Find community and voluntary support 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 coronavirus (COVID-19)pandemic. These organisations from the voluntary and community sector can provide:
- emotional or social support
- food and prescription deliveries
Visit the NICVA website to use the database.
Priority online shopping slots
If you have been advised to shield (stay at home for 12 weeks) by a medical professional, and have no other support to help with shopping, you can register for a priority online slot with Asda, Iceland, Sainsbury’s and Tesco.
Your details will be shared with the Health and Social Care Board, who will check you are on the shielding list, before your name is passed to the four supermarkets. Supermarkets will contact you directly to offer a priority slot. Due to high demand for this service, there is no guarantee you will be offered a slot.
Please follow the current public health guidance on the Public Health Agency's website.
The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) has created a poster on advice for parents during coronavirus: what to do if your child is unwell or injured. You can download this from the RCPCH website.
COVID-19 response for Refugee and Asylum community
A support service has been set up to provide advice or help for yourself, or your family, during the COVID-19 crisis. Food packs can also be provided if you meet normal foodbank support criteria or have needs related to coronavirus.
This service is run through a partnership involving Embrace, South Belfast Roundtable, NI Community for Refugees and Asylum Seekers, Homeplus, South Belfast Foodbank and Storehouse, and is supported by Belfast City Council.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 078785 25870 for more details.
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) translations
The Public Health Agency's (PHA) 'coronavirus: isolate your household' poster has been translated into 11 languages. These translations are available on the PHA website.
Helpline supporting the Roma Community in Belfast
Call the Forward South Partnership's helpline on 07734 915138 if you need support in this difficult period. This service is offered in Romanian.
Take 5 - emotional and mental wellbeing advice
The Public Health Agency (PHA) has developed new advice to help you look after your mental and emotional wellbeing while staying at home during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Based on Take 5 steps to wellbeing, here are the PHA's tips to help you look after your mental health:
Connect with the people around you. We are all in this together. Keep in touch with family, friends, colleagues or neighbours through calls, text or video links like FaceTime, WhatsApp, Messenger or Skype. Arrange a daily telephone call, especially with those who may be at home alone.
Exercising makes us feel good mentally and physically. We have to be a little creative in our new situation. Gardening or housework count as physical activity. Maybe try an online exercise video. The NHS website has a range of options, or there are a number of fun videos available free on YouTube for all ages and different levels of ability.
Stop, pause and take a moment to be still and look around you. Reduce your time watching the news and browsing social media. Let go of what none of us can control right now and focus on what you can control. Acknowledge your thoughts and feelings and be kind to yourself. It is normal not to feel ‘normal’ during this time. Listen to gentle music or try relaxation apps and videos. Know that this is temporary and things will get better. Take notice of your habits. Avoid smoking or drugs, and try not to drink too much alcohol. It can be easy to fall into unhealthy patterns of behaviour that end up making you feel worse.
We are all learning how to do things differently for now; learning new ways of doing things and how to enjoy ourselves. Use this time for some discovery. Learning new things gives us a sense of achievement, increased confidence and enjoyment. Use this as an opportunity to teach your children new skills or maybe sign up to an online course.
We are all helping our community and our health service by staying at home. This is the greatest gift you can give right now.
More information is available from the PHA's website (link opens in new window)
Volunteer Now have launched their #HelpEachOther campaign to support those who wish to volunteer for COVID-19 related opportunities, and also for organisations which need the support of volunteers to deliver their services to those who need it most.
Tasks may include telephone befriending, doing light shopping, walking a dog, packing food hampers and many more activities that will help those in need.
For more information and to register your interest, visit volunteernow.co.uk.
Visit housingadviceni.org for advice on your housing rights and options.
Advice for blind and partially sighted people
Guide Dogs in Northern Ireland and RNIB NI, in partnership with Department of Health, Department for Communities and The Health and Social Care Board, have put together guidance to support those living with sight loss during the COVID-19 pandemic.
You can download the advice leaflet, which provides key contact details and information on how to get support in your local community.