What can you do to help?
Cheshire West and Chester Council, Cheshire West Voluntary Action (CWVA) and the voluntary and community sector are all working closely together to provide an opportunity for residents to volunteer in the fight against COVID-19.
As the Member of Parliament for Chester, I am working with local councillors in our city to support this effort.
An online form has been created for residents to pledge their support for local communities, helping to make sure west Cheshire’s most vulnerable residents have access to things like essential food and medical supplies, as well as somebody to keep in touch with during any periods of self isolation.
Once residents have completed the online form, CWVA will signpost them to the charities and community groups in their area so they can do their bit to tackle COVID-19.
If you have started your own group or are already volunteering for something in your community, you could still complete the form to help understand what is happening in different areas, equally if you are a business or other kind of organisation that wants to help then email details through to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What resources are available for people who need help?
There are two main sources of local information for people who are looking for help.
The council have a helpline for those most in need – people who are self-isolating and don’t have anyone to help them can call 0300 123 7031, open Monday to Sunday 8am to 7pm. Through this the council can organise food or medicine deliveries, or some sort of social contact.
Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Trust has a helpline for people in a mental health crisis; staff will support you to access help – 0300 303 3972. The phone line is open 24/7 to people of all ages. More information at: http://www.cwp.nhs.uk/contact/help-in-a-crisis/
Citizens Advice Cheshire West Adviceline remains open during the coronavirus crisis – 03445 766 111, weekdays from 9am to 4pm for any concerns about employment, sick pay or benefit entitlement.
For other information related to the Coronavirus pandemic, please consider using the following links:
NHS: Specific advice about Coronavirus
Lets Talk Business: Cheshire West and Chester Council’s advice page for businesses.
CWaC Coronavirus pages: General information on the Coronavirus locally.
Coping with Coronavirus: Local health advice and information for residents.
Hardship fund: Details of a hardship fund to support vulnerable residents.
Stay safe, stay home: More advice about residents staying safe in their homes
Services and Buildings: Latest information on affected services & buildings.
For the latest Government information: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
to register as a vulnerable person:
or for anyone claiming Universal Credit:
I’m urging Government Ministers to support vital sectors during the Coronavirus crisis. Read my letters below…
What action are you taking, as MP for Chester, to tackle this crisis?
Click here to read about the work I am doing alongside the local council, volunteers and residents to respond to COVID-19.
I am worried about paying my bills whilst I am in self-isolation:
MPs have been asking for clear guidance on support for people who are vulnerable and might struggle with energy bills during isolation. The latest information can be found here.
What is being done to make sure I can still get my medicine?
This is clearly a worrying time and I will be doing what I can to raise issues like this. The latest information available on the governments preparations for supply issues with medicines can be found here.
What is happening with schools?
This is obviously not a clear picture and there has been a lot in the press about it. Schools are closing, but to be absolutely clear on what is happening, have a look at this link here.
My child is on free school meals, what is happening to help them if they no longer go to school?
The local council is working hard on a local solution which will be communicated through the schools, but there is also some information from the government here.
I have a front line job, should I send my child to school?
The government has released a list of key workers whose children can still attend school where necessary. This situation is changing all the time, so here is the latest guidance.
Which jobs are considered essential to the Coronavirus response?
A list of the jobs critical to the front line Coronavirus response can be found here. I pay tribute to the fantastic work of our front line staff, NHS and social care workers are working tirelessly to help deal with this crisis.
I am self-employed and have no work coming in, what should I do?
I imagine this is an extremely worrying time. At the moment this is the latest advice for employees, employers and businesses here.
What is being done to make sure I can get sick pay during isolation?
No-one should be forced to choose between health and hardship at this time. I will be raising this important issue wherever possible with the Government. The latest advice can be found here.
I am ill but my employer wants me to come to work. How do I respond when I don’t have a sick note?
If you are ill, you should take time off work without fear of risking your job. If evidence is required to cover self-isolation or household isolation, you can get an isolation note from NHS 111 online or from the NHS website.
What happens if I cannot pay my rent?
MPs and local councillors have been working to support renters at this difficult time. If you’re ill and struggling to pay your rent, there are measures in place to prevent eviction. The latest information available on this issue can be found here.