Vulnerable Croydon residents at higher risk of coronavirus or in severe hardship will continue to receive vital council support when a government scheme ends this month.
Since lockdown began in March, the council has worked with local voluntary groups to provide almost 4,000 food parcels to Croydon residents in need and helped central government deliver food and medication.
In addition, the council has delivered food to over 1,200 shielded adults who are particularly vulnerable to Covid-19 because of their medical history. This includes residents with conditions such as heart disease or diabetes who needed to self-isolate but had no-one else to buy them basic supplies at the shops.
Packages have continued to be delivered to over 1,000 children and young people on the shielded list, including 299 children aged five or younger. Deliveries have also gone to over 750 people in need not classified as shielded.
As part of its gradual lifting of lockdown restrictions, the government has announced that its support for shielded residents across the country will end on 31 July. This will only begin again if there is another nationwide lockdown.
These changes affect 2,490 Croydon people registered on the government’s shielded list who have been receiving food boxes, so ahead of 31 July Croydon Council staff have begun calling them to carry out welfare checks and, if needed, plan alternative arrangements by then.
In each call council staff will triage the resident’s needs, give details of their food supply options after 31 July if they still need it, and refer them on to services run by the council, NHS and the voluntary sector where required.
This includes the council’s Gateway service offering food supplies and welfare support, a review of any social care needs, and mental health or befriending referrals through the local NHS and voluntary sector.
This service will also apply to those needing support as people who have recently tested positive for coronavirus via the NHS Test And Trace app. Anyone who has recently tested positive for Covid-19 and needs council support while self-isolating should visit the council website.
Wider council welfare support to date since lockdown has included providing families in need with over £47,000 in food vouchers to meet demand that has quadrupled, financial advice for almost 3,000 households through the discretionary support team, and helping over 1,000 callers to the council’s welfare rights hotline.
“The coronavirus pandemic has not gone away, and our superb council staff and voluntary groups will continue to work together to offer food and other support to local people who otherwise couldn’t manage without it.”
Councillor Alison Butler, deputy leader and cabinet member for homes and Gateway services