Help is out there – how you can receive support through coronavirus lockdown

Charitable organisations throughout Suffolk are again there to lend a hand as the county enters coronavirus lockdown for a second time.

Having already proven itself to be the “caring county” in the spring, organisations are now calling on #TeamSuffolk to unite in support the most vulnerable for the next four weeks.

Community Action Suffolk chief executive Chris Abraham said the county is ready to again come together and show its strengths, with the organisation having formed a database of 350 groups prepared to help through volunteering – in addition to pubs and restaurants ready to throw their hat in to help.

Ms Abraham said: “The county’s first experience of lockdown clearly showed us how incredibly committed our residents and organisations were, to supporting the health and wellbeing of one another.

“We enter into Lockdown 2 confident that these organisations and individuals will again work collaboratively to provide much needed support in the region, and I would repeat the call for people to come forward if they think that they can volunteer their time and energy to helping keep these much needed projects running at a time of heightened pressure during the winter months.”

Among the support schemes coming back is the “Home, But Not Alone” telephone service, which acts as a signposting service for those struggling through lockdown.

In its first six weeks of operation in the earlier lockdown, the service took more than 6,000 calls and directed people to volunteer support schemes supplying food and medicine deliveries, among others.

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The annual Surviving Winter Appeal, supported by this newspaper, has been combined with the Rebuilding Local Lives appeal, which looks to bring much-needed money into the Suffolk Coronavirus Community Fund.

The appeal, which helps raise money to pay for vulnerable people’s heating bills over winter, is now more important than ever, organisers say – with people who are unable to heat their homes left with no alternative warm place to go.

Tim Holder, director of public affairs at the Suffolk Community Foundation, said those who need support “must” get in touch.

He said: “The voluntary sector has done an absolutely astounding job in partnership with the public sector and neighbourhood schemes.

“By their very nature, charities and volunteers need funding for what they do – volunteers will be out their doing what they do passionately, but you can help play your part in #TeamSuffolk by donating to the appeal.

“We’re really trying to encourage those who helped in the first lockdown to keep going or reinstate their support.”

The Surviving Winter hotline can be called on 01473 219770 and more information on how to donate to the appeals can be found at The Home, But Not Alone service can be reached on 0800 876 9626.

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