Help and advice

Please see below for a wide range of resources, advice and ways to get more support. For a short summary, you can also download our handy guide to some of the local community support available.

How to get help  

Our COVID-19 resident’s helpline 023 8083 4800, is open Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm for practical support and information, or, you can fill in the online form.

Community support request

If you live outside of Southampton, you can contact Hantshelp4vulnerable on 0333 370 4000. This line is currently open from 9am-5pm, weekdays, and 9am to 4.30pm on Fridays (as of 01 August 2020).

If you need medical help, call the NHS on 111. If it is a medical emergency, call 999.

Find local community support

  • Southampton Voluntary Services has put together a database of Community links for support during COVID-19 where you can search for help, guidance and services on a variety of topics by postcode. This is continuously updated.
  • Love Southampton, an initiative of local churches and organisations are also bringing people together for the good of our city and helping those impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.
  • SO:Linked: Find practical and emotional support available in the city, on the directory. Chat things through and get connected with local support.
  • Southampton Coronavirus Mutual Aid Groups are offering neighbourly help for those affected by coronavirus. From picking up shopping lists and prescriptions, to walking the dog and befriending, volunteers are helping people who live nearby.
  • City Catering ‘meals on wheels’: Take away the strain of cooking, Monday to Friday - get nutritious hot meals delivered to your door.

How you can help 

If you are interested in how you can help out in Southampton at this time, we will be bringing you more information soon on how you can help. Opportunities include roles for people new to the care industry.

Adult care  

Last updated: 7 January 2021

We are committed to supporting all our residents and providing extra support for the most vulnerable in our community. We will be working to keep providing critical services that need to be available for groups including older people, those who need safeguarding and those in receipt of benefit payments.

Here is a list of the council services and their current status during national lockdown:

Visiting care homes

The number of infections in our area continue to rise, and we need to protect those who are most vulnerable from COVID-19. In line with current government national lockdown guidance and the further advice for residential homes, no indoor visits can take place unless they have substantial screens or visitor pods. Close-contact indoor visits are not allowed. No visits will be permitted in the event of an outbreak.

Day services

The infection rates in most parts of Hampshire are currently higher than any other time during the pandemic. We are seeing increased levels of community transmission and outbreaks in social care settings. In addition, people with learning disabilities are at higher risk of poor outcomes if they become infected with COVID-19, when compared to the general population.

In line with both public health advice and the national lockdown guidance, we took the difficult decision to close all day services until at least Monday 1 February 2021, except for those with most critical need.

Respite services

You will be able to access respite services. The support available will be limited to caring for people from one household at any one time. We will be prioritising access by reviewing the needs of those being cared for and their carers.

Home care and residential care

Please visit our care homes pages for more information.

Support available to you

If you have any questions or need support, please get in touch with the COVID-19 helpline.

The COVID-19 helpline is open Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm by calling 023 8083 4800. Or if you need to talk to someone about your care and support needs please telephone 0238 0833 003.

Shielding advice for clinically extremely vulnerable

Due to being at higher risk of becoming very unwell from catching COVID-19, people who are clinically extremely vulnerable should now follow shielding guidance. This means:

  • To not attend work, school, college or university
  • Limit the time you spend outside the home
  • Only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential

If you do not have friends or family that can help you and need emergency food support, help with getting medication, or would like someone to talk to, please call our COVID-19 helpline 023 8083 4800, open Monday to Friday 8.30am-5pm, or complete our online form.

Victims and perpetrators of domestic abuse  

Last updated: 24 December 2020

Southampton moves into Tier 4 of Covid restrictions at 0:01am on Boxing Day. This means further restrictions on people’s movement. We have seen in previous lockdowns that this has a serious impact on anyone experiencing domestic abuse. Support services are still here to help you, online and over the phone, whenever you need it.

While restrictions do state that people must stay at home and not leave their Tier 4 areas this does not apply to those needing to flee a domestic violence situation.

Local and national refuge services (safe houses for women and children who need to flee domestic abuse) are continuing to operate as are local and national helplines.

In an emergency always call 999. The ‘Silent Solution’ system is in place if you are unable to speak. After dialling 999, and hearing an automated message, you will be prompted to press 55 which will transfer you to the police. A call handler will then assess your call and arrange help if needed.

  • For women and children experiencing domestic violence:
    National Domestic Abuse Helpline
    T: 0808 2000 247
    If you are unable to call the helpline, you can complete an online form, requesting a safe time to be called back.

  • For support, advice, safety information or referral to local services:
    PIPPA (Southampton)
    T: 023 8091 7917 (Monday-Friday). If the line is busy, please leave a message with your name, contact number and safe time to call.

  • For people who need support around sexual abuse:
    Yellow Door
    T: 023 8063 6313 (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 12-2pm). If you need help in another language please let Yellow Door know.

  • For men who are worried about hurting the person they live with:
    The Hampton Trust
    T: 023 8000 9898
    The team are continuing to maintain victim and perpetrator services; safeguarding, case/risk management and safety planning also remain critical during this time.

