Volunteers to help the elderly and vulnerable in our communities
You are likely to be getting questions from people or groups in your area wanting to help support elderly and vulnerable people in their communities, for example by delivering shopping or picking up a prescription.
We explained in a previous Coronavirus Councillor Briefing how the borough council is partnering with Basingstoke Voluntary Action to co-ordinate volunteering support for vulnerable residents needing food and medicines during the COVID-19 outbreak. This partnership is the main co-ordination and support point for community groups and volunteers.
So if local groups and residents come to you wanting to volunteer, or having already set up a Covid-19 volunteering group, you should get them to contact BVA so volunteers can be matched to those in need of additional support. They can do this by visiting www.bvaction.org.uk/coronavirus-volunteering, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01256 423852.
If people in your ward are self-isolating as they are in a vulnerable group and need support to get supplies, or you have a call from someone worried about a neighbour or relative in this position, they can contact the council by calling 01256 844844 or email email@example.com. They will then be signposted to volunteer groups in their area who can help, supported by BVA.
Alongside this, the council is working with Hampshire County Council and the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Resilience Forum to provide food, medical and other essential supplies for extremely vulnerable residents with medical conditions that put them at risk, who have been contacted directly by letter from the NHS to stay at home. These residents have been given a specific contact website and telephone number to let know if they need support, or whether they have family or friends already delivering packages to them.
When those in need are identified, the council will be supporting work to get the supplies to them. As part of this, the council is working with a number of community centres across the borough to set up facilities to be used as distribution hubs. Volunteers will also be coordinated in partnership with BVA.
This is a fast moving situation. We will be updating you more shortly as we respond to the information received from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government late on Tuesday 24 March and cascaded through the Local Resilience Forum today.
Council tax support available during COVID-19 outbreak
Support measures are being put in place by the council for residents who may struggle to pay their council tax as a result of the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Working age residents who receive support though the Council Tax Reduction Scheme will receive a further reduction of up to £150 on their council tax bills. This discount will be automatically applied to eligible residents’ accounts.
To help residents pay for their council tax during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we’ve implemented the following changes:
- All customers paying by instalment will be automatically moved to paying by 10 month instalments starting from June.
- All customers paying by instalment (all now over 10 months) will have their ‘no payment’ months in April and May 2020 – this is instead of February and March 2021.
These changes will be automatically applied – residents do not need to do anything further.
If residents wish to set up a different payment plan, including reverting to paying over 12 months (rather than the 10 months from June 2020), they will need to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Council ensures safe and secure places for rough sleepers
Following the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), the council has continued its focus to provide vital assistance to rough sleepers and those at risk of rough sleeping.
For the borough’s most vulnerable people, those known to be rough sleeping in the community, the council has ensured safe and secure places are offered or available alongside the continued support of the outreach team and other services and charities within the Basingstoke and Deane Social Inclusion Partnership.
The Social Inclusion Partnership brings together public services, commissioned housing providers, voluntary and faith-based groups and many more with a shared aim to combat homelessness and rough sleeping in the borough. Working together with partner organisations including May Place, the Camrose Centre, Julian House outreach, medical services and citizens advice, the council is ensuring support continues for those most in need during these challenging times.
People who are concerned that a person may be rough sleeping are asked to contact Streetlink by calling 0300 500 0914 or visiting www.streetlink.org.uk
Follow the latest updates
Residents and businesses can get the latest news and updates on the impact of Covid-19 on the borough council and its services via the webpage www.basingstoke.gov.uk/coronavirus, through Facebook and Twitter @BasingstokeGov or by signing up for regular e-newsletters atwww.basingstoke.gov.uk/signup
We would appreciate it if you could share these sources of information from the council in your areas.