Support in the community

Keep safe and up to date

To stay healthy and informed during the pandemic, check out these useful contacts and resources.

To get support

Get the latest NHS information and advice about Coronavirus COVID-19 here: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/.

This covers checking for symptoms, what to do if you live with someone with symptoms, testing and tracing, advice for people at higher risk, coronavirus in children, social distancing advice and links to more information.

NHS 111 – if you think you’ve developed COVID-19 symptoms, visit 111.nhs.uk/covid-19. You’ll be asked to fill in an online form before getting advice on what to do next.

Symptoms are usually mild but some people can become very unwell. The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you don’t need to measure your temperature);
  • new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual);
  • loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal;

Use the 111 online coronavirus service if you have any of these symptoms. 111 online will tell you what to do and help you get a test if you need one.

Phone 111 if you can’t get help online. Please don’t go to places like a GP surgery, hospital or pharmacy.

If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 – including trouble breathing, chest pain or pressure, bluish lips or face – seek medical attention immediately.

Local support if you’re vulnerable and alone

Please phone us on 01204 328000.

We’re one of the local organisations co-ordinating an area-wide humanitarian response involving partners, our staff and volunteers in the community to support those most vulnerable.

To get information

Government advice – for the latest Government information, visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus or watch their daily briefings on TV news channels.

Age UK – offers a range of advice for older people. Visit www.ageuk.org.uk or phone 0800 678 1602 (8am to 7pm).

Carers UK – offers financial and practical support, and gives specific advice on what to do if you’re caring for someone in the high risk group. Visit www.carersuk.org or phone 0808 808 7777 (Mondays and Tuesdays 10am – 4pm).

Mental health – if staying at home is affecting your mental wellbeing, some charities offer practical advice on how to cope and can signpost you to local support available. They include MIND (0300 123 3393 or www.mind.org.uk), Anxiety UK (03444 775 774 or www.anxietyuk.org.uk) and Rethink Mental Illness (www.rethink.org).

Listen in – tune into 96.5 Bolton FM for the latest information on local services, including daily bulletins relating to coronavirus from Bolton Council on behalf of local organisations.

As we’re feeling incredibly proud of keyworkers providing essential face-to-face services on the frontline, every Friday between 6pm and 7pm Bolton FM will play song dedications and messages of thanks to these lovely people keeping us safe. You can request a dedication on 0345 3110 965 or email your message to keyworkerhour@boltonfm.com.

Watch out for scams and loan sharks

We must be mindful about scams connected with the coronavirus and opportunists trying to make money at our expense.

Some people have received text messages claiming to be from the council, asking them to reply if they’d like their bins collected. This isn’t an official message from the council. If you receive one, please don’t reply. Other scams to be aware of:

  • bogus text messages from Government saying you’ve been fined for going out more than three times;
  • messages from HMRC saying you’re entitled to a goodwill payment;
  • people going door-to-door saying they’re from the Red Cross and asking to come into your home to check your temperature;
  • a holiday claims company saying they’ll help you to recover lost holiday costs for a fee;
  • calls asking for a donation to a coronavirus charity appeal.

In short, don’t give anyone your personal banking details or let uninvited visitors into your home.

For more advice on scams, phone the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 040506. Please report scams to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

Also, be aware of loan sharks even if they’ve been suggested to you by someone you know. Loan sharks are unregulated, often give cash loans without any paperwork and charge extortionate interest rates causing misery and stress.

You can report a loan shark to the national Illegal Money Lending Team confidentially on 0300 555 2222.

We know it’s a challenging time. If you’re struggling with money due to the pandemic please phone us on 01204 328000. We’ll do what we can to help.

Stay safe.

If you have a story to share, please email news@boltonathome.org.uk