  • Respect Phoneline
    T: 0808 802 4040

  • For male victims of domestic abuse:
    Respect Men’s Advice Line
    T: 0808 801 0327

  • For LGBT+ people experiencing domestic abuse:
    National LBGT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline
    T: 0800 999 5428

  • For children or young people experiencing abuse:
    T: 0800 11 11

Homeless and rough sleepers 

Throughout the pandemic, we’ve been working with partner organisations, charities and faith groups to provide extra support and access to emergency accommodation for people who have been found rough sleeping in the city. We will continue to do this as the weather gets colder.

It’s important we do all we can to help, so if you’re worried about a rough sleeper here is some advice about what you can do to support them responsibly.

Call 999 if you see someone who is unwell or distressed; don't put yourself in danger or approach someone behaving aggressively and remember to socially distance for your own and the rough sleeper’s safety.

Worried about money 

We appreciate this is a difficult time and people are worried about their finances. We are making regular updates to our information on money, benefits and paying the council during COVID-19. You might also find our information for businesses useful.

Interim Covid-19 financial support to the Adult Social Care sector from Southampton City Council 

Last updated: 29 May 2020


The proposed approach to award financial support to providers, responds to how the Council is delivering on Covid19 - Our Action Plan for Adult Social Care, using the additional funding awarded to local authorities to support providers of care. The financial support recognises the additional cost pressures incurred by our health and social care providers to ensure the safety of Southampton residents in our community and care homes.

On the 4th May 2020 Cabinet agreed to a 10% price uplift for a fixed period 19th March 2020 to 30th June 2020. This financial support award is available to all adult care homes and homecare of clients in receipt of services from Southampton Council.

The current financial package is time limited but will be kept under review as the Government updates on its approach to the management of Covid-19.

Financial support to providers

The financial support has been made available to providers in various ways to best align to their business practices. The breakdown below only includes expenditure made to date, and more is planned to be made over the coming months. As a result, this financial support is set to increase significantly as more payments are made to care homes and home care providers. This support will consider those providers who may require additional support for whom the Council does not contract or currently have Southampton residents in their care homes.

As at Friday, 29th May 2020 Southampton City Council has supported the social care and support market by the sum of £1,264,006. This is in addition to the practical support of advice and training, PPE supplies and other support including changes to care packages to meet increased needs. We are committed to keep this information updated on a monthly basis.

The breakdown of expenditure up to Friday, 29th May 2020 is:

Support to providers that Southampton City Council has contracts with:
Home Care Residential Care Other provision
Support being offered

Total paid to date: £123,192

  • Payments made more quickly following invoice receipt
  • 10% uplift on current payments, payable each period for 104 days in total
  • Process for providers to request additional support to help meet costs where financial difficulties may occur

Total paid to date: £1,010,721

  • Payments made in advance each month for all commissioned care
  • 10% uplift on current commissioned paid and covering 104 days in total
  • Process for providers to request additional support to help meet costs where financial difficulties may occur

Total paid to date: £130,093

Community Support Hub  

Southampton City Council has launched a Community Support Hub and a dedicated helpline in response to the COVID-19 crisis, to ensure that the most vulnerable people across the city have access to the support they need.

The hub will bring together support from across the city including the NHS, Southampton CCG, Southampton Voluntary Services and other voluntary and faith groups across the city.

  • Payments made more quickly following invoice receipt
  • 10% uplift paid to some housing support providers paid and covering 104 days in total
  • Process for providers to request additional support to help meet costs where financial difficulties may occur
Total spent by end of May 2020 on supporting providers that Southampton City Council has contracts with £1,264,006

Support to providers that Southampton City Council does not have contracts with:
Home Care Residential Care Other provision
Support being offered Process for providers to request additional support to help meet costs where financial difficulties may occur Process for providers to request additional support to help meet costs where financial difficulties may occur Process for providers to request additional support to help meet costs where financial difficulties may occur
Total spent by end of May 2020 on supporting providers that Southampton City Council has no contracts with £0

The attached documents provide more details on integrated working across the council and CCG in the city. They provide information on the actions being taken in the city to support the care market, and to sustain the current care capacity during this period of uncertainty. It includes information on infection prevention and control measures, and the support plan for care homes in the coming months.

Other forms of support  

If you’re experiencing financial difficulty, or would like some specialist advice, you can access information and support via:

Keeping safe  

It is vital that if you are giving, or receiving help, you take precautions to ensure your safety and those of others.

We urge all volunteers to adhere to government’s guidance on how to volunteer safely. For advice and tips, take a look at these videos created by Southampton Voluntary Service.

If you are receiving help, you should follow the Government’s social distancing and hygiene guidance. Do not let anyone into your home, unless you have confirmation that they are a registered professional or representative of a recognised Voluntary / Community sector organisation. Be cautious and curious and ask volunteers for proof of ID. You may also be interested in our advice on avoiding Covid-19 scams.

You can keep up to date with the latest government guidance.

If you’re worried you have Coronavirus, follow the NHS advice.