The following information has been provided by Dorchester Town Council. For further advice on other community services not listed in these pages, please contact Emma Scott (Community Development Officer) at [email protected] or call 07956 896114.
For Town Council enquiries ring 01305 266861.
1. For people isolating or who need help with shopping or collecting prescriptions or a listening ear
Direct them to call the Dorchester Community Support Group (DCSG) who have volunteers who can go out and help.
Dorchester Community Support Group
Tel: 07562 389519
This phone line is staffed from 9am–5pm, 7 days a week. If they do not get through the first time, tell them to leave a message and someone will call them back.
2. For people who are struggling financially and cannot afford food
- Contact Citizens Advice for help and advice and referral to two of the three food banks operating in Dorchester. (They will then be sent to either the Dorchester Food Bank or Dorchester Food Share.)
- Or the person can self-refer to the Dorchester Community Kitchen.
Click here for details of all Dorchester Food Banks.
Citizens Advice Bureau
The CAB also offer a full range of advice including help with benefits entitlement and claims, debt management and budgeting, employment advice, including statutory sick pay and rights when laid off work and advice for the self-employed.
Call the Dorset Adviceline on 0344 411 1444 or message them via the form here: http://westdorsetca.org.uk/contact-dorchester
3. People in the shielded category who might need additional help
If someone is “Shielded” that means they have a medical condition and have had a letter from the NHS saying they need to take special care. Shielded:
- A medical condition which is classed as being clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus
- Told by GP or hospital clinician that they’re clinically extremely vulnerable and need to ‘shield’ The letter will have let them know that if they cannot afford food at this time they can access a free weekly government food parcel.
For people who do not have family, friends or a support network and need help with anything, Dorset Council has set up a dedicated helpline on: 01305 221000 which is open from 8am–8pm, 7 days a week. Or you can email: [email protected].
Dorset Council can also send an emergency food parcel if needed.
People in the shielded category should also register on the Government list if they require a weekly food parcel or wish to be put on a list entitling them to priority delivery slots with supermarkets to buy their own shopping.
Register with gov.uk at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable or telephone: 0800 028 8327
4. Dorset Council
You can find further information about local services such as bin collection, as well as ways to get help and support for a range of issues such as housing, mental health and domestic violence, plus updates and advice on Coronavirus at https://www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/emergencies-severe-weather/emergencies/coronavirus/coronavirus-covid-19.aspx
Or by visiting https://www.helpandkindness.co.uk