Several initiatives have been set up in Bristol to support people who are self-isolating or unable to leave the house.
Some of these schemes also help independent local businesses which are struggling at this difficult time. I’ve been using these initiatives to support local businesses already and I’d like to encourage everyone to order locally if you can – we need these businesses to continue when this crisis is over.
Bristol City Council food provision for vulnerable/self-isolating people
- Bristol City Council have written letters to vulnerable people telling them they need to shield and avoid face to face contact for at least 12 weeks. If you fall into this category, and need support you can register online here or by calling 0800 028 8327. Please let us know if you are having problems with this. Food will be packaged by volunteers and delivered by taxi drivers.
- Others who may not be on this list but are still at-risk or are having trouble attending supermarkets can call the Bristol City Council coronavirus hotline on 0117 352 3011. Bristol City Council will be operating this during office hours 08.30 – 5pm Monday – Friday.
- If you are facing severe financial difficulties or need an emergency payment, for example because you have lost your job or benefits payments are delayed you can contact the Council through the Local crisis and prevention fund: emergency payments or household goods and apply for an emergency payment or household goods. If you need support or have specific concerns you can contact the local crisis and prevention fund team or email my caseworkers at firstname.lastname@example.org. Every council in the UK has been allocated with funding to deal with financial emergencies as a result of COVID-19.
Supporting local businesses
- A constituent has created a map with shops, restaurants and cafes producing fresh produce, ready meals, takeaway food and drink, and other food available on national delivery platforms. The other local businesses will deliver straight to your door. In addition, you can find streaming information for religious services, wellbeing sessions and other resources like laundrette delivery service, house and garden plants, and pet supplies.
- If you are an independent business and you would like to be added to this list, email email@example.com.
- I am aware that many people who are vulnerable or cannot shop without assistance would like online deliveries to be accessible for them. I would like the government to work with supermarkets to ensure that this is happening, and to expand the definition of vulnerable to go beyond government guidance relating to COVID-19, to ensure that those who find it difficult to shop unassisted are also included . I will be raising this issue with supermarkets too.
- Although many supermarkets are open early for elderly and vulnerable people, I am aware that these times are already really busy. On my radar, there are a couple of supermarkets who are already solely delivering to those who are classed as vulnerable. They reportedly are still in high demand, but the ones that I have found are:
- Iceland is limiting online delivery slots to customers over the state pension age, those self–isolating and other vulnerable people such as the disabled. Anyone who doesn’t fall in these categories is told to shop in store.
- Marks and Spencer has launched new online food boxes to support those who aren’t able to easily visit stores. With priority access for customers of over 70, there’s a choice of a standard or vegetarian box.