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Home, But Not Alone support relaunched in Suffolk for second Covid-19 lockdown

PUBLISHED: 17:58 03 November 2020 | UPDATED: 17:58 03 November 2020

The Home, But Not Alone scheme has been relaunched in Suffolk to help people in need during the second Covid-19 lockdown, with things such as essential shopping.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The Home, But Not Alone scheme has been relaunched in Suffolk to help people in need during the second Covid-19 lockdown, with things such as essential shopping. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

A free phoneline set up during the first Covid-19 lockdown to help people in need has been relaunched in time for the second national lockdown starting on Thursday.

Chrissie Geeson from Suffolk Resilience Forum said Home, But Not Alone had been vital for people during the first Covid-19 lockdown. Picture: SCCChrissie Geeson from Suffolk Resilience Forum said Home, But Not Alone had been vital for people during the first Covid-19 lockdown. Picture: SCC

Suffolk Resilience Forum set up Home, But Not Alone in March as a point of contact for people struggling during lockdown to seek support.

That helpline was paused in August when the number of calls dropped dramatically, but is now back in service again ahead of Thursday’s lockdown in anticipation for more people seeking help.

MORE: Home, But Not Alone helpline launched in Suffolk for lockdown

The number will remain the same as before – 0800 876 6926.

Chrissie Geeson, head of localities and partnerships at Suffolk County Council and chairwoman of the Collaborative Communities Covid-19 Board, said: “The phoneline was absolutely vital during the first lockdown and it is only right that the same support is on offer as we head into the next wave of lockdown.

“The phoneline helped thousands of people and families, who often didn’t have a network of family or friends to call upon, access emergency support such as food and medicine deliveries and befriending schemes.

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“Its success was down to the amazing local networks that sprung up across towns and villages in Suffolk and looked after those most in need.”

The phoneline will be staffed from 9am-5pm Monday to Friday, and aims to compliment the Suffolk Advice and Support Service phoneline, which is managed by Suffolk’s Citizens Advice Bureaux specifically for debt, professional and financial advice.

The Home, But Not Alone helpline is designed to help people in need connect with volunteers who can help and find solutions to lockdown problems.

During its first stint it took more than 6,000 calls in around six weeks.

MORE: Home, But Not Alone takes 6,000 calls in first six weeks

Among the help it provided were food and medicine deliveries for those who could not leave their home, provided essential household goods and connected older people who live on their own with social networks.

Its successes included emergency food packages to a family of five with nothing but soup in the cupboard, and free taxi journeys for a retired man who needed three trips per week to his GP which left him with no money for food after taxi fares.

Those needing support should contact 0800 876 6926 or visit the county council webpage here for more information on support available.


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