Those shielding advised to register for priority delivery slots before 17 July

July 7, 2020

People who have been shielding are being advised to register for priority delivery slots with major supermarkets before 17 July.

This follows central Government announcing that after 31 July, their food parcels will no longer be delivered to the most vulnerable, and those shielding will need to either make alternative arrangements or visit the shops to buy groceries. Where people have had their medications delivered by the national support service, this will also stop on 31st July and alternative arrangements will need to be made.

Residents who have been shielding should go to the GOV.UK website and register as a clinically extremely vulnerable person if they have not already done so. This will give access to priority delivery slots with supermarkets after 31 July when the food parcels will stop.

Councillor Ian Gilbert, leader of the council said: “Registering as a clinically extremely vulnerable person will ensure you have access to priority slots from the major supermarkets. I urge anyone who has been receiving central Government food parcels to go online and do this if they have not already done so. You can register for yourself, or on behalf of someone else. It takes a couple of minutes and will ensure you’re set up for August and beyond when the Government’s food deliveries will end. Please check on shielded family, friends and neighbours and make sure they’ve registered.

“We will still be here if anyone urgently needs help, but in the meantime please make sure you have set yourself up to be able to shop online if you can. The Southend Coronavirus Action helpline has taken thousands of calls since the start of lockdown, and the staff and volunteers running this have done a phenomenal job to keep our most vulnerable safe. We now need to make sure those who are shielding have access to delivery slots, so we can continue to keep everyone safe and well. Please point people to" or to 0800 028 8327 if they are unable to access the internet. The action helpline will also carry on being able to support people to register if they need help to do so.

In addition to the central Government support, the council has helped over 1100 households through the helpline. Staff have been redeployed to help those most in need and have worked around the clock to ensure people shielding have been able to receive food and medicines. Even dogs have been walked thanks to the volunteers who have helped out.

Councillor Trevor Harp, cabinet member for health and adult social care, said: “The helpline is still here in Southend, for those who have no family or friends nearby to help or support them. I’d like to pay tribute to those who have made this helpline happen, and the wonderful community we live in, in Southend. We had over 1200 volunteers sign up to help those in need; we’ve had staff spend their weekends phoning people who may need help; scouts have delivered food parcels to top up Government’s scheme; Everyone Health and the NHS Good Sams volunteers have helped us deliver medicines; Southend Association of Voluntary Services (SAVS) and South Essex Community Hubs (SECH) have been instrumental in co-ordinating the volunteers, and our data team have made sure we get to those who need urgent help; local supermarkets and food suppliers delivered bread and groceries to us when we needed to pass it on to our community. Even our historic pier has played a part in efforts in Southend, having been a storehouse for the groceries we were delivering.

“So I’d like to thank the whole community for coming together. We now need to check on everyone we know who’s been shielding, and make sure they have registered with Government for those priority supermarket slots.”

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