We are currently reviewing the infromation available to house owners and private landlords, but directing residents to the nationally available guidance. The Private Sector Housing Team has identified key services which we will aim to deliver for as long as possible, in order to support private landlords and their tenants. Click here to view these key services.

The above document includes links to important information for Private Landlords in relation to keeping themselves and their tenants safe, as well as information regarding new emergency legislation for eviction proceedings. The Private Sector Housing Team's contact details are also included for customers who have specific questions about how we may be able to help. 
Our teams are well placed to advise residents over the phone on the the potential benefits they be entitled to and to conduct a claim on their behalf.
A robust plan is in place to ensure that those residents that need support receive it.

We are working with partner agencies to ensure that we minimise visits to each individual (i.e 1 visit instead of 3 separate agencies) and have met with carer providers to identify people they are working with that were not known to our service, so we can provide advice and support. 
Public Health, Adult and Children's social care, and Housing colleagues are working closely to ensure that there is strong communication, resources, and support available across the county, promoting good public health messages and ensuring that workers and residents are aware of the current resources available to them. 
The Council has a lead role in providing support to those residents who are clinically extremely vulnerable to COVID-19. 
We also have a dedicated web page for those who are clinically vulnerable and clinically extremely vulnerable, which includes advice and guidance.   
Northumberland Communities Together has been launched in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. It will make sure our residents are kept safe and well throughout this crisis, and provide coordination to support individual volunteers, voluntary groups and communities across our county.
Senior managers reviewed all our services to assess which should be temporarily suspended or delivered differently within communities. Critical services will be maintained at all times, although these may need to be delivered differently.
As a result of Public Health advice about social distancing, many of the people who usually attend day services told us that they did not want to continue going during the crisis. Most of the organisations providing day services have decided as a result to suspend their operations, and the Council has also suspended operation of its own day services. 

We have reviewed the needs of all people who usually attend day services which have suspended their operation. Where day services provided a person with essential personal care or other support, we have made sure it will continue to be provided in other ways. 

The Council highly values the range of day services for people with care and support needs in the county, and is taking steps to ensure that their future is not at risk because of the COVID-19 emergency. 

Questions about COVID-19


Click on the boxes below to reveal the answers to some of your COVID-19 questions.

A coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. COVID-19 is a disease caused by a new coronavirus. 
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses which cause a range of diseases. COVID-19 is the name given to the disease caused by a new coronavirus which had not previously been identified.
Learn how you or someone you know can get help with the information below.

Northumberland Communities Together

If you're having a difficult time or struggling at the moment please get in touch, we'll find you support and connect you with people in your area.

Please contact the Northumberland Communities Together Response Hub. If you have speech or hearing difficulties you can use Relay UK to contact us by dialing 018001 01670 620015 you can find more information about Relay UK here

 

Recovering from COVID-19

Your COVID Recovery will help you to come to terms with how your body and mind may have suffered because of this virus. It provides help and information for those recovering, as well as advice for your family and friends.

Please click here to find out more about Your COVID Recovery.

 

SignVideo

British Sign Language users can now contact the Northumberland Communities Together Response Hub using SignVideo Web Access, an online sign language interpreting service. 

To contact us using this service click this link: northumberlandcc-covid.signvideo.net

If you like to learn more about this service click here
 

Onecall

If you are worried about the immediate welfare (health or well-being) of a child or adult contact Onecall - 01670 536400 - 24 hour service, 365 days a year.

 

Shielding 

If you have a medical condition which makes you extremely vulnerable to coronavirus (COVID-19), you may be eligible for shielding support. Shielding is a measure to protect people who are clinically extremely vulnerable by reducing interaction with others.

Shielding advice for the clinically extremely vulnerable to stop from April

Click here to read the full announcement and details. Advice to the clinically extremely vulnerable to shield ceases from Thursday 1 April.


New group of people identified as clinically extremely vulnerable

A new group of people will be sent a letter asking them to shield. This group have recently been identified as high risk (clinically extremely vulnerable) of severe illness from coronavirus and have been added to the Shielded Patient List (SPL) in England.

NHS and Government have identified this group as clinically extremely vulnerable because of a combination of their individual characteristics and underlying health conditions, using the COVID-19 Population Risk Assessment.

This assessment combines a number of factors such as age, sex registered at birth, ethnicity, body mass index (BMI) and specific health conditions and treatments to estimate the risk of a person catching coronavirus and becoming seriously unwell. If you receive a letter to say you are part of this new group of shielded patients, please follow the shielding advice.


Safe Families Information

Safe Families are offering remote support for all Northumberland families with children  who may be struggling for a variety of reasons during the Coronavirus pandemic. Whether you are a parent, grandparent, or carer for children, many issues have come up in recent times with homeschooling, isolation, and a range of other concerns. 

This  service is open to anyone who may benefit from some outside, remote support to help them, and you can refer yourself at any time via the Safe Families contact form, located here.

Click here to let us know if you found the content of the page helpful