Winter can be a difficult time of year, especially in 2020/21 when we are not able to see friends and family in the usual way. If you are in need of support, please seek help and don't suffer in silence and keep an eye out for any older or vulnerable neighbours.
Feeling isolated or alone?
There are some fantastic support services available and their staff have years of experience helping others. Please get in touch if you need to.
The Samaritans - Call: 116 123 or visit: www.samaritans.org
Age UK - Call: 0800 678 1602 or visit: www.ageuk.org.uk
Boloh - Barnardo’s COVID-19 helpline and webchat for BAME children / young people and carers affected by COVID-19. Visit - https://helpline.barnardos.org.uk/
There are also great sources of support closer to home to help you stay well this winter.
- NHS advice on taking care of yourself this winter - https://www.leedsccg.nhs.uk/health/coronavirus/take-care-of-you-this-winter/
- MindWell, the mental health website for people in Leeds has launched its Winter Wellbeing campaign sharing tips and ideas to help people stay mentally well during the winter season.
- Leeds City Council has a dedicated webpage https://www.leeds.gov.uk/coronavirus/people-and-communities which outlines the help and support that is available for residents in Leeds during the Covid pandemic, including how to get help and essential services if you are self-isolating and don't have friends of family nearby that can help you. You can also phone 0113 376 0330 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).
- Barnsley Council has a webpage https://www.barnsley.gov.uk/services/health-and-wellbeing/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-and-guidance/ dedicated to advice and guidance at this time. If you're unable to fill the online forms in you can call them between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday on (01226) 774444 or 0808 196 3531 (freephone).
- They also have a COVID-19 Winter Grant Scheme for people who are stuggling.
- North Yorkshire County Council have outlined this local help and guidance: https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/help-you-during-coronavirus-covid-19. If you need support and don't have anyone you can call on, you can contact them on 01609 780780 every day between 8am and 5.30pm and they will direct you to the right support.
Worried about debt?
Christmas is always an expensive time and many households are facing additional financial stress this year due to the impacts of COVID-19 on jobs and livelihoods. It is our firm policy that we will not evict anyone that is experiencing financial hardship due to the current crisis. We ask that you prioritise paying your rent; if you are struggling to do this, please speak to one of our Income Officers as soon as possible. They can answer your questions, help maximise your income and signpost you to sources of support. If you need help with your energy bills you should speak to your individual supplier in the first instance or you may be able to switch to a better tariff. Visit: https://www.gocompare.com/gas-and-electricity/ or https://www.moneysupermarket.com/gas-and-electricity/ for cost comparisons.
There is also government help available, including the Cold Weather Payment, Warm Home Discount Scheme (if you receive certain benefits) and/or the Winter Fuel Payment (if were born before 1954). For details of whether you are eligible and how to apply, please visit: www.gov.uk/browse/benefits/heating
We also have our own LYHA Customer Support Fund in place to offer assistance. To find out more, please speak to one of our Neighbourhood or Income Officers.