Useful Contact Details for the Community during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Horsham District Council and West Sussex County Council

Link to the HDC website.

https://www.horsham.gov.uk/coronavirus

Link to WSCC website:

https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/campaigns/coronavirus-covid-19/#1

Both contain a range of information and resources.

The Parkside offices in Horsham for West Sussex County Council and Horsham District Council are closed to the public.

You can access Council services online.

For urgent enquiries:

Horsham District Council call: 01403 215100.

West Sussex County Council call: 01243 777100 (between 9am – 5pm).

Community Volunteer Hubs

Community Volunteer Hubs have been set up across Horsham District to help vulnerable people who are having to self-isolate due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.

The Hubs are manned by volunteers, giving practical help such as going for shopping and medicines, and providing emotional support, with a friendly phone call for those who are isolated at home.

Horsham Hub

·         Area covered: Roffey (North and South), Holbrook (East and West), Trafalgar, Denne and Forest

·         Hub number: 01403 215230

Support for those identified as Extremely Vulnerable by the NHS

This applies to anyone who has been advised to self-isolate for 12 weeks by the NHS.

1.5 million people across the country have been sent a letter directly advising how to register for support.

·         The Government is organising direct provision of essential food and medical provisions for those that need them.

People who received a letter from the NHS because they are at high risk if they catch coronavirus and don’t have a support network of friends and family around them should visit the Government’s dedicated website:

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable

Or call 0800 0288327, the government’s dedicated helpline.

Support for those who are vulnerable or isolating due to coronavirus

This applies to anyone who has not received an NHS letter but is considered vulnerable or is having to self-isolate without friend or family support. This includes:

·         Older people who are having to self-isolate

·         Lower level medically vulnerable

·         Anyone currently known to Council services (West Sussex County Council or Horsham District Council)

·         Carers and those living with a vulnerable person

This group will continue to receive help through their existing statutory services. If you are vulnerable and have a social worker, please contact your social worker directly.

If you are not receiving support from existing statutory services and need help picking up shopping, medication or would like a friendly phone call either:

·         Register online with Horsham District Council : https://digital.horsham.gov.uk/outreach/coronavirusrequest.ofml

·         Contact your local Community Volunteer Hub (see above)

West Sussex Well Being

https://www.westsussexwellbeing.org.uk/

Information on looking after your general health and wellbeing at this time.

MIND

https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/

This website has information to cope if:

  • You are feeling anxious or worried about coronavirus
  • You are staying at home and avoiding public places, following Government advice that we should stay at home as much as possible
  • You are  self-isolating because you, or someone you live with, has symptoms of coronavirus. Self-isolating means that you stay home and keep away from other people.

It covers:

·         Practical advice for staying at home

·         Taking care of your mental health and wellbeing

·         Support for work, benefits and housing

·         Checklist for staying at home.

Horsham District Age UK

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/horshamdistrict/

As a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic, all existing social and activity groups run by the charity have been put on hold until further notice but they have adapted  services to continue offering emotional and practical help to older people locally during this difficult time.

They are continuing to provide:

  • Information and Advice: Including information on social care, housing and welfare benefits
  • Telephone befriending: A friendly chat if you’re feeling lonely or isolated.
  • Doorstep Deliveries: We can deliver groceries (subject to availability) and essential medication to your doorstep, as well as knitting kits, CDs/DVDs, books and jigsaws to stave off boredom.
  • Welfare and Safety Support. Helping the most vulnerable with tasks such as cleaning, shopping and laundry, as well as offering respite for carers.
  • Wellbeing advice. We can share information on healthy living, nutrition, hydration and exercises that can take place in the home or garden.

If you’d like to access any of the services above, or you’re worried about an older friend or family member please call 01403 260 560 or email info@ageukhorshamdistrict.org.uk

Citizens Advice Horsham

The Horsham face-to-face service is currently closed due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

However, you can still get information and advice as follows.

Self-help information:

 www.citizensadvice.org.uk  or www.advicewestsussex.org.uk/horsham/

Telephone Adviceline: 0344 477 1171 (Monday-Friday, 9am-4.30pm)

For email contact details or Web chat visit website above.

Horsham Self-Isolation Support Group

This is a public group set up on Facebook to offer voluntary help to those who are in isolation.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/HorshamSelfIsolation

Useful Facebook links

 

Covid-19 related Scams

On-the-spot fines

  • Police are warning against fraudsters claiming to be collecting on-the-spot fines for breaches of the government’s coronavirus guidelines. Officers were made aware of a teenage man being approached by three men in Brighton who claimed to be undercover police officers and issuing him with an on-the-spot fine for being out during the coronavirus lockdown. The men also had a device which took the payment on-the-spot. Sussex Police will not ask you to hand over money or make a card payment when they issue an on-the-spot fine, and officers will always be able to provide ID.

Doorstep crime

  • Criminals are targeting older people on their doorstep and offering to do their shopping. Thieves take the money and do not return. None of the community hub volunteers in the district will knock on your door unless you have asked for help and they will have ID.
  • Doorstep cleansing services are offering to clean drives and doorways to kill bacteria and help prevent the spread of the virus.

Online scams

  • Email scams try to trick people into opening malicious attachments, which put people at risk of identity theft with personal information, passwords, contacts and bank details at risk. Some of these emails have lured people to click on attachments by offering information about people in the local area who are affected by coronavirus.
  • Fake online resources, such as false Coronavirus maps, in fact deliver malware such as AZORult Trojan, an information stealing program which can infiltrate a variety of sensitive data. A prominent example that has deployed malware is ‘corona-virus-map[dot]com’.

Refund scams

  • People seeking holiday refunds should be wary of fake websites set up to falsely offer holiday refunds. Instead they collect your personal data.

Counterfeit goods

  • Fake sanitisers, face masks and Covid-19 swabbing kits are being sold online and door-to-door. These products can often be dangerous and unsafe. There are reports of some potentially harmful hand sanitiser containing glutaral (or glutaraldehyde), which was banned for human use in 2014. Please note that sanitisers bought from a reputable source are safe to use.

Telephone scams

  • As people continue to self-isolate at home there is an increasing risk that telephone scams will also rise, including criminals claiming to be your bank, mortgage lender or utility company. If in doubt, end the call and call them back on a number from a recent bill.

Donation scams

  • There have been reports of thieves extorting money from consumers by claiming they are collecting donations for a COVID-19 ‘vaccine’.

To report fraud online, visit the Action Fraud website:

https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ or call 0300 123 2040.

More information about scams can be found here:

https://www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk/article/505/beware_of_covid_19_scams

You can check if something is a scam here:

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/scams/check-if-something-might-be-a-scam/

Regular scam updates can be found here:

https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/sign-up-for-action-fraud-alert.