The government cannot afford to overlook or undervalue the not-for-profit sector at the moment. As we navigate the worst impacts of the coronavirus outbreak, people across the country are relying on VCSE organisations, the essential support they provide and how they shape our society for the better. And we shall all continue to rely on their expertise and experience now, in acute crisis, and as we move on to the recovery effort that lies ahead.
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic there has been a noticeable increase in cybercrime and fraud.
The way in which we are living our lives has changed significantly, we are communicating with one another in new and different ways, and we are engaged with agencies and organisations which we may not have been before.
For these reasons, it is important to be vigilant, especially where personal and/or financial information is being shared, to ensure that you don’t become a victim of a scam.
The Stop Loan Sharks team are here to help. They are the only government agency in the UK who have the power to investigate and prosecute loan sharks and illegal money lenders.
The Stop Loan Sharks helpline service remains open and fully operational during the COVID-19 pandemic. To safely report a loan shark, call the 24-hour confidential helpline on 0300 555 2222. Or text a report to 07860 022116. Or complete an online report form.
Paying Energy Bills
What help is available from energy providers?
The Government and energy suppliers have launched an emergency package, to make sure anyone vulnerable doesn’t suffer hardship with heating or lighting their homes during the COVID-19 crisis.
If you’re struggling to pay for your gas or electricity, you may have the following options to help:
Many of Post Office branches are dedicating the first hour of the day to vulnerable and elderly customers, and those who work for the NHS or care services. This includes all standalone branches and those in WH Smiths branches.
There is no disruption to Post Office Card Account (POCA) services (that State Pensions can be paid into).
For urgent queries, or if you are unable to leave your home, you can call 0345 722 3344 from 8.15am to 6pm Monday to Friday and 8.30am to 7.15pm on Saturdays.
Telegraph article on ‘What each bank is doing to help older and vulnerable people and NHS workers’ - 8th April 2020: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/personal-banking/current-accounts/bank-help-older-vulnerable-people-nhs-workers/ All banks can also provide power of attorney advice.
Here is a summary of the article for the following banks (click on the link below for more details on each bank):
The supermarkets have now received a list of registered NHS vulnerable individuals and in some cases will be contacting them direct by email, where an email address has been registered.
Sainsburys will be contacting all NHS vulnerable individuals by email, but they encourage over 70’s to register for priority deliveries by calling 0800 953 4988.
This week marks National Stalking Awareness week and given the unparalleled times we are in amidst the Covid19 pandemic, Suzy Lamplugh Trust will be hosting the week online across our social media and digital channels. We will be sharing podcasts and videos featuring experts and influencers to educate and promote discussion on the theme of “See Stalking Clearly” and stalking support for victims during the Covid19 pandemic.
With the entire country facing an unprecedented challenge in its war against Coronavirus all efforts of local health and care partners are focussed on supporting the frontline.
This means, for a time, other programmes aimed at the long-term transformation of services are being placed on hold.
The difficult decisions engagement around prioritising and aligning clinical policies in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, is therefore paused.