Home, But Not Alone

Find support during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, including our emergency phoneline if you need urgent help.

Artwork promoting Home, But Not Alone

If you need urgent help

You can call the Home, But Not Alone phoneline if you live in Suffolk and need urgent help during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

This emergency phoneline is for people who:

  • do not have support available from friends, family or neighbours
  • are struggling for food, medicines or other essential supplies
  • are feeling lonely and isolated

If any of these apply to you, call 0800 876 6926 (available 9am to 5pm, from Monday to Friday). 

You can still use the Home, But Not Alone phoneline if you can't hear or speak on the phone. Download the Relay UK app and dial 18001 then 0800 876 6926.

You can read more about the launch of Home, But Not Alone on 24 March 2020.

If you don't need urgent help

If you need support but it isn't an emergency, you may be able to find help by using the information below. 

If you're a shielded patient, you'll receive a letter from the NHS with details on how to register for a weekly NHS food parcel.

If you have not received a letter from the NHS classing you as a shielded patient but believe you should be, you can register yourself or on behalf of someone else on GOV.UK

If you're not a shielded patient, speak to family, friends or neighbours who may be able to support you. People are permitted to leave their house to provide care, or to help a vulnerable person.

Supermarket deliveries 

Each supermarket operates slightly differently, so visit their website or call them for further information:

Takeaway and delivery services 

You can order takeaway food online with services such as: 

Many local food outlets will also take orders and payment over the phone and deliver to you.

You can contact your local café, restaurant, greengrocer or independent store to find out if they offer delivery.

If you're urgently struggling for food call the Home, But Not Alone emergency phoneline on 0800 876 6926. It's available 9am to 5pm, from Monday to Friday. 

Yes, you can do this if you are able to source your own supplies.

Leave a note where the package is normally dropped off (or speak to the driver) and the company will feed this back on your behalf.
(Please note it can take up to 7 days for a change in circumstances to be registered so you may receive further parcels)

Alternatively follow these steps:

  1. Visit gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable
  2. Click the green Start Now button
  3. Answer the questions accurately, until you reach the question “Do you have a way of getting essential supplies delivered at the moment”
  4. For this question, answer “Yes”

This will tell the system that you do not required a food parcel.

In the first instance, ask family, friends or neighbours if they are able to help you.

If this isn't possible, you should contact your GP regarding delivery of your prescription or medication as many GPs and pharmacies have set up delivery services in conjunction with local community organisations. 

You can find your GP's contact details on the NHS website using your postcode. 

If you're urgently in need of medicine call the Home, But Not Alone emergency phoneline on 0800 876 6926. It's available 9am to 5pm, from Monday to Friday. 

The government is prioritising coronavirus (COVID-19) testing for certain groups of people.

Find out if you are eligible for testing on the government's Coronavirus (COVID-19): getting tested website.

If you’re getting less work or no work because of coronavirus (COVID-19), you can:

You can contact Citizens Advice for concerns around money, benefits, housing, employment, legal, debt, family and consumer problems.

Offices are not currently offering face-to-face appointments. You can find support over the phone and online (hours may vary) on the Suffolk Adviceline: 0300 330 1151.

Ipswich

Mid Suffolk

Felixstowe and District

North East Suffolk

Includes: Lowestoft, Beccles, Halesworth, Bungay, Kessingland

Sudbury and District

West Suffolk

Includes: Bury St Edmunds, Haverhill, Mildenhall, Newmarket, Brandon

Leiston

Includes: Saxmundham, Woodbridge, Framlingham, Aldebrough, Rendlesham, Wickham Market

Diss, Thetford and District

In the first instance, speak directly to your landlord, mortgage company, utility company or service provider to talk through the options available to you.

You can contact Citizens Advice for concerns around money, benefits, housing, employment, legal, debt, family and consumer problems.

Offices are not currently offering face-to-face appointments. You can find support over the phone and online (hours may vary) on the Suffolk Adviceline: 0300 330 1151.

Ipswich

Mid Suffolk

Felixstowe and District

North East Suffolk

Includes: Lowestoft, Beccles, Halesworth, Bungay, Kessingland

Sudbury and District

West Suffolk

Includes: Bury St Edmunds, Haverhill, Mildenhall, Newmarket, Brandon

Leiston

Includes: Saxmundham, Woodbridge, Framlingham, Aldebrough, Rendlesham, Wickham Market

Diss, Thetford and District

If you're struggling to pay your Council Tax, you can ask for help through your borough or district council: 

You can find your local council on GOV.UK using your postcode.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) support is available to businesses from the government, including the following help:

  • Loans, tax relief and cash grants
  • Employers can apply for staff to get up to 80% pay if they can’t work
  • Self-employed people will receive up to £2,500 per month in grants for at least 3 months

You can also find local advice to businesses regarding coronavirus (COVID-19).

These services will need to be provided by private companies, whose services may be affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

You can find companies online using: 

  • our community directory Suffolk InfoLink to search for services such as gardening, cleaning or dog walking
  • Checkatrade to find a local tradesperson such as a plumber, electrician or carpenter 

Home repairs and maintenance by tradespeople are allowed during the current restrictions if:

  • the tradesperson is well and has no symptoms
  • social distancing is followed (remaining two metres apart) 

Work by tradespeople must not be carried out in any household which is isolating or where an individual is being shielded unless it's urgent, for example an emergency plumbing repair. 

No work should be carried out by a tradesperson who has coronavirus symptoms, even if these are mild. 

For more information, read guidance about staying at home published on GOV.UK on 23 March 2020.

If the person you care for has no other friends or family to support them, or they cannot care for themselves in the short-term, use webchat to contact adult social care (Customer First).

Suffolk Family Carers support both Adult Carers and Young Carers.

If the person you care for needs urgent help with food or medication, and there is no other support via family, friends or neighbours, call the Home, But Not Alone emergency phoneline 0800 876 6926, available from 9am to 5pm, from Monday to Friday.

You are not alone in Suffolk.

If you are in crisis, FirstResponse 0808 196 3494 is a phone number available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and provides immediate advice, support and signposting for people with mental health difficulties. Please call if you are experiencing something that makes you feel unsafe, distressed or worried about your mental health.

If you don't have support available from friends, family or neighbours, call the Home, But Not Alone phoneline 0800 8766 926. It's available 9am to 5pm, from Monday to Friday. We can put you in touch with local volunteers and community groups in your area.

If you have to stay at home due to coronavirus (COVID-19), you may be feeling bored, anxious or lonely. Depending on your personal circumstances, there are also other issues to consider from finances to childcare. It’s so important to understand how you are feeling, to look after yourself as well as others. You need to make time for your mental health and wellbeing.

The good news is that there are plenty of easy, free and meaningful things we can do to increase our wellbeing at home. There are lots of resources out there to help you. Find out how to look after yourself, for example ways to keep active, how to manage anxiety or sleep well home.

In the first instance, speak to your GP about this. You can find your GP on the NHS website using your postcode.

If you have not received a letter from the NHS classing you as a shielded patient but believe you should be, you can register yourself or on behalf of someone else on GOV.UK

In accordance with government guidelines about working from home, essential travel and social distancing, councils have adapted the way they offer some services.

For the latest changes, visit the dedicated COVID-19 pages on your local council’s website:

Other useful links and numbers

  • Visit suffolk.gov.uk/coronavirus for local information on health, schools, business and service changes
  • National domestic violence 24-hour helpline: 0808 200 0247
  • Mental health helpline, called First Response, run by the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust: 0808 196 3494
  • For any police matters please visit suffolk.police.uk