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COVID-19 Belfast Community Support

Updated: Friday 26 June 2020

We are working closely with community, voluntary and statutory service providers in Belfast to make sure that our residents’ needs can be supported during coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

Department for Communities food parcel scheme

If you have a letter from your GP advising you to shield, and have no other ways of getting food, for example, if you can’t leave your house to buy food, you can continue to receive a weekly food parcel under the Department for Communities (DfC) Scheme until Friday 31 July 2020.

If we have been delivering your weekly food parcel, you will continue to receive it until the week beginning Monday 27 July.

If you are a new applicant to the scheme – that is you have a shielding letter but you have not yet registered for the weekly food parcel scheme - you can also telephone the Regional COVID-19 Community Helpline on 0808 802 0020. They will transfer you to the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust to check you are eligible. They can also help you with other support you might need.

Food provision

1. Spar, Eurospar and Vivo home delivery

  • Phone your local Spar, Eurospar or Vivo and ask for their delivery service.
  • The store staff will do your shop with you over the phone.
  • Many let you pay by card over the phone for your shopping and for the cost of a taxi to deliver it to your home. Some may do this free of charge.
  • Your items will be delivered to you by taxi as soon as possible.

2. Other independent retailers

  • whoisdeliveringni is a Facebook group (run by members of the community) which allows users to share information on businesses in Northern Ireland delivering fresh food, groceries and pre-made meals - www.facebook.com/groups/WhoIsDeliveringNI.
  • This is an unofficial community group so content accuracy and reliability cannot always be guaranteed.

3. Foodbanks and other community support

4. Priority online supermarket deliveries for those shielding

  • If you have a letter from your GP, you can request supermarket online deliveries from Tesco, Sainsburys, Asda, or Iceland. Go to nidirect for advice or to register your interest.

Advice

We support services across Belfast which can provide benefits, debt and employment advice, as well as being able to check whether you would be eligible for support by your local foodbank. Find contact details of your closest independent advice service.

You can also contact DfC’s regional Make the Call Team. They can do a benefits check to make sure you and everyone in your household are getting all benefits, supports and services you’re entitled to. Telephone 0800 232 1271, text ADVICE to 67300 or email makethecall@dfcni.gov.uk

Prescription pick-ups

Where possible, you should ask a family member, friend or neighbour to collect your prescription. If this isn’t possible, you should contact your local pharmacy, to check if they can deliver your prescription. Most GP surgeries will now ask you when ordering which pharmacy you would like to collect your prescription from.

For information about volunteer support to help with collecting prescription medicine, visit www.communityni.org/help or www.volunteernow.co.uk

Emotional wellbeing and support

  • It is important to take care of your mental and emotional wellbeing during this time. The Public Health Agency’s Minding Your Head website contains information to help you look after your own mental health and to support others – visit www.mindingyourhead.info/
  • Designed as a ‘wellbeing space’, the covidwellbeingni.info/ website features a comprehensive range of information, self-help guides and ways to access help to support your mental health and wellbeing. It was created by CovidWellBeingNI, a partnership of 15 leading mental health and wellbeing charities and the Healthy Living Centre Alliance representing 28 Healthy Living Centres alongside the Public Health Agency, Department of Health and Department for Communities.
  • If you are concerned about your mental health and would like to speak to someone, you can talk to your GP. If you are in distress or despair, you can telephone Lifeline on 0808 808 8000 where you can speak to a trained counsellor. This service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is free from all landlines and mobile phones in Northern Ireland.

Drugs and alcohol

For drug and alcohol support visit http://services.drugsandalcoholni.info/

Mental health and emotional wellbeing

For mental health and emotional wellbeing support visit https://www.publichealth.hscni.net/

Gambling

Dunlewey Addiction Services operate a free to call gambling helpline from 9am to 11pm. To contact the helpline, telephone 0800 0886 725

Other support services in your area

The Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA) has developed an interactive database which you can use to find organisations in your area that are providing support during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. These organisations from the voluntary and community sector can provide support in a number of ways, for example:

  • emotional or social support
  • befriending
  • food and prescription deliveries
  • transportation
  • advice

You can also contact us by emailing areasupport@belfastcity.gov.uk with your contact details.We will do our best to advise you,or to signpost you to other services in your area that can help.