Summary of sources of support and information

This is a summary of sources of support and information for people self isolating. 
COVID-19 Community Helpline
A freephone helpline has been established to help those most at risk to access information and support in relation to COVID-19. It is open 7 days a week from 9am to 5pm. The freephone number is 0808 802 0020.You can also get in touch by email and text message:
email: covid19@adviceni.net 
text: ACTION to 81025
Telephone lines are very busy and you may find it difficult to get through, so please do use the email and text contacts as well, if you can.
Community Support from Councils
Each of our 11 councils are playing a key role in supporting their communities, including assisting with the distribution of food boxes to people having problems accessing basic supplies.
The NI Direct website has contact details for all 11 councils including their websites which will have details of community support available. This is the link to NI Direct https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/contacts/local-councils-in-northern-ireland.
Support from the wider community
Many community organisations are involved in providing support and services for people who are self-isolating. Many businesses are also still providing delivery services.
NICVA is gathering information about what support is being provided to people living across Northern Ireland through the Community NI website. This information is available via the following link https://www.communityni.org. 
The Consumer Council is providing advice and information about a range of issues relating to COVID-19. This is available via the following link https://www.consumercouncil.org.uk/index.php/coronavirus.
Rural Community Transport Partnerships and the Disability Action Transport Service (DATS) are providing a free pick up and delivery service for food and medication. You do not have to be a member of these schemes to use this service. The NI Direct website has the contact details for all the Rural Community Transport Partnership using the following link https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/contacts/rural-community-transport-partnerships.
Information about the DATS service is available from the following link https://www.disabilityaction.org/news/dats-providing-new-collection-delivery-and-transport-services.
Online Supermarket deliveries
Many people, including people who have relied on home supermarket deliveries for many years, are now struggling to get online slots for deliveries. Feedback from our members and other disabled people and older people is that Sainsbury's are the best bet in terms of delivery slots for people most at risk. The feedback also indicates that to get these slots you have to phone Sainsbury's, be persistent and expect to be on hold for very lengthy periods.
I am aware that there are negotiations ongoing between the Government in Northern Ireland and the main supermarkets to make it easier for people at most risk to secure online delivery slots.
GP Letters
People most at risk should have received a letter from their GP with advice about what to do. I am aware from feedback from our members and other disabled people that not everyone has received a letter, despite having to self isolate. Naturally people are concerned this will make it more difficult for them to access support.
 
Thanks to Imtac for this information.