Latest update on the support available to vulnerable people needing ‘urgent’ help in Cumbria Date – 30 March 2020In Cumbria there is a range of support and advice available to individuals and families affected. Due to the range of support available nationally from the Government and locally from the Councils, Partners, Voluntary and Third sector – this is a complicated picture.

Cumbria is fortunate to have widespread community and voluntary sector support for the response to COVID-19 and informal support, including neighbourhood WhatsApp groups and community Facebook groups, alongside a commitment from existing community emergency planning groups, local churches and faith groups and formal voluntary sector organisations who are working with councils and NHS.

This briefing note has been produced to help explain the support available in easy terms. It is aimed at council staff, volunteers, partners and the voluntary and third sector.

Level One – Support for anyone advised directly from Government or from their GP to self-isolate for 12 weeks

LINK – GOVERNMENT GUIDANCE FOR SHIELDING Government Support – The government is providing a weekly free food parcels as part of its “shielding” strategy. Shielding is a measure to protect people who are clinically extremely vulnerable by minimising all interaction between those who are extremely vulnerable and others. If you fall within one of these groups of people, you should have received letter from the NHS informing you of the steps that you should be following and you will be asked to register your needs. If you aren’t able to register online, you can also call the national number 0800 028 8327.

Wherever possible you should talk to your friends, family and neighbours about what support they can give you. If you aren’t able to do this, you can register for support through the Government for food or medicines. The Government are working with pharmacies to help them deliver medicines and prescriptions. Food parcels will be delivered to their door directly as arranged by Government.

Emergency Supplies for People Shielding For anyone who has been advised to shield and HAS NOT received their free food parcel and needs urgent food, Cumbria County Council has been allocated a small supply, just in excess of 100 basic food parcels, to be allocated out on an emergency basis. The way to access these emergency parcels is 0800 783 1966 or email

Level two – Support for anyone in Cumbria that is at increased risk of becoming seriously ill, as a result of COVID-19 (high risk groups) and who do not have support available from friends, family or neighbours. LINK – GOVERNMENT GUIDANCE TO SOCIAL DISTANCING FOR VULNERABLE ADULTS Local Support within Communities Those at high risk include people over 70 years old, pregnant women and those with underlying health conditions who have been asked to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures. The majority of these people will already be receiving support from family, friends or local voluntary groups or using online services. But we know that a small number of people will not have this support or will not have access to online shopping.

If you have no alternative support, you can call the Cumbria County Council Freephone number to request help with getting food, medicines and essential supplies.

To access this support individuals contact the Emergency telephone support line is 0800 783 1966 or email

Once registered your details will be passed to a local hub where Cumbria County Council, District Councils, CVS, Cumbria Community Foundation, community and voluntary sector, private sector and military are working together to coordinate the support. Requests received asking for help will then be matched with local support and supplies being offered by community groups, volunteers, councils and businesses.

Cumbria levels of Support