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Community support and assistance

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We’re here to help  

We are working with colleagues across all public services, including NHS Fife, Fife Health and Social Care Partnership and the independent, 3rd and voluntary sectors in Fife. Nationally we are all supporting the Scottish Government’s – Test and Protect programme. There you can find out what Test and Protect means and get lots of advice on how to self isolate.

But what’s Fife Council’s role in this? Basically, we are here to help you.

We understand that being asked to self-isolate at short notice can present you with a lot of problems. For most of us, we may be lucky enough to have family, friends or good neighbours nearby who can help with things like getting groceries, picking up prescriptions or even walking the dog.

There are many reasons some people need just a bit more of a helping hand, and we want you to know that in these uncertain times it’s perfectly ok to reach out for that support. We want to make sure that everyone who needs it has access to essential support and help with general wellbeing at this difficult time.

What help is available?

Covid19 is affecting a lot of people physically, mentally and financially.

Whether you are self-isolating through the Test and Protect system, or maybe just struggling in general due to the situation, we can help you.

We can help if you are:

  • Needing help with food/shopping
  • Struggling to pay your gas/electricity bills
  • Unable to collect medication
  • Having difficulty paying for a funeral
  • Needing Welfare support (help with applying for Universal Credit or other benefits, managing deductions from benefits, support in applying for a Scottish Welfare Fund crisis grant or other financial help)
  • Having other financial difficulties (paying council tax, rent, household bills)
  • Feeling socially isolated
  • Unable to get out and need your dog walked
  • Having issues with digital connectivity
  • having difficulty isolating due to the Test & Protect programme

Who can ask for help?

Anyone really. If you don’t have any other support nearby from friends, family or neighbours we can help you or at least point you to the right place to get help.

The list includes but isn’t restricted to:

  • Anyone who has been identified by NHS as being high risk of severe illness
  • Anyone self-isolating who has no support from family or in the community
  • Anyone over 70
  • Anyone who has a disability
  • Pregnant women
  • Anyone who requires the support of Mental Health Services
  • Anyone who receives a flu jab for health reasons
  • Anyone who is vulnerable, i.e. homeless, asylum seekers or refugees, women and children experiencing domestic abuse
  • Anyone who needs advice on financial, wellbeing matters, any other support or who want to volunteer.

How to get in touch

You can apply for Coronavirus Community Assistance online yourself or on behalf of someone else. We will try to process your request within 24 hours or next working day.

We understand that not everyone can get online. If you, or someone you know, is struggling, call the free Fife Covid Community Helpline, open Monday to Friday, 9 to 5pm. The helpline will remain open even now shielding has paused.

Covid Community Helpline - 0800 952 0330

Information for customers who were shielding

Now that the current infection rate for coronavirus in Scotland is low enough, the Scottish Government has changed its advice for those shielding.

The advice for people who have been shielding is that they currently no longer need to do so. This means that in general, people who have been shielding can now follow the same advice as everyone else in Scotland.

Who this advice applies to

This advice applies to most people who have been asked to shield. That includes any children and young people who are still on the shielding list.

Depending on your individual circumstances, some of this advice may not be suitable for you. Clinicians sometimes advise individuals to avoid doing certain things. This will be because of your specific health condition or treatments. Examples include people who:

  • are waiting on an solid organ transplant
  • are having treatment for cancer or have recently completed treatment

This does not mean you are being advised to shield again because of an increase of coronavirus. You should contact your specialist care team to discuss if this advice is right for you. You should continue to follow any specific advice that your clinician provides.

People living in a residential care or nursing home

The advice for the general population does not apply to anyone living in a residential care or nursing home. Your care home should be following The Scottish Government’s Care Home Visiting pathway.

Making choices about what it is safe to do

The Scottish Government has information to enable you to make informed choices about balancing risk with your health and daily activities including:

SMS Shielding Service

Updates will continue to be sent through the SMS Shielding Service.

You will have received information about this service in the letter sent to you by the Chief Medical Officer telling you that you’re considered to be in the shielding group.

Even though shielding is now paused the SMS service will be available for as long as it is needed, as will the helpline. If these services are no longer needed, you'll be given plenty of notice that they are ending.

To sign up, text the service your 10 digit CHI number. You can find the mobile number and your CHI number on the letter you have received. Do not include any other information. The Service will then check your CHI number against the records to confirm you are on the shielding list.

The SMS Shielding Service only accepts text messages. It does not take voice calls. It cannot respond to questions. It can only respond to your texts with pre-programmed replies.

If you need to speak to a person, please call the helpline.

Will shielding start again if the number of infections increase?

If the Scottish Government sees an increase in infection rates that gives it concern, it may ask you to take extra steps again to stay safe. If so, you'll be advised by letter and through the SMS Shielding Service.

Coping with lockdown restrictions easing

As lockdown restrictions begin to ease, you might be looking forward to having a little bit of normality and routine back in your life. But you might also be feeling anxious about adjusting to life post-lockdown. Perhaps you’re worried about your health, protecting your loved ones or unsure how to follow social distancing and hygiene guidelines correctly. Or maybe you’re anxious about returning to work or school, taking public transport or being in social situations again. Maybe you're worried about a local outbreak? Feeling like this is completely normal and you're not alone. Help is available from a number of organisations including:

NHS Inform

Breathing Space

The Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH)

Samaritans Scotland

Our Minds Matter

Young Scot's Aye Feel website specifically for children and young people to find out how to support and look after their emotional wellbeing and mental health

Do you want to help out?

Related documents

NHS ScotGov coronavirus public info poster

BSL signed information video