Thank you to the many people who have volunteered their help to support our county's vulnerable residents during the Coronavirus pandemic. Local people and community groups across Hampshire are showing great strength and resilience, working hard to assist one another.
We all have a part to play in slowing the spread of Coronavirus and helping to save lives.
We urge all residents to heed the Prime Minister's statement on 23 March to observe strict social distancing, limit going out from our homes unless for essential activities, to keep ourselves, our families and loved ones, and our communities safe.
People across Hampshire have been asked to stay at home unless it's absolutely necessary for them to go out. This is especially important if you are over 70, would usually get the flu jab as an adult for medical reasons, or are pregnant.
The Government has also identified people who are 'extremely vulnerable' and likely to become seriously ill from Coronavirus. Individuals will have been contacted by the NHS if they are in this group. For them, it means not leaving their home for at least 12 weeks from the point that they were contacted.
Access to support
Many people will have trusted friends, family and neighbours they can call on for support. Where this is not the case, the County Council is working closely with national Government, local authority partners, the Voluntary and Community Sector, the NHS and other partners to ensure help is at hand.
If you are 'extremely vulnerable' you should register your support needs via the national Government website - gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable.
If you are vulnerable and have an urgent need that cannot be met through existing support networks, you can contact the County Council's Adult Social Care Service on 0300 555 1386. This should only be used if you are without food or need urgent assistance.
In addition, partners are working urgently to establish additional support arrangements as soon as possible. These include a new Coronavirus Hampshire Helpline – Hantshelp4vulnerable - due to launch shortly.
This will provide a central point of contact for information and advice to residents, as well as practical support should you need it. Depending on these, you may be directed to the County Council's specialist support team, or one of several district-based Local Response Centres.
Based in the heart of our communities, these Response Centres will bring together professionals and local volunteers to provide help – such as with access to food and basic household supplies, as well as social contact for those at risk of loneliness.
It is vital that if you are giving, or receiving help, you take precautions to ensure your safety and those of others.
We urge all volunteers to adhere to Government's guidance on how to volunteer safely.
Your local Council for Voluntary Service will also be able to provide information and support.
If you are receiving help, you should follow the Government's social distancing and hygiene guidance. Do not let anyone into your home, unless you have confirmation that they are a registered professional or representative of a recognised Voluntary / Community sector organisation. Be cautious and curious and ask volunteers for proof of ID.
You can keep up to date with the latest Government guidance via www.gov.uk/coronavirus
If you're worried you have Coronavirus, follow the NHS advice - www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/