SE5 Forum sends our best wishes to the local community
We’re here to help share any information that can help those self-isolating or vulnerable in SE5
Our Chair Barbara Pattinson is self-isolating and wishes everyone the best in these difficult times and is heartened at how people are cooperating and helping each other.
SE5 Forum, as a voluntary group, is keen to help vulnerable members of our community at this extremely difficult time and to support those wanting to help, too. So we will do our best to serve our local community online by circulating and sharing useful and essential information through our enewsletters, website and on social media channels. Whether it’s getting help, volunteering, health, safety, or what local businesses are open, we will pass on any useful and essential information during this difficult period.
Below is a list we’ve started to put together of useful links for the community. We will add to this and keep it as up-to-date as possible on our website. Please send us any news and information that you’d like us to share with members.
You can contact us on email: firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @SE5Forum or SE5 Forum’s Facebook page.
Getting Advice and Support:
Government advice: www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response
Advice from the NHS on Covid-19:
Click here for advice from the NHS.
Government advice for employers and businesses: www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19
Lambeth Council Covid-19 advice:
Lambeth Council support for vulnerable people:
Helpline number: 020 7926 2999.
The helpline is open from 8am – 8pm everyday.
For more info on support from Lambeth Council for vulnerable people, click here, – including welfare, benefits and council tax support, employment support and advice, and a list of support organisations in Lambeth.
Lambeth Living Well Network Alliance has helpful advice here.
Southwark Council – Covid-19 Support and Advice:
From financial support, parking, vulnerable people, how to help, business support and more, go to Southwark’s Covid-19 pages on its website:
Citizens Advice Southwark – there are no face-to-face appointments – if you have financial difficulties and can’t pay bills or rent or mortgage. Tel: 0344 499 4134 or go to the website where you can email and get online advice: www.citizensadvicesouthwark.org.uk/
There is also a dedicated telephone number for carers: 0300 330 1170
Southwark Wellbeing Hub is not doing appointments but you can find out about food banks and other advice and support at: www.together-uk.org/southwark-wellbeing-hub/the-directory/
Email them at: email@example.com
Isolation can lead to serious mental health problems. Solidarity in Crisis offers an out-of-hours advice line; click here.
The National Domestic Abuse Helpline provides guidance and support. Call freephone 24h/day 0808 2000 247.
Southwark helpline: 020 7593 1290
Volunteering and Giving Help:
Southwark Mutual Aid Covid-19 group organises volunteers on a local basis. Look at the Google sheets document which is constantly being updated. This has lists of local WhatsApp groups on individual streets and areas and how to set one up, as well as information on local community groups, foodbanks, volunteering, businesses doing local deliveries, mental health resources and more.
Southwark Mutual Aid Covid-19 Facebook page – look on this Facebook page to post or find help and support in SE5.
Southwark Mutual Aid Covid 19 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/833177740485170/
The Lambeth Mutual Aid Covid-19 also does the same. Refer to their links: Lambeth Covid mutual aid and their Lambeth Whatsapp coordination spreadsheet, this has links to Whatsapp groups which have been set-up – originally on a ward-by-ward basis across Lambeth, but now have some more local neighbourhoods. The Lambeth Mutual Aid Covid-19 Facebook page can be found here: www.facebook.com/groups/214918153220011/
A useful website for sharing help locally is www.nextdoor.co.uk.
Lambeth Council has started its own volunteer scheme:
Twitter: @lambeth_council. Lambeth Council is appealing for volunteers to help support vulnerable people during the Coranvirus outbreak Enlist here: https://www.lambeth.gov.uk/forms/volunteer-to-help-your-community
Volunteering Opportunities and guidance can also be found on The Mayor of London‘s website: Go to the Covid-19 information and advice here, which includes finding volunteering opportunities.
St Giles Trust in Camberwell is appealing to all of their supporters to donate what they can to their Covid 19 crisis fund. https://www.stgilestrust.org.uk. They will be supporting local vulnerable people. Brewbird café is closed but supporting St Giles Trust by operating as a social supermarket.
