Coronavirus self-isolation: Helpline to be launched for those with no family or friends to rely on

A helpline is being set up for people in self-isolation with no family or friends to rely on when they are in desperate need of help.

Friday, 20th March 2020, 4:00 pm
Updated Friday, 20th March 2020, 4:00 pm

Staff at North Yorkshire County Council will be on standby from Monday, March 23 to provide over-the-phone support to those who have nobody to call during the coronavirus crisis.

It comes as those aged 70 and above, and those with the most serious health conditions, are facing the prospect of being asked to self-isolate for 12 weeks.

A helpline is being set up for people in self-isolation with no family or friends to rely on when they are in desperate need of help. Photo: PXFuel.

The county council's chief executive Richard Flinton said: "We are taking a leading role with other local authorities up and down the county to ensure we help shield people who may be more vulnerable, such as those with underlying medical conditions as well as people over 70, who are self-isolating, over the coming weeks and months."

Mr Flinton also urged people to look out for each other in their communities.

He said: "We know that people across the county will want to help their communities and we’re encouraging everyone to look out for anyone in their immediate area who might need help, whilst also keeping social distancing advice in mind.

"Although we need to be careful about physical contact, offering to call your neighbour who can’t get out so they have someone to chat to on the phone could make all the difference."

The county council's helpline number is 01609 780780.

Mr Flinton added: "If there is anyone who has no help or support and is struggling we will help you, but we ask that, in the first instance, you turn to people around you – family, friends and neighbours - so that we can find and help those most vulnerable and at risk.

"We know North Yorkshire is a place of great kindness and we will be highlighting some of the stories that will illustrate that throughout this period."

More information is available at www.northyorks.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19-community-support

By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter