What to do if you have been identified as being extremely vulnerable and need to request a free weekly food parcel

Residents in Bridgend county borough who have been identified as being extremely vulnerable and have no family or friends to help are being asked to call the local authority and request their free weekly food parcel.

Residents can contact Bridgend County Borough Council by calling 01656 643643 where they will then be asked to press ‘one’ and speak with a customer services advisor.

Around 4,000 residents in the county borough are receiving letters from the chief medical officer urging them to stay at home for the next 12 weeks.

The letter is being sent to people who have been identified as needing to take extra steps to avoid catching coronavirus.

Once residents have called the local authority, an assessment will be carried out to identify any support that is needed and if required, the individual will be able to make a request for a weekly food parcel to be delivered by a food provider arranged by Welsh Government.

The identical parcels contain essential supplies including pasta, cereal, fruit, tea bags and toilet paper.

The Leader, Cllr Huw David, said:

“We know this is a worrying time for many and we want to reassure those who are more vulnerable to the effects of coronavirus that they will be given all the protection and support that they need.

“We have the processes in place to ensure residents contacting us are quickly supported and directed to the right area, whether that’s ordering a food package or asking for some help in collecting prescriptions.

“We have trained staff ready to respond to residents when they call and people will be directed or referred to the right advice, care and support depending upon the information provided.

“We are already aware of many individuals who need extra support through our social care teams and we have been working closely with the Bridgend Association of Voluntary Organisations (BAVO) to ensure everyone who receives the letter and needs support will be able to access it in their local community.

“It’s all about understanding what that individual needs to keep them safe and healthy.”

Bridgend County Borough Council is the first local authority in Wales to introduce a dedicated system for residents getting in contact over the letter they have received from the chief medical officer, with other local authorities looking to replicate the model.

Across Wales, around 70,000 letters are being sent to vulnerable people.

Each person is given specific advice about how they can protect themselves, based on their individual needs.

The guidance for people at the highest risk is:

  • Strictly avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (Covid-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough;
  • Do not leave your house for at least 12 weeks unless it is absolutely vital.
  • Visits from carers or healthcare workers, who would normally come and help with your daily needs or social care, will be able to carry on as normal.
  • Do not attend any gatherings. This includes gatherings of friends and families in private spaces, for example family homes, weddings, parties and religious services.
  • Do not go out for shopping, leisure or travel and, when arranging food or medication deliveries, these should be left at the door to minimise contact.
  • Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media.
  • Use telephone or online services to contact your GP practice or other essential services as and when you need.

Residents who receive the letter are asked to contact Bridgend County Borough Council on 01656 643643 for help if they:

  • do not have family members who can help or
  • do not have a local support network of friends (or others) which can help, or
  • do not have support from a carer or community organisation which can help