We're in this together

Looking out for our neighbours

It's now more important than ever that we reach out to the people around us. So many of you have kindly offered to help those who live close to you by picking up medication and shopping, or even having a friendly chat on the phone. It's people like you who are making such a huge difference to those who are lonely or vulnerable.

We have created this scheme to help provide you with some guidance and materials and to let you know what we are doing to help those who are most vulnerable.

The Government has written to all of those who are at severe risk of coronavirus and have told them to self-isolate for 12 weeks. They are assisting these people directly with food packages and assistance if they do not have family or friends to help them.

We are also working in partnership with West Sussex County Council, to support those most at risk through their community hub. You can contact the Community Hub if you, or someone you know, need help, or if you want to volunteer your services in these difficult times. This will be available seven days a week and staff will be on hand to respond to enquiries from 8am-8pm. The best way to contact the hub is online, if you have access. A dedicated telephone helpline is also available for residents who are unable to go online: 033 022 27980. We are trying to keep the resources available through the hub for those who are most vulnerable, so if you do have support in place already, such as from family or friends, then please continue to use their support.

Finally, we have been overwhelmed by the generosity of our residents and businesses who have also wanted to help their friends and neighbours. To help you, we have produced some key guidance and some downloadable materials to help you on your way.

Community pack and flyers

Here are some helpful downloadable materials, including a Community Pack, which includes advice on how to stay safe while volunteering.

You can also download and print our of 'looking out for your neighbour' flyer, which can be posted through the doors of your neighbours to offer support and give them advice on safe ways to accept help.

We have also created a new Supporting our Communities flyer, which includes vital contact numbers, email addresses and web addresses to help you and others access a variety of support easily and quickly. You can view this here and print it out for yourself or for anyone you think would benefit from it.


Can I offer to support my local neighbours?

Absolutely! We have produced a downloadable flyer that you can fill in and post through your neighbours door. This will advise them who you are, how you can be contacted and makes it clear that you will not enter their home or take their bank or personal details.

Am I allowed to leave my house to do this?

We are all allowed to leave our homes to exercise once a day and so we are suggesting that any drop offs and shopping trips are carried out as part of your daily exercise routine.

What if my neighbour(s) don't need me to help them with shopping?

You could always offer to call them for a regular chat to make sure that they are okay. Those who live by themselves may feel lonely and isolated and would probably appreciate a friendly voice to talk to.

Who should I offer my help to?

Unless you are part of a charity or larger voluntary organisation, we would advise you to only approach neighbours that live close to you. It is important that people know who you are or know that you are part of an organised group - such as a parish council or voluntary group.

What should I do if I believe I have symptoms of coronavirus?

You must not assist your neighbours and must immediately self-isolate.

How far away should I stand from my neighbour?

We would advise you to leave any shopping on their doorstep, knock on the door and then move back over two metres.

I would like to offer my services to an organised voluntary organisation?

You can do this in a number of ways. You can register with the community hub , you can contact Voluntary Action Arun and Chichester (VAAC) , or you can speak to your local parish council.


Post office scheme for vulnerable people

The Post Office is making two of its products — 'Payout Now' and 'Fast PACE' (a pre-authorised cheque encashment service) — available to all UK banks, building societies and credit unions so that they can be offered to any customers who are most in need of access to cash simply and speedily during this national emergency.

The improved services mean that self-isolating or vulnerable citizens affected by the coronavirus pandemic can now contact their financial institution to see if they choose to offer these products and arrange to withdraw cash quickly from their normal accounts through any local Post Office branch, with the help of a trusted friend, family member, carer or local support worker.

'Payout Now' is the Post Office's one time voucher service that is available to all banks, building societies and credit unions to enable them to send a barcode voucher to their customers via text, email or in the post, and which can be exchanged for cash in any Post Office branch. To find out more, please visit http://corporate.postoffice.co.uk/our-media-centre#/pressreleases/post-office-makes-access-to-cash-products-available-faster-to-help-self-isolating-individuals-during-coronavirus-pandemic-2990603

Advice on collecting prescriptions for other people

HealthWatch have created a useful poster with key information for people who are picking-up medicines from a pharmacy on behalf of someone else. You can find this here: https://communitypharmacyss.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/127/2020/04/Collecting-a-prescription-for-someone-else-poster-Apr-20-1.pdf