Cheshire West and Chester Council, Cheshire West Voluntary Action (CWVA) and the voluntary and community sector are all working closely together to provide an opportunity for residents to volunteer in the fight against COVID-19.
As the Member of Parliament for Ellesmere Port and Neston, I am working with local councillors across the constituency to support this effort.
An online form has been created for residents to pledge their support for local communities, helping to make sure west Cheshire’s most vulnerable residents have access to things like essential food and medical supplies, as well as somebody to keep in touch with during any periods of self isolation.
Once residents have completed the online form, CWVA will signpost them to the charities and community groups in their area so they can do their bit to tackle COVID-19.
If you have started your own group or are already volunteering for something in your community, you could still complete the form to help understand what is happening in different areas, equally if you are a business or other kind of organisation that wants to help then email details through to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What resources are available for people who need help?
There are two main sources of local information for people who are looking for help.
For further information related to the Coronavirus pandemic, please consider using the following links:
NHS: Specific advice about Coronavirus
Latest Government advice: How to protect yourself and others
Dedicated helpline: Support for vulnerable groups at higher risk from serious complications
Ellesmere Port Self-Isolation Help: Support for those self-isolating
Neston Help: Neston Life app has a dedicated Virus Response section with links to home delivery options and advice on how to access help
Coping with Coronavirus (COVID 19): Advice on coping at with Covid19 at home – including meals and shopping, care, health, income, employment advice and sources of support
NHS Every Mind Matters: Looking after your mental health
New local 24/7 mental health phone line: Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week to people of all ages – including children and young people
CWaC Coronavirus pages: General information on the Coronavirus locally
Funding for community initiatives: Information on the Council’s Community Response Fund and Cheshire and Warrington COVID-19 Response Fund
Lets Talk Business: Cheshire West and Chester Council’s advice page for businesses
Business grants: Coronavirus (COVID-19) help for business rates payers
Information for parents: Advice about supporting children and young people
Information for carers: Help and support for carers
Employment, benefits and income: Information and advice for employees and employers
I am worried about paying my bills whilst I am in self-isolation:
MPs have been asking for clear guidance on support for people who are vulnerable and might struggle with energy bills during isolation. The latest information can be found here.
What is being done to make sure I can still get my medicine?
This is clearly a worrying time and I will be doing what I can to raise issues like this. The latest information available on the governments preparations for supply issues with medicines can be found here.
What is happening with schools?
This is obviously not a clear picture and there has been a lot in the press about it. Schools are closing, but to be absolutely clear on what is happening, have a look at this link here.
My child is on free school meals, what is happening to help them if they no longer go to school?
The local council is working hard on a local solution which will be communicated through the schools, but there is also some information from the government here.
I have a front line job, should I send my child to school?
The government has released a list of key workers whose children can still attend school where necessary. This situation is changing all the time, so here is the latest guidance.
Which jobs are considered essential to the Coronavirus response?
A list of the jobs critical to the front line Coronavirus response can be found here. I pay tribute to the fantastic work of our front line staff, NHS and social care workers are working tirelessly to help deal with this crisis.
I am self-employed and have no work coming in, what should I do?
I imagine this is an extremely worrying time. At the moment this is the latest advice for employees, employers and businesses here.
What is being done to make sure I can get sick pay during isolation?
No-one should be forced to choose between health and hardship at this time. I will be raising this important issue wherever possible with the Government. The latest advice can be found here.
I am ill but my employer wants me to come to work. How do I respond when I don’t have a sick note?
If you are ill, you should take time off work without fear of risking your job. If evidence is required to cover self-isolation or household isolation, you can get an isolation note from NHS 111 online or from the NHS website.
What happens if I cannot pay my rent?
MPs and local councillors have been working to support renters at this difficult time. If you’re ill and struggling to pay your rent, there are measures in place to prevent eviction. The latest information available on this issue can be found here.