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Support available for residents during national lockdown

Support is available for residents across the borough who need help with access to food, medicine and support services during the national lockdown.

On 4 January, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that England would enter a new national lockdown to prevent the spread of the new COVID-19 variant and protect NHS services.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council is working with Basingstoke Voluntary Action and Hampshire County Council to provide assistance to residents in need of support with the help of local community organisations.

Residents with an increased risk of illness (clinically extremely vulnerable) are being asked to begin shielding and advised to stay at home at all times, unless for exercise or medical appointments.

Those who are advised to shield are encouraged to use priority slots provided by supermarkets for shopping, prescription delivery services and support from family and friends.

However, residents who do not have this support are being encouraged to register for help at www.gov.uk/coronavirus-shielding-support or by calling the Hampshire Coronavirus Support and Helpline on 0333 370 4000. The helpline is open Monday to Thursday from 9am to 5pm, 9am to 4.30pm on Fridays and between 10am and 3pm at weekends.

Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Communities, Culture and Partnerships Cllr Simon Bound: “With infection rates rising nationally and with the country entering into a new national lockdown, we know the next few months will be a difficult and worrying time for residents who want to protect themselves from COVID-19.

“Although we want residents to follow government guidance and stay at home, please remember you are not alone and help is available. Whether you need support with essential supplies or someone to speak to, the Hampshire Coronavirus Support and Helpline is ready to help you so please get in touch.

“And for residents who may be struggling in other ways with issues such as debt, mental health, loneliness and domestic abuse, support is available for you, locally and nationally.

“It is more important than ever that we stay connected in different ways and I would encourage residents across the borough to keep in touch with their loved ones. By keeping apart now, we will ensure we can come back together with our loved ones in brighter times.”

Chief Executive at Basingstoke Voluntary Action Tony Capon said: “This continues to be an unprecedented time for the voluntary sector and the need to come together as a community has never been greater.

“I would like to thank all of the volunteers and community organisations that continue to pull together to provide much-needed assistance to those most in need across the borough.”

For more information about the support available for vulnerable residents and other support services available for issues such as debt, loneliness and domestic abuse, visit www.basingstoke.gov.uk/covid-19-community-hub