Council releases weekly statistics on emergency help to residents

Published: Tuesday, 14th April 2020

Oxford City Council’s support service for the coronavirus crisis helped 375 residents last week (Mon 6 April -Sun 12 April) coping with emergency needs.

This included helping with issues such as food parcels and health problems, from prescription deliveries to tackling loneliness, and has helped 800 requests for support overall since the service began.  

The Council’s contact centre took 375 calls and online requests asking for support. The top reasons for calls were:

  • 191 requests for urgent supplies needed
  • 176 needed picking up shopping
  • 44 from people feeling lonely/needing a friendly call

The contact centre was able to help by referring people to the locality response hubs the council has set up for urgent problems getting food and other supplies. They also put people in touch with volunteers who can collect shopping and prescriptions, and referred callers to voluntary groups who arrange daily contact calls to tackle loneliness.

Residents needing support can fill out the form online at www.oxford.gov.uk/CommunityAssistance or call the contact centre on 01865 249 811.

The contact centre is also directly contacting residents they believe may be in need of support, using existing data, so that they can make sure the right help is in place for those people. The centre has contacted over 2,000 residents by phone, and follow-up visits will be made to check on those they were unable to reach.

Last week support delivered included helping a deaf resident to get online. Video calling was essential for him, as he communicates using sign language, but he was struggling to get online. The locality response hub staff delivered off a dongle to get online, using prepared message cards to explain who they were and to check if any other support was needed.

“The hubs and volunteers are doing fantastic work getting the right support out to people. We’re actively contacting those we know may need extra help, to make sure we don’t miss anyone. I’m very proud of the fantastic teams we have, who are doing all they can to support people in the community. If you need assistance or are concerned about someone else in your community who might need help, please do get in touch with us, we all need to be looking out for each other at this time.”

Councillor Marie Tidball, Cabinet Member for Supporting Local Communities