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Corona Virus support and information 

Reducing Social Isolation Fund

Chichester in Partnership is keen to support local communities to look after people who may be feeling lonely or isolated during lockdown.

Can you think of a great idea for reducing social isolation while maintaining social distancing? Can you work with a local partner? Will your project support residents in Chichester District?  If so then fill out the application form below  and send to aloaring@chichester.gov.uk

There is no deadline but there is a limited amount of money, the highest amount we can give is £500. Once we have run out the fund will close.

Social isolation fund Application Form

Useful websites & potential sources of funding 


This website can help identify local support groups in your local area


Martin Lewis the money saving expert has created a fund for small registered charities, or local arms of bigger charities, across the UK – to help with specific UK coronavirus-related poverty relief projects.

Eden Project Communities have joined forces with leaders from different sectors to launch the Community Action Response to encourage everyone to do what they can to support their communities, and particularly vulnerable and isolated people during the Covid-19 crisis. They have a free poster to download and socialmedia graphics to use

Worth following locality blog and twitter as they support community groups and will be one of the first to hear of any support coming out.

Also worth following https://twitter.com/MyCommunityHelp

West Sussex County Council have links to the government advice, their own services and have posters that can be put up


Voluntary Action Arun and Chichester

In the light of the Government’s latest advice on COVID-19 we have cancelled our events and training up until the end of April. This includes:
FNM SCF Fundraiser Forum – Bid Writing (23 April)
VCM Ways to help volunteers feel valued (30 April)
During April we will consider whether we hold our May/June events and we will let you know as soon as the decision has been made.

1:1 Support for Member Organisations
We recognise that this is a precarious time for many of our members, particularly those that rely on income from trading. We are here to support you and we will continue to do so through our referral system, by phone and email. We are making plans to work remotely which will not affect our support to groups. Please contact us by downloading our referral form from our website.

Looking for volunteers during the Coronavirus crisis?
If you are extending your services into the community and need more volunteers, please let us know so we can advertise these roles. We are getting calls with regard to neighbourhood support and we want to signpost volunteers to our member organisations. If you need to update your volunteer policies, please get in touch with us for templates and guidance. Please visit our website


Financial Advice

Money advice service has set up some web pages to advise people


Universal credit
Please find a link below to the latest information about coronavirus and claiming benefits. Please check this page regularly for updates on the arrangements the Department for Work and Pensions is making to support those who are affected by coronavirus.  Our Jobcentres are required to adhere to national procedures so currently there are no local practices.
It has information under the following headings;

  •        If you’re in work and not claiming benefits
  •        If you’re already claiming benefits
  •        If you’re making a new claim
  •        If you’re an employer


Citizens Advice 
Citizens advice have stopped doing face to face meetings however they are offering the following

Arun & Chichester Citizens Advice
Town Hall, Clarence Road
Bognor Regis
West Sussex
PO21 1LD

Please see the Citizens Advice website www.citizensadvice.org.uk. Click here for vital information on consumer and employee rights from Citizens Advice, and visit Citizens Advice’s Coronavirus page for all the latest information.

Please note that we will be able to continue to distribute food and fuel vouchers without the need for clients to access our premises. We have also managed to agree for the restriction of one fuel voucher per household a year to be lifted during this period and we are therefore able to provide enough vouchers to enable people to stay warm during this period.

Home Energy support 
No more home energy visits will be available for West Sussex residents at this time. There will only be support for vulnerable residents who are in exceptional need. Support is for low income vulnerable households with broken heating systems and low income households struggling to pay for their energy at home. However the following services are available

THE WEST SUSSEX EMERGENCY HEATER SCHEME is currently still operating should any clients find themselves without a working heating system, and who have no other forms of temporary heating. Further information, including referral and eligibility criteria below. Please note professional referrals only, residents can not self refer.
CONTACT LEAPEmergency Central Heating Offer (ECHO) (eligibility criteria apply)
If you are aware of any households in a no-heat situation with GAS central heating, LEAP will be accepting new referrals for a couple more weeks, or until the funding is all spent. You can still use the LEAP referral form to make a referral for ECHO, (Emergency Central Heating Offer) making sure to tick the box “If you own your own home AND your gas central heating is broken, then please tick here” which is towards the bottom of the form.

Contact: https://applyforleap.org.uk/apply                            Tel: 0800 060 7567
Chichester District Council: Safer Warm Homes Grant and Chichester Warm Home Initiative: Telephone advice and support applying for heating grants and other assistance contact: Chichester Wellbeing on 01243 521041 to discuss.


Mental Health Support

Our partners at Mind have come up with a useful list of sites to help with mental health

World Health Organisation

Mental Health Foundation

BBC News

‘10% Happier’ the meditation app,
Free access to health care workers who are responding to the outbreak if you email care@10percent.com

For all you wanting to help others, some calling cards offering your seervices

Inter-Agency Standing Comitee

The Help Hub – Being developed to hep people with anxiety about the Coronavirus

American Foundation for Suicide Intervention

Tina Byrson – Talking Points for Parents and Teachers

Health Anxiety Resources by CCI

Intensive Care Foundation

British Psychological Society – Links to several articles including ‘Can we make jokes about Coronavirus’

In terms of MIND’s  services here is what they are offering

Continuing to support people with mental health problems is, and will be, more important than ever through these exceptional times. As a local mental health charity, we will be doing everything we can to maintain support to people.
But, in order to do this in a way which is safe and protecting people who use our services, our staff and the wider community, we need to make some changes to the way we are operating.
From next week (Monday March 23), we will be supporting people by phone, email, text and using digital technology and we are confident that we will still be able to offer good support to people in this way.
This week individuals can still phone us if they need help but our main focus is mobilising for our new offer from next week – working out new ways of working, organising equipment and training staff around new systems and technology. We are also working with local leaders and services in the areas in which we operate to make sure we are part of a coordinated effort to support the most vulnerable people in our communities.
We will be providing most up-to-date information about our services on our website so do continue to check this Corona virus update page.

If you have any questions or queries you can email info@westsussexmind.org

Marriott House Pen Pal Initiative

Marriott House and Lodge have been helping to combat loneliness and isolation for some time through the Post cards of Kindness initiative.

Social isolation will only increase due to the ever-developing Coronavirus outbreak.  We, the residents and staff of Marriott House and Lodge Care Home would like to help prevent this in any way we can, so we are looking for pen pals of all ages!

We are looking for pen pals of all ages.  It is amazing how a simple letter, short story, poem or even a photo or drawing can brighten someone’s day. The residents of Marriott House and Lodge will then reply as part of our busy social activity sessions.
In the time of such adversity it would be wonderful if we could work together as community and maintain some connection with one another

We are happy to receive things via post which can be sent to
Marriott House and Lodge Pen Pal Initiative,
Tollhouse Close,
PO19 1SG
or you can email us directly to activitiesmarriotthouse@gmail.com or to the main email at Marriott House which is marriott@barchester.com

For more information please contact Sarah Harding, Head of Activities at Marriott House and Lodge Care Home on 01243 536652 or sarah.harding@barchester.com

We would also like to let you know that although Marriott House and Lodge is currently on a lock down we do have some emergency residential and nursing beds available if you require an further information please contact Marriott House and Lodge on 01243 536652.