A community support helpline to provide food and other assistance to those most at risk from coronavirus was launched today by Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council.
The seven-day a week service (01732 876152) will provide food and emergency supplies to anyone in the community who is subject to special ‘shielding’ measures and cannot access support from family, friends or neighbours.
The phone line, operated by a team of council staff, will also provide a befriending service, enabling those who feel isolated to get reassurance and advice on coping with the recommended 12-week period of remaining in their homes.
The council is working with community groups and parish councils to co-ordinate the effort. Dedicated pages on the council’s website provide details of the service and links to a range of charities and organisations providing support networks.
Advice on avoiding fraud and scams is also being provided. Residents are being advised not to give out bank details or cash to callers and to report any suspicious activity to Action Fraud on 03001 232 040.
Launching the helpline, Leader of the Council, Nicolas Heslop, said: “We are determined to play our part in responding to the emergency and are devoting all our energy to maintaining essential services, supporting our communities and protecting the vulnerable.”
“It has been humbling to see how the residents of Tonbridge and Malling have responded in these most difficult of times. Supporting one another, watching out for neighbours and sacrificing the personal freedoms we so often take for granted are the only way we will defeat the threat posed by the coronavirus outbreak.”