Skip to main content

Coronavirus: Belfast Community Support

  • COVID-19 Belfast Community Support

    We are working with community, voluntary and statutory providers in Belfast to make sure that our residents’ needs are supported throughout the pandemic.

    You can find information on support and services available to those in need in areas including benefits, employment, food, heating, medicine, money and debt on the  Advice NI website (link opens in new window). The site also lists contacts for all council-funded independent advice services.   

    If you would like to speak to an advisor, you can contact Advice NI’s COVID-19 Community Helpline by calling Freephone 0808 802 0020. 

    You can also contact an advisor by emailing, or by texting ACTION to 81025.

    Click the + symbol to read the updates.

Advice and support

  • Food

    Food packages

    Food packages were introduced by Department for Communities (DfC) in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic and were a short-term measure to support those who were advised to shield by the Department of Health. This support has now ended and food packages are no longer available.

    We are acutely aware of the ongoing needs of the most vulnerable in our society and of the need to make sure they have access to alternative sources of help, including access to food.

    I am unable to go food shopping - how can I get assistance to get the food I need?

    • Help from family and friends - if possible, please ask family or friends to do your food shopping when they are doing their own and bring your food to you. 
    • Supermarket delivery - most of the larger supermarkets offer online delivery options and many have increased their delivery capacity to have more delivery slots available.  If you are not able to secure a delivery slot, smaller shops such as Spar, Eurospar and Vivo stores, as well as a large variety of independent retailers, also offer home delivery. A list of stores offering this service, along with their telephone numbers, is available on the Consumer Council website.
    • Priority delivery - vulnerable consumers may be entitled to a priority online delivery slot.  A list of the stores offering this service, along with their direct telephone number, is available on the Consumer Council website.
    • Delivery advisory services - there are other online resources to help secure an online restaurant delivery, including:
      • InYourArea (link opens in a new window) is a collaboration by Belfast Live and small businesses to help advertise which restaurants and takeaways are offering delivery in each postcode area. There is a map on the Consumer Council’s website. 
      • If you have access to, or use Facebook, then Who is delivering? Northern Ireland (link opens in new window) is a Facebook page that shares information on which businesses are delivering fresh food, groceries and pre-made meals in your area. You can see what is available near you using this interactive map (link opens in new window) 

    If you still need assistance, the COVID-19 Community Helpline will connect you to a wide range of support, including assistance with access to food, that is available locally. Freephone 0808 802 0020, text ACTION to 81025 or email


  • Financial assistance

    I am struggling to afford food and utilities – can I get any financial assistance?

    • COVID-19 grant payment - the Department for Communities (DfC) has introduced a short-term financial support package for COVID-19 living expenses. If you, or a member of your immediate family, has been affected by COVID-19, you can apply for the COVID-19 grant payment. The grant is payable for short-term living expenses if you have a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, or you are in self-isolation. You must meet specific eligibility criteria in order to receive the grant. You can contact the finance support service on Freephone 0800 587 2750 or you can find more information and make an application on the nidirect website (link opens in new window).
    • Income Related Benefits are available dependant on income levels, health status and National Insurance contributions. You can find out more at the links below:
    • Make the Call. An advisor will provide a full assessment of all income and benefits to make sure you are getting all the benefits, services and support you are entitled to. Contact Freephone: 0800 2321271 or visit nidirect - Make the Call (link opens in new window)

    If you still need assistance, the COVID-19 Community Helpline will connect you to a wide range of support, including assistance with access to food, that is available locally. Freephone 0808 802 0020, text ACTION to 81025 or email

  • Accessing prescriptions

    Is there help available to get my prescription delivered?

    • Help from family and friends – would a member of your family, or a friend, be able to help you by collecting your prescription for you?
    • Pharmacy delivery services -  many chemists and pharmacies are offering their own delivery service.  You could check if any in your area are offering this service.
    • Ordering your prescription - your GP should ask which pharmacy you would like to collect your prescription from at the time of ordering – they may also be able to advise which local pharmacies are offering a delivery service.  You should also be able to nominate one that you know delivers if you have found out in advance.

    If you don’t have family or friends who can help, or if there aren’t any chemists or pharmacies offering a delivery service in your local area, you should contact the Advice NI Freephone COVID-19 Community Helpline, where an adviser will discuss your circumstances and connect you to appropriate services and support, including volunteer led prescription delivery services in your area. Freephone 0808 802 0020, text ACTION to 81025 or email

  • Mental health and wellbeing

    I am worried and anxious – can I get help or talk to someone?

    • The CovidWellbeingNI online hub (link opens in new window) is a website that offers a range of information, self-help guides and ways to get help to support your mental health and wellbeing during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • If you need to speak to someone, you can contact the COVID-19 Community Helpline where an adviser will be on hand to offer advice and referral to appropriate support to meet your needs. To contact the helpline freephone 0808 802 0020, text ACTION to 81025 or email
    • You can also visit the AdviceNI website (link opens in new window) for more information about support and services available to you.
    • If you feel you still need help or advice, please contact your GP.

COVID-19 Belfast Community Support

Read aloud icon Read aloud