Southwark Pensioners Centre needs your help. Over 70 of their older people have asked for help with either a weekly social telephone call, food delivery or prescriptions delivery. Go to: www.southwarkpensioners.org.uk/coronavirus-response-volunteering
Twitter: Southwark Pensioners @SwarkPensioners
Pedal Me: Cycle couriers including @pedalmeapp are delivering essential food supplies to people in self-isolation, in partnership with councils and businesses. Cycle freight is crucial to #zerocarbonroads but more than that, it’s saving lives and caring for people in need of help. https://pedalme.co.uk
The Trussell Trust and Independent Food Aid Network – charities which represent food banks across London and the UK – have recently reported some food banks have been forced to close or are considering closing due to a shortage of food and personnel. Please consider supporting your local food bank with a donation of food, money or time. You can find your local food bank and more information on how you can support them at: www.trusselltrust.org or www.foodaidnetwork.org.uk.
Southwark Council have set up a food access page for those who are unable to afford food or who are self-isolating and can’t access food. Some of the food access points for those in need are: PECAN Southwark Foodbank in Peckham and the Central Southwark Community Hub Foodbanks, including St Giles Parish Hall, 161 Benhill Road, SE5 7LL – available to those referred or with school vouchers or universal credit. Tel: 020 7703 1653 or 07762 501656. email: firstname.lastname@example.org website:
The Pantry in Chandler Way, SE15 is a community-run shop – for a small monthly fee, shoppers can buy groceries at an affordable price.
Go to Southwark Wellbeing Hub for more details on food banks: https://together-uk.org/southwark-wellbeing-hub/the-directory/
Lambeth Council has set up a dedicated page with information for voluntary community sector organisations including details of where to seek additional funding and support.
Community Southwark is supporting local voluntary and charity organisations to help the community during the crisis by posting information on local volunteer opportunities and more. Find out about volunteer opportunities here:
Voluntary sector organisations may be able to get help from:
City Bridge Trust has given £1 million to an emergency fund
Help Musicians Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund
John Lewis Partnership Community Support Fund
Arts Council England Covid-19 support
London Community Foundation Coronavirus Appeal
National Emergencies Trust Coronavirus Appeal
Helping the NHS:
Lumberjack cafe in Camberwell is dropping off meals for NHS staff at King’s College Hospital and has been asked to supply other NHS organisations. Please donate buy buying their bundles at: http://shop.wearelumberjack.co.uk
Wellbeing deliveries for King’s Hospital workers: Local resident Jill Orr is fundraising to supply free coffee and healthy refreshments to King’s NHS heroes by stocking up the Wellbeing Centres for NHS workers at King’s College Hospital on Denmark Hill and Princess Royal Kings for Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Find out more at:
Meals for the NHS: buy a meal for NHS workers with this fundraiser online. After 18-hour shifts trying to save our lives from COVID-19, NHS Hospital Staff are faced with canteens that shut at 5pm. Help get food to wards with your donation. https://www.mealsforthenhs.com
National NHS Volunteer Scheme: The government has launched a national scheme for volunteers to help the NHS, which has seen a massive response. Find out more here: https://www.goodsamapp.org/NHS. You can sign up to be a Community Response volunteer, NHS Transport volunteer, or Check-in and Chat volunteer.
The Camberwell Online blog is maintaining a map of what businesses are open or closed and which ones are offering local deliveries: find out more here:
The Camberwell Farmers Market has been suspended so SE5 Forum’s Saturday market stall on Camberwell green can’t run at the moment. However, stallholder Keeley Watson is continuing to feed NHS workers from her fruit and veg stall by Denmark station.
Lambeth Council support for businesses:
Lambeth have set up a dedicated information page for businesses in Lambeth which they will be using to share updates. The Government has announced that all non-essential retail premises must close to limit the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19). It is important that all Lambeth businesses urgently read the new guidance.
Southwark Council has a business support page and has now paid over £15 million to local businesses in business grants – another £45 million due out soon. Go to their support page:
Southwark Council AND Lambeth Council General Updates:
Lambeth Council information:
The council’s number one priority is to support the over 4,000 most vulnerable residents in our borough. We are working very closely with our foodbanks, Lambeth Larder, Age UK and other organisations to ensure vulnerable residents have access to the supplies they need to stay safely at home. In only a week we have put in place a network which will shortly be called into action to deliver at a local level. We are launching a helpline for vulnerable people to contact the council as part of our Community Hub which is the command centre for their protection and where food and medicine delivery, connection and distance support as well as intelligence and information will be coordinated.
