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
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.
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:
- Support participants by telephone or online only, as required by participants
- Engage primarily with existing participants to maintain engagement where possible
- Create accessible resources for advisers and participants to be able to work remotely
- Communicate with participants and stakeholders through the Routes website
If you are a current Routes participant
- Keep in touch with your adviser to receive continuing support with your plans and to adjust them as appropriate as circumstances change.
- 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.
- 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:
- NHS Overview
- Guidance on Social Distancing
- Easy Read Guidelines
- Getting coronovirus support as a clinically extremely vulnerable person - you can register to advise whether you need support if you haven’t heard from the NHS or your GP yet.
Brighton and Hove:
- Brighton and Hove City Council guidance
- Trust for Developing Communities - for information on local support groups, online resources and local food banks
- West Sussex County Council guidance
- West Sussex Community Hub - providing food parcels and support for those who are isolated, vulnerable, 03302 227980.
Adur and Worthing:
- Adur and Worthing Councils guidance
- Coronavirus Community Support - to apply for support from community neighbourhood teams such as help with food, financial guidance, someone to talk to, mental health support
- Adur & Worthing Council - Health, looking after yourself
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.
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 email@example.com or phone 07792198665
Brighton & Hove
- Brighton Community Centre & Families Project (Facebook) is running an emergency food parcel delivery service Tues-Friday (deliveries on Tues, Thurs, & Fri) for households on low income. They are also offering welfare rights advice over the phone on 01273 671213.
- The Brighton Food Partnership – useful information on where and how to access food in Brighton and benefits support to help
- Ageing Well Coronavirus Support – a directory of support services for older people in Brighton and Hove facing difficulties
- Coronavirus and emergency food in Brighton & Hove
In West Sussex
- West Sussex Community Hub – provides support to those at risk of severe illness if they catch coronavirus. They can provide food parcels etc. 03302 227980
- Shoreham Foodbank – 07708 384906, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Lancing & Sompting Churches Foodbank – 07768 131817, email@example.com
- The Food Bank Worthing – 07918 759664
- Fishergate Foodbank at Lighthouse Church – 07719 434 747
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:
- West Sussex Community Hub need volunteers
Adur and Worthing:
Brighton and Hove
- Together Co in Brighton are looking for volunteers who can chat to isolated people on the phone or to drop off essential food and supplies to vulnerable people. Details here.
- Brighton and Hove Homelessness Volunteering
- The Argus – Coronavirus in Sussex: How you can help
- Community Base volunteer search
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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.
- National Domestic Violence 24hr Helpline 0808 2000 247, and if you are in danger, call 999.
- Locally, if you need support or are worried about a friend you can call RISE: 01273 622 828, or contact Rise online via the Portal.
- A great resource for survivors is Women’s Aid’s survivor forum, where you can access support from other survivors online at any time.
Please see our Health and Wellbeing Page for sources of information (to be published soon).
- Stay in and work out with Sport England – useful and fun workouts for the whole family
- Age UK - gentle work outs, befriending opportunities and a whole host of helpful guides
- The Silver Line - 0800 4 70 80 90 operates the only confidential, free helpline for older people across the UK, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days of the year.
- Coronavirus support for older people – exercise at home
For mental health
- MIND – How to improve your mental wellbeing
- NHS - 5 steps to mental wellbeing
- Improve my wellbeing – some great blogs on topics such as 12 Positive Psychology websites to get you started; Positive Psychology Movie Awards; and simple exercises such as Talking Strengths
- Problems to solutions – a workbook providing support to tackle anxiety and depression with tasks that help with routes to employment
- Action for Happiness - a daily task!
- Community Roots Mental Health & Wellbeing support - can offer telephone support on 0808 196 1768
- 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?
- youtube for free concerts and gigs
- Best livestreamed gigs some hints on the best concerts to watch, if this is your thing.
- Borrow audio books and electronic books – a free resource from Brighton and Hove libraries
- Free audiobooks
- The 30 Best Podcasts to Listen to in 2020 - or BBC Sounds
- A list of free, online, boredom-busting resources by ChatterPack
- Stuck at home? These 12 famous museums offer virtual tours you can take on your couch
Support or parents, carers and children and young people
- National Autistic Society – guidance and helpline for parents’, young people and staff
- National Autistic Society – guidance and helpline for parents’, young people and staff: Mencap - Easy Read guide to Coronavirus
- Place2Be – Guide to helping parents answer questions from their children and to support family wellbeing
- Young Minds - Talking to your child about Coronavirus and 10 tips from their Parents Helpline to support family wellbeing
- Carers UK - Guidance for carers
- Covibook – an interactive resource designed to support and reassure children aged seven and under, designed to help children explain and draw the emotions that they might be experiencing during the pandemic
- Amaze - information pack for parents