A coronavirus community support network has been launched in Bridport.

It means that a single phone number – 01308 808900 – provides access to advice and practical help provided by a host of local organisations from across the Bridport area, supported by around 150 kind volunteers.

Bridport Town Council launched its Covid-19 Community Support Network yesterday, and it builds on some extraordinary work by residents, including Alex and Carl Lewis, whose Bridport Coronavirus Community Support Facebook page has been providing vital volunteer help to vulnerable residents in recent weeks.

The town council has produced a leaflet with information and key contact numbers to support you during the coronavirus situation and it is being distributed via the volunteer network to areas identified as being most in need. A comprehensive mailshot is planned, but we have included the information below.

The town council is also maintaining details of local organisations and businesses that are helping with the support effort – this can be viewed on the town council's website bridport-tc.gov.uk/covid19.

If you are vulnerable, or know of someone who is vulnerable, self-isolating and have no immediate support available, please contact 01308 808900 or email enquiries@bridport-tc.gov.uk so that your/their details can be passed on to the local volunteer support.

Community response

In the Bridport area, there is a volunteer support group which includes local organisations, groups and individuals who can offer support if you are vulnerable and self-isolating.

They can help with:

• Shopping, food and groceries

• Prescriptions/medicine

• Health and wellbeing

• A friendly call or general support.

Volunteers will not try to enter your home. If you feel unsafe please call the police.

Equally, if you are able to volunteer in any capacity, email bridportccs@googlemail.com or call 07401 243585

Other things we can do as a community

• Check in regularly on friends and family

• If you know someone who is self-isolating, get in contact with them to check that they are ok. By its very nature, self-isolation is a solitary experience and their wellbeing will be improved by talking to someone.

During this time

Please be mindful with your comments and actions, so as not to cause undue concern or anxiety within your community.

Please be respectful of anyone you know who has been diagnosed with Covid-19.

Public Health England has advised people who are self- isolating to do what they can to avoid visitors to their home and that deliveries are to be left at the door so please ensure that when you are providing support this advice is followed.

Useful contacts

These contacts can offer local support:

Community Support Contact Centre: Advice and support for all needs. 01308 808900 Email enquiries@bridport-tc.gov.uk

Bridport Coronavirus Community Support: Collecting shopping, prescriptions, general help. 07401 243585 Web www.facebook.com/groups/BridportCCS

Citizens Advice: Independent advice about money, benefits, rights etc. 03444 111 444 Email: advice@bridport-cab.org.uk

Cupboard Love Food Bank: 07443 596096 Food Bank 07552 312594 for help with shopping, if you can pay Email cupboardlove.bridport@gmail.com

Burrough Harmony Centre: Peer support for mental health problems.

07597 379290 Email harmonydropin@outlook.com More & updated information at: www.bridport-tc.gov.uk/covid19 Dorset Council Online Advice: http://tiny.cc/mr64lz

Health advice

• Wash your hands with soap and warm water often – do this for at least 20 seconds

• Always wash your hands when you get home or into work

• Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available

• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze

• Put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards

• Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell