COVID-19: Routes updates during Coronavirus

The latest Information and what you can do (Last updated 20th March 2020)

coronavirus

COVID-19: Routes updates during Coronavirus

The latest Information and what you can do (Last updated 21st March 2020)

We hope you and your families are keeping well and safe. We know that the current COVID-19 outbreak will be causing you concern. As we all adapt to a new way of being, it is important to find ways of keeping us all connected.

Here we will provide you with the latest information and updates over the coming weeks.

Key changes during COVID-19

Existing participants

Due to the current government guidelines we are unable to hold face to face appointments. Our adviser will continue to work with you and offer support either by phone appointments or online. They will be in touch with you shortly to make the appropriate arrangements.

New participants

We currently have a waiting list. But if you are interested in finding out more about Routes or joining the programme, please read About Routes, check your eligibility and browse our Resources pages. If you think you would like to join our waiting list, please contact us for a chat.

Our priorities during COVID-19

We have had to change the way in which we deliver the Routes service. In the coming weeks and months, we will prioritise the following:

  1. Support participants by telephone or online only, as required by participants
  2. Engage primarily with existing participants to maintain engagement where possible
  3. Create accessible resources for advisers and participants to be able to work remotely
  4. Communicate with participants and stakeholders through the Routes website

If you are a current Routes participant

  1. Keep in touch with your adviser to receive continuing support with your plans and to adjust them as appropriate as circumstances change.
  2. Access our Helpful Resources page to continue with activities from home or ask your adviser for help in identifying the most suitable resources for you.
  3. Regularly check in to the updates on this page, and refer anyone you know who needs help to the Routes website and this update.

Important information during the Coronavirus outbreak

We hope this section will provide some support for you during the next few months.  As things are changing very rapidly, we will update this information regularly based on what we know and what you tell us you need to know about.  Please share any useful information with us by  getting in touch with us at any time.

The latest and important government guidelines can be found here:

Brighton and Hove:

West Sussex:

Adur and Worthing: 

If you're making a new claim

Don’t delay making a benefit claim, even if you think you may be affected by coronavirus. You can apply for Universal Credit online. If you are eligible you will need to make an appointment for your new claim interview. This interview will take place by telephone with a work coach. You will be given the number to call to book this appointment when you have submitted your claim.

Universal Credit users are experiencing extended waiting times for GOV.UK Verify and the DWP are working to improve the situation as quickly as possible.

If you need to claim Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) because of coronavirus, you will not be required to produce a Fit Note.

If you are affected by coronavirus you will be able to apply for Universal Credit and can receive up to a month’s advance upfront without physically attending a jobcentre.

Universal Credit

Please check this page, Coronavirus and claiming benefits regularly for updates on the arrangements the Department for Work and Pensions is making to support those who are affected by coronavirus.  Jobcentres are required to adhere to national procedures so currently there are no local practices.
It has information under the following headings;

  • If you’re in work and not claiming benefits
  • If you’re already claiming benefits
  • If you’re making a new claim
  • If you’re an employer

Other useful services

  • Money Advice Service has set up some web pages to advise people
  • Moneyworks – for financial advice call 08009887037 or 01273 809288. This is a partnership of local charities which supports residents with financial issues and is free to use
  • Turn2Us – is a good website to sources of financial support and advice
  • Transition Town Worthing are offering free impartial advice on reducing your consumption while staying warm. Contact Sam at sam.cel@outlook.com or phone 07792198665

The  latest information on jobs locally can be found in our News & Events page and some  Helpful Resources  to help you in your preparation for work.

Brighton & Hove

In West Sussex

A lot of local charities and community groups are working hard and would welcome more volunteers, and there are a lot of local schemes developing both on and offline.

The best place to look for volunteering opportunities is the Volunteer Centre but do bear in mind that many charities are working hard to restructure their services and are still in the process of working out how volunteers can get involved. We’re likely in this for weeks or even months so do keep checking back if you don’t find an opportunity.

The following organisations are currently looking for volunteers specifically to help with Covid-19 response:

National:

Regional:

West Sussex

Adur and Worthing:

Brighton and Hove

Volunteering to support Food Distribution 

  • Brighton Food Partnership are coordinating activity to ensure no-one goes hungry. 
  • You can volunteer to help distribute food here 
  • Food Partnership – COVID-19: What you can do to help
  • FareShare Sussex based in Moulsecoomb are calling on healthy and willing citizens to give up a few hours a week to help in their warehouse or go out making deliveries. They are also asking for donations to support their work. 
  • The Bevy are running Bevy Bites, a Meals on wheels type initiative to deliver food to isolated people. Some days they need volunteer drivers to deliver hot meals around Moulsecoomb & Bevendean at lunchtimes. Please call the Bevy if you can on 01273 281 009. They are also asking for donations to support the service here

Mutual Aid Groups

You can also consider volunteering informally in your community. If you know vulnerable people and can contact them safely (e.g. phone call, whatsapp,) just let them know that you are available and can assist with shopping etc. There are a lot of local Facebook or other neighbourhood-based forums, it may be worth checking in with yours to see if they are coordinating anything at a very local level. You can find your local Mutual Aid group here but these are not formal organisations so have a look at this great video on how to volunteer safely from Support Cambridgeshire

If you are still looking for something, email Community Works: volunteercentre@bhcommunityworks.org.uk

Food Distribution 

  • Brighton Food Partnership are coordinating activity to ensure no-one goes hungry. They have information on food banks, free school meals for eligible families, low cost and free meal services offering delivery and takeaway options.
  • You can volunteer to help distribute food here FareShare Sussex based in Moulsecoomb are calling on healthy and willing citizens to give up a few hours a week to help in their warehouse or go out making deliveries. 
  • Brighton Food Partnership are coordinating activity to ensure no-one goes hungry. 
  • The Bevy are running Bevy Bites, a Meals on wheels type initiative to deliver food to isolated people. Some days they need volunteer drivers to deliver hot meals around Moulsecoomb & Bevendean at lunchtimes. Please call the Bevy if you can on 01273 281009.

Please see our Health and Wellbeing Page for sources of information (to be published soon).

Exercise indoors

For mental health

Education

  • Learn my Way – free courses on using a computer, browsing the web, sending an email and finding work online as well as more detailed courses office programs, internet skills, online safety, finding a job online, managing your money online.
  • Open Learn to explore subjects, study free courses, boost your employability, earn a digital badge or Statement of Learning to share with employers, friends and family
  • Education Development Trust to expand your skills and knowledge
  • Alison.com – professional online courses
  • 10 fun and free courses to start and finish in a week – how many of these could you finish in a week?

Fun things

For children

Brighton & Hove Faith in Action will be hosting and facilitating a one hour meeting every Thursday at 10am during the crisis. This will be held via Zoom and they welcome participation of leaders across the communities of faith in the city.

How to contact us

As always, please get in touch with us at any time but please me mindful that it may take a little longer than usual to respond to you.