Skip to main content

Coronavirus (COVID-19) For information on changes to our services, how to get help, support your community, advice and grants for employers and businesses visit our Coronavirus pages.

  1. Home
  2. Communities and leisure
  3. Coronavirus - Community support

Coronavirus - Community support

Local contact tracing system

A local contact tracing team is in place to contact anyone who has recently tested positive for COVID-19, and have been reached by the NHS test and trace system.

The national team will pass on details to the local team if they have not been able to reach someone after 24 hours. Oxfordshire County Council staff will then use their local knowledge and expertise to get in touch.

This service will run seven days a week. Calls will come from Oxfordshire Council using a local (01865) phone number. Text messages will also be sent to people telling them to expect a call and giving you a number to call back if you want.

You will get advice on isolating and how to access local financial or social support. You will also be asked about your close contacts so they can then be followed up by the national team.

If we cannot reach you by phone, your details will be passed to the local district or city council team who will visit you at home.  Oxfordshire Council will deliver a letter explaining why they are trying to get in touch and how to contact local call handlers.

Community support and what you can do

The Oxfordshire All In website has details of local support you can access. You may also be interested in one of their volunteering opportunities, for example collecting prescriptions, shopping, keeping in touch.

The contact number for vulnerable residents needing support is 01993 861077 or email community.support@westoxon.gov.uk. The opening hours are 9am to 5pm, Mondays to Fridays, outside of these times please call 0151 34 32 945 if you require urgent help. This will be charged at the national rate.

If you or someone you know has care needs and are already known to Adult Social Care please contact Oxfordshire County Council directly on 01865 897820 or by email shield@oxfordshire.gov.uk.

If you are working with volunteers or want to organise a volunteer group the National Council for Voluntary Organisations has Covid-19 specific advice.

Accessing food and essential supplies

Find information on how to get food and other essential supplies during the coronavirus pandemic.

Emergency Assistance Grant for Food and Essential Supplies

The grant is to support people who are struggling to afford food and other essentials due to COVID-19. It is supported by Oxfordshire County Council and West Oxfordshire District Council. There are two parts:

  • funding for individuals
  • funding for groups

The scheme opens on 1 September 2020 and will remain open until 31 October 2020. This may be extended if funds haven’t been allocated by then.

Funding for Individuals

Funding is available to help individuals or families struggling to afford food and other essential items due to changing circumstances caused by COVID-19. Citizens Advice West Oxfordshire is overseeing the scheme and will check eligibility to receive support. Groups need to refer clients directly, individuals cannot apply without a referral. For more information and to request a referral form contact Citizens Advice West Oxfordshire on 01993 892057 or email info@citizensadvicewestoxon.org.uk.

Funding for groups

The government says the funding should be used:

  • to meet immediate need and help those who are struggling to afford food and essentials due to COVID-19
  • provide advice and information to residents affected by COVID-19 to help them access longer term support they might need, such as benefits
  • to support existing schemes, expand the scope of activities underway, deliver activities in partnership with other organisations

We are committed to promoting equality and diversity and welcome applications from organisations representing minority or vulnerable groups. We encourage all applicants to make their projects as inclusive and accessible to all as possible.

Who can apply

These organisations can apply for funding:

  • foodbanks and food projects including larders and community fridges supporting vulnerable residents affected by the COVID-19 pandemic
  • community and voluntary organisations offering advice, guidance and training to those affected by the pandemic, to build their capacity particularly around financial hardship
  • community groups supporting vulnerable residents affected by the COVID-19 pandemic
  • constituted community based organisations
  • community interest companies
  • non-profit community organisations
  • non-profit businesses
  • Town and Parish Councils where they are working in partnerships with unconstituted third sector organisations or where there are no other providers operating in the same area

Priority will be given to organisations based in West Oxfordshire. Organisations based outside the district will need to demonstrate that they are working in partnership with a local group or delivering something not done by others in the same area.

We cannot accept applications from:

  • individuals
  • profit-based businesses (private businesses)
  • political and lobbying groups
  • community groups not directly supporting residents affected by COVID-19
  • community groups not formally constituted

These lists are not exhaustive, and our decision is final.

The funding

You can apply for up to £5,000 per application. You can apply for capital or revenue expenses.

Capital expenses may include buying or replacing essential equipment for example, if a food bank needs a fridge or to expand storage capacity.

Revenue expenses may include supporting a food bank with running costs, food supplies, utility, rental and staffing costs, and buying non-food supplies.

