Look out for your neighbours

We went out of our way to look out for our friends, family and neighbours while we were all in lockdown. It’s just as important to continue looking out for others now.

If you haven’t seen your neighbours in a while, or you know that they live alone, please find a way to say hello.

You might be able to easily help them with something that they’ve been struggling with or even knowing someone cares can mean a lot.

Between March and July around 11,000 residents were identified as needing to ‘shield’. This means they were told by the government to stay inside to lower their risk of catching Covid-19. Many others choose to stay at home – either because they did not feel safe going out, or because they couldn’t.

Most of us are now out and about, heading to work, going to the shops or eating in a restaurant. Some people are still not leaving the house and may be feeling anxious about doing so. Long term isolation can be bad for physical and mental wellbeing.

Without someone to talk to, seemingly simple questions can become overwhelming and a barrier to going out. Can I use cash? Are the buses running? Do I have to queue in the supermarket? How do I put on a mask, or where can I get them from? Can I see my GP? Is everywhere in the city busy or are there quieter place? Answering their simple questions can reduce weeks, or even months of concerns.

Some people need support with simple tasks, like shopping or colleting medicines. Others might want help to get online to order something to make their life easier.

Sparing five minutes of your time could make the world of difference to your neighbours.

In some cases, there may be a hidden struggle with more serious problems that need medical or specialist support. Talking to people and encouraging them to get help can be life-saving.

Councillor Steph Powell, Joint Chair of the Tourism, Equalities, Communities & Culture Committee

 

What you can do to help

If you, or someone you know needs extra support and doesn’t have anyone who can help at the moment, you can contact our community advice and support hub.

The hub provides information about local support for food and shopping, getting online, debt advice, wellbeing, loneliness, mental health, domestic violence, care and more.

Find out more, search for the support that you need or request help at: www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/coronavirus-help

If you can’t get online you can also call.

  • For emergency help with food, energy bills and other essentials, please call 01273 293 117 and select option 1. You will be directed to the Local Discretionary Social Fund.
  • If you are over 18, require food or shopping related support and can afford to pay for this, please call 01273 293 117 and select option 2. You will be redirected to Food Support at Impact Initiatives. 
  • If you need help to stay safe and well, or if you need care and support, please call Access Point on 01273 295555.
  • For mental health support please call the Sussex Mental Healthline on 0300 5000 101. It provides 24/7 support from registered clinicians.
  • For advice and support about alcohol or drug misuse, contact The Brighton & Hove Recovery Service on 01273 731 900.
  • If you need non-urgent medical help please call your GP or contact NHS111 for advice.
  • In an emergency please call 999.

 

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