Now, we need to harness the energy of our community to help our neighbours at this time of great need – please volunteer online at lambeth.gov.uk/volunteer to take part in this enormous community effort.
Rent relief for voluntary and community sector and businesses that rent council properties and are most impacted by the crisis including hairdressers, cafes, restaurants, beauty salons and non-food retailers. This benefits over 220 local small businesses and community organisations.
Grants to businesses – Government have announced grants of either £10,000 or £25,000 for businesses who receive Small Business Rate Relief or are in the retail, hospitality or leisure sectors. From today we are paying these grants directly to businesses who are eligible, and we are doing this before receiving the funding from Government. There is no need to apply for this and those who are eligible will be contacted directly.
Business Rates relief – the business rate relief support announced by Government is being applied to accounts automatically. This includes 100% business rate relief for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses for 2020/21.
Freezing commercial waste charges for any pub, club or restaurant that requests it.
A Business Task Force with Lambeth’s seven Business Improvement Districts, coordinating our response and working up additional proposals to support local businesses and support the eventual economic recovery effort.
Expanding our Emergency Support Scheme for those at immediate risk of financial hardship, with an extra £500,000 for emergency financial support for Lambeth residents.
Pausing all enforcement activity against people for council tax and rent arrears during the pandemic. It is vital you keep paying your council tax and rent if you can so you do not fall into debt but we do not wish to cause anxiety for people at this stressful time. We have already committed to not pursuing any evictions during this period as well. Expanding our support for vulnerable people who struggle to pay their council tax by increasing the scope and funding for our Council Tax Support Scheme.
Offering council tax payment flexibility, for example switching direct debit payments so they run from June to March. Please contact the council tax team if you wish to discuss this further.
We have invested additional money in our Crowdfunding platform to enable grants for local community organisations that are responding to the pandemic.
Free parking for NHS staff, social care staff and other key workers in the borough.
Southwark Council information:
A new community hub will support vulnerable residents, and especially those who the NHS has identified as needing to take extra care (known as the shielding programme). Our priority will be to work with voluntary and community groups to help those who are unable to rely on friends and family. We will make sure they receive the food, essential supplies, medicines and social contact they need. You can find out more here.
We are taking action locally to provide financial protection to those in our communities who are most in need. We have supplemented our Southwark emergency support scheme (SESS) budget of £650,000 per year with an additional emergency fund of £1.5 million. We have suspended all debt recovery actions related to council tax and business rates and are looking at how we can help residents who are struggling financially. We also have information and support if you’re struggling with rent payments.
Information about business grants, business rates relief, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan scheme and much more is available on our business support webpage which is being regularly updated. We know this is a very difficult time for the Southwark business community. If you have questions or concerns, please contact us.
We are currently keeping our parks open so that residents have somewhere to exercise and get some fresh air alone or with members of their household, but it is essential that we all limit our time outside and stay at least 2 metres away from other people. Any enclosed areas within parks where it is more difficult to keep away from other people (such as playgrounds, cafés, tennis courts) have been closed.
Our libraries are now closed. However, we are auto-renewing all loans and cancelling overdue fines until we can reopen, so there’s no need to worry about any books or DVDs that you’ve already borrowed. In the meantime, you can explore our huge, free, online library offering. We have free audiobooks and online books, free magazines and newspapers, free movie streaming and more.
Waste and recycling
Although our Reuse and Recycling Centre is currently closed to the public, we are prioritising the collection of household waste, and will reach you as quickly as possible. We ask that you please bear with us if your waste is collected on a later day than normal, as we are experiencing some delays.
All health and key workers in Southwark are being allocated free, virtual parking permits. These are associated with their registered vehicles and apply to all of our permitted parking spaces. The permits are allocated through the businesses and organisations that employ health and key workers. We have reached out to as many as we can identify, including NHS workers, schools and police, but would invite other such employers to come forward by emailing. Controlled Parking Zones (CPZs) will continue to operate, with parking concessions for health and key workers. Parking restrictions and CPZs play an important role in keeping traffic moving and ensuring that deliveries (especially essential medical supplies) reach their destinations on time.
We hope to post more information soon. In the meantime, keep us informed and check for updates on our social media channels and our website – see links below. Keep safe everyone!
SE5 Forum for Camberwell
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