We cannot fund the following:

  • projects outside the district boundaries
  • any activity that does not assist the community response to the Coronavirus pandemic
  • statutory activities or requirements that either the council or another public-sector
  • organisation is responsible for delivering
  • alcohol
  • projects that specifically benefit private businesses
  • political activities, lobbying or campaigning
  • retrospective requests for activities that have already taken place
  • previous applicants

How to apply

Contact us for an application form on 01993 861000 or email response.hub@westoxon.gov.uk

Applications will be assessed on a rolling basis and you will be notified within two weeks of us receiving your applications.

Successful applicants will receive an email asking them to confirm their acceptance of the grant. We need to receive this back before we can process the payment.

Food map

We have created a map of the local area showing businesses offering food delivery or takeaway. You can find contact details of the business and what they are offering. If you are a business and would like to be added to the map please:

Register a business for the food map Food businesses map

DEFRA has produced a list of food options for vulnerable people to help you get food when you need it.

Finances, housing and foodbanks

If you are struggling financially find out where you can access free or subsidised food.

The Department for Work and Pensions are regularly updating their website with information on how to claim benefits for people who have been affected by Coronavirus.

The Money Advice Service have lots of resources to help you find out what you might be entitled to, and where you can get financial help.

If you need help you can also contact Citizens Advice who can offer advice.

Housing Support

Connections provide support to those with a housing-related need, including facing homelessness, coupled with other needs that justify a tailored support plan of up to six months. Contact them by calling 01993 704061 or emailing enquiries@connectionsupport.org.uk.

Health and wellbeing

Mental health

The charity Mind have lots of useful advice and tips about how to protect your mental health and reduce anxiety about Coronavirus. 

The Conversations has an article on staying connected and reducing loneliness whilst you are in isolation.

Age UK Oxfordshire have launched a new telephone service for older people who need support if they are self-isolating. Call 01865 411 288 and leave your name and number, someone will call you weekly to see how you are, chat and offer practical support if needed.

If you have a diagnosis of dementia, or are a carer or relative of someone who has, Dementia Oxfordshire can provide advice and support. Contact them Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm on 01865 410210  or email info@dementiaoxfordshire.org.uk.

Oxford Health NHS Trust Mental Health Helpline is a 24/7 mental health helpline for people of all ages who need mental health advice. Call them on 01865 904 997 for adults or 01865 904 998 for children and young people.

Guideposts is an information Service offering free support to anyone currently struggling with stress, anxiety or fatigue. Free advice and support  is available over the phone or by webchat, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. Call them on 0800 048 7035 or email hereinfo@guideposts.org.uk.

Turning Point offer a drug and alcohol treatment and support service. You can contact them by calling 01993 849 405 or emailing oxfordshire@turning-point.co.uk

Staying active

One way you can help improve your mental health if you are self-isolating is by staying active. These organisations have produced tips and guides for people to stay active:

Domestic abuse

Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Services offers free services to anybody aged 16+ experiencing domestic abuse. Their Abuse Helpline is open Monday to Friday 10am to 7pm. Contact them by calling 0800 731 0055 or emailing das@a2dominion.co.uk.

You can also call the 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.

Town and Parish Councils

If you are a Town or Parish Councillor you can check how many people in your area are over 65 and so may be self-isolating and need extra support. 

The Oxfordshire Association of Local Councils is providing regular updates on how you can manage core services.

Voluntary groups and organisations

Oxfordshire Community and Voluntary Action provide advice, information and support for voluntary and community groups.

NHS Volunteer Responders Portal

Hundreds of thousands of volunteers have stepped up to support vulnerable people in England who are at most risk from the virus. These volunteers are matched via the GoodSAM app with members of their community who need support to stay well at home.

The help on offer ranges from support with grocery shopping and collecting prescriptions to ‘check in and chat’ phone calls. The volunteers will also help the NHS with patient transport and transport of medical equipment and supplies.

Health and social care professionals can refer people into this service whose medical conditions make them particularly vulnerable and at risk. It will be used by doctors, nurses, pharmacists, local authorities and others where there is no alternative local support and where friends and family of the individual are unable to help. This keeps hospital beds free and provides health professionals with a trusted, national database of volunteers.

NHS Volunteer Responders is being delivered by Royal Voluntary Service one of the country’s largest and longest-standing volunteering charities.

Scams

For more information on scams related to Coronavirus visit the Friends against Scams website. They have more information on different types and how to protect yourself.