Coronavirus (COVID-19): practical support for individuals

This is a difficult time for many people but support is available if you need help. You might be worried about money and food costs as your income has been reduced or your employer is making redundancies or getting other products and services during the winter months. Maybe you are having to self-isolate and don’t have any practical support. Help and advice is available.

COVID-19 Community Helpline

If you need help to access food, medicines or other products and services because you are self-isolating or struggling to afford it during the winter months then get in touch with the COVID 19 Community Helpline. You will be connected with supports and services in your area.

The helpline is local to Northern Ireland, and is managed by Advice NI.

  • freephone number:  0808 802 0020

You can also get in touch by email, text message or webform:

Warm, Well and Connected

If you have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, you may be able to get some support through the Warm, Well and Connected initiative.

Warm, Well and Connected can help reduce your risk of isolation, improve your emotional wellbeing, support you to take part in physical activity and help you eat well. 

The initiative is delivered in partnership with local government, 22 Healthy Living Centres and six Rural Support Networks, which together reach 1,500 smaller rural organisations.

If you wish to speak to someone about classes and programmes you can attend, aimed at supporting your wellbeing, you can contact the Healthy Living Centre Alliance or the Rural Support Network using the following phone numbers:

  • Healthy Living Alliance: 028 90 31 0346
  • Rural Support Network: 028 21 77 2100

More information on Warm, Well, Connected programmes is available on the Healthy Living Centre Alliance website.

Help to keep warm if you are in extreme need

The 'Warm' part of the initiative may be able to give you help and support if your wellbeing has been impacted by cold conditions.

This help is for those who have not been able to get help anywhere else and whose finances have been directly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. This is not monetary nor will vouchers be given. This is a programme with limited levels of support available - support will be small in value and only for those in extreme need who are unable to heat their homes by any other means. 

Other avenues of support should be explored before applying to Warm, Well and Connected. For example, if you are in a crisis situation and need emergency help or support with living expenses then you should check if you are eligible to apply for Discretionary Support.  

If you have been told that you are not eligible for Discretionary Support or any other heating support, or you are not eligible for the COVID-19 Heating Payment, you should contact the COVID-19 Community Helpline. You will be asked to show that the need for assistance has arisen as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic and give evidence that you are struggling to afford heating/fuel costs.

COVID -19 Community Helpline

Other help and support services

Make the Call

You can speak to an advisor to see if you are getting all the benefits and supports that you are entitled too.

Advice NI

You can contact AdviceNI, the independent advice network on 0800 915 4604 and speak to an adviser or visit the AdviceNI website.

Community NI

You can visit NICVAs Community NI website and find out more about non-medical local services and support available in your area.

Energy debt advice

If you’re worried about paying your gas and electricity bills due to the impact of COVID-19, help is available. You can contact your energy supplier, find out about payment options, ask for help or get free confidential advice.

Public Health Agency

There is further information on the Public Health Agency website for the public, healthcare workers and providers, and organisations. There is also information about the COVID vaccination programme for Northern Ireland.

 

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