Support and guidance for keeping safe and well while staying at home
There are lots of groups in Somerset offering support to people affected by COVID-19. They can help with tasks such as collecting prescriptions and groceries or just contact you by phone every now and then to see how you’re doing. To find support near you, visit corona-helpers.co.uk and click ‘I Need Help’. If you can’t see a group near you on Corona Helpers, look at your local Facebook page, where many groups are promoting themselves.
If you need help to find a group near you, give us a call on 01460 202970, or contact us via our live chat.
You can also find support on your local health and wellbeing directory, but please be aware that under the current circumstances many of the groups listed are likely to have suspended their services, however some may be offering support over the phone.
For health and wellbeing support in Taunton, visit the Taunton Wellbeing Zone at www.tauntonwellbeingzone.org.
Citizens Advice Bureau has a wealth of information available online to help you navigate the challenges of COVID – 19. Check out details on symptoms, going to work, school closures, what to do if you are self-employed, and benefits advice. This information is updated daily. Visit https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/health/coronavirus-what-it-means-for-you/
Looking after your mental health
Staying at home for a prolonged period can be difficult and frustrating, so it’s especially important to remember to take care of your mind and body, and to know where to get support if you need it. Stay in touch with family and friends by phone or social media and see what resources are available online. For example:
The government has produced an online guide about looking after your mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus outbreak. It also provides a link to NHS recommended helplines and courses on a range of topics and situations. Visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-public-on-mental-health-and-wellbeing/guidance-for-the-public-on-the-mental-health-and-wellbeing-aspects-of-coronavirus-covid-19
Mind in Somerset
A charity which supports people with their mental health throughout the county. Their group programmes are currently on hold, but they do have an emotional support telephone helpline available.
Call 01823 276 892. Available Monday to Friday from 9am to 11pm and Saturday to Sunday from 8am to 11pm. Visit https://www.mindinsomerset.org.uk/
Rethink Mental Illness
A charity which provides a support, advice and information service. Their group programmes are currently on hold, but you can visit their website to access other resources and information and you can email too. Visit https://www.rethink.org/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Rethink has also produced a leaflet with tips and advice to help you look after yourselves and each other during the current situation. You can download it here.
An online counselling and emotional well-being platform for children and young people, accessible through mobile, tablet and desktop. It is free, safe and anonymous. You can access support Monday to Friday 12pm to 10pm, and weekends 6pm to 10 pm. Visit www.kooth.com.
The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families
A children’s mental health charity with experience of caring for young people and their families. They have lots of resources available online to help manage the impact the coronavirus situation might have on children and young people’s mental health, including for young people, parents and carers, and schools and colleges. Visit https://www.annafreud.org/what-we-do/anna-freud-learning-network/coronavirus/ or email email@example.com for general enquiries.
The Little Book of Mental Health
A great booklet designed to support your everyday emotional wellbeing. This booklet was not designed with COVID-19 in mind but there are still some excellent tips and tools for managing feelings of anxiety and depression. It is available from Somerset County Council via this link: http://www.healthysomerset.co.uk/resources/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Little_BookV72019FORWEB.pdf
Keeping active while keeping your distance
If you are looking for motivation to keep active while at home, check out these great online exercise routines from the NHS fitness studio. You can choose video workouts to suit your fitness levels, including aerobics, Pilates and strength routines. Visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/nhs-fitness-studio/
Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership has some great ideas too, to keep you moving at home on your own or with your family. Visit www.sasp.co.uk/be-active-at-home and check in regularly for updates.
NHS guidance recommends you make sure the type and intensity of your activity is appropriate for your level of fitness. You can find more information about the physical activity guidelines for your age group here https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/. You can also try chair-based exercises too! Visit https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/sitting-exercises/
You can still go outside to exercise. However the county’s Health Walks and Parkruns are on hold for the time being. We have been asked not to run or cycle together, but there are many benefits to moving outside, getting plenty of fresh air, and being in nature. You can still walk or cycle alone, and walk your dog
Support for victims of domestic abuse
Staying at home during COVID-19 pandemic can cause anxiety for those who are experiencing or feel at risk of domestic abuse. There is help and support available, with information from the government at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-and-domestic-abuse/coronavirus-covid-19-support-for-victims-of-domestic-abuse. Guidance is also available to help perpetrators change their behaviour.
For safety advice for women and young people concerned about domestic abuse during prolonged periods spent at home, visit https://www.womensaid.org.uk/covid-19-coronavirus-safety-advice-for-survivors/
Runs the National Domestic Abuse Helpline for women seeking emotional and practical support. It is open seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Call 0808 200 0247, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact online via https://www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk/Contact-us. Their website also includes information for men who are either being abused or who are abusers.
Respect – Men’s Advice Line
A confidential helpline for all men experiencing domestic violence by a current or ex-partner. They provide emotional support and practical advice and can give you details of specialist services. Visit www.mensadviceline.org.uk Call 0808 801 0327 Mon and Wed 9am to 8pm; Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 91m to 5pm, or email email@example.com.
Advice and resources for young people and youth workers
National Youth Agency
Has specific advice and resources for young people, youth services and youth workers. Visit their website here: https://nya.org.uk/reacting-to-covid-19-advice-to-youth-services/
a youth charity which has information regarding support for young people. The staff team will be available via email and telephone. Telephone 01278 722100 or visit their website here: https://www.youngsomerset.org.uk/news/important-information-covid19
Advice and resources for older people
Age UK Somerset
offers a free and confidential information and advice service for older people, their families and carers. They can be contacted on the phone and by email, see below. For the time being their range of exercise classes and toenail cutting service are on hold. Tel 01823 345613; email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://www.ageuk.org.uk/somerset
We are all vulnerable to scammers but it is more important than ever to help safeguard the elderly and vulnerable and protect them from unscrupulous fraudsters and scammers. Don’t let the minority ruin all the amazing community work going on. Criminals will look for gaps in the market – help close them up by having conversations and remind everyone to STOP, CHALLENGE, CHECK, PROTECT. For more information, visit the local Crimestoppers Facebook page.
Support and advice regarding a specific health condition
It is usual for many charities and community groups to provide face-to-face support and to organise local community get-togethers. However, during this time charities are having to stop these activities in line with government guidance. You can still contact charities via their websites, by email and on the phone. Do get in touch with Somerset groups and charities which you usually have contact with to see how they are adapting their service or support. Remember to check with your healthcare team if you are concerned about your health. In addition, here is a selection of key charities which support people with specific health conditions:
You can call the Somerset Dementia Adviser Service on 01458 251541, or email somersetDAS@alzheimers.org.uk.
The Alzheimer’s Society
Has a national dementia helpline: 03002221122. Email email@example.com
British Heart Foundation
There is current advice available from the BHF about Coronavirus and what it means for you if you have heart or circulatory disease: https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/heart-matters-magazine/news/coronavirus-and-your-health
There is current advice available from Diabetes UK about Coronavirus and what it means for you if you have diabetes: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/about_us/news/coronavirus
British Lung Foundation
There is current advice available from BLF about Coronavirus and what it means for you if you have a lung condition: https://www.blf.org.uk/support-for-you/coronavirus
MacMillan Cancer Support
There is current advice available from MacMillan about Coronavirus and what it means for you if you have cancer: https://www.macmillan.org.uk/cancer-information-and-support/get-help/physical-help/cancer-and-coronavirus
We'll keep this page updated, so please do check back.