Southampton City Council sets up a Community Support Hub to help Southampton’s most vulnerable residents

The council has also launched a dedicated helpline in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

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.

Southampton Community Support 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. The service will prioritise those who have received a letter from NHS England stating they are in a priority group and are unable to rely on family or friends for adequate practical support.

The Hub will enable the council to respond to requests, using our own resources and voluntary sector, the community, and faith sector partners to deploy help quickly.

It will provide:

  • A dedicated helpline - 023 8083 4800, open Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm if you are in a vulnerable group, in critical need and have no other means of support
  • Emergency food and social contact, if needed, to those who have registered for support after having received their letter from NHS England
  • Signposting and connecting people to voluntary organisations and community groups in their local area for support, and linking residents to an appropriate service, which may be provided by the Council or the Voluntary sector
  • As well as to support queries and issues, such as if you are unable to pay council tax or if you cannot pay your rent Southampton City Council is working with NHS Southampton City CCG and Saints Foundation to co-ordinate the collection and delivery of medications for those who do not have a family/ friend network in place for support

They are liaising with pharmacies across the city as well as other voluntary services and faith groups to make this happen. Councillor Steve Leggett, Cabinet Member for Green City & Environment commented: “Our main priority is to protect and help the most vulnerable in our society. There has been an enormous effort to ensure self-isolated households, with no other means of support, are able to access the support they need. Colleagues across all areas of the council have been working extremely hard during these unprecedented times to ensure we continue to protect and support our most at-risk residents to stay safe, independent and healthy.

"We know there are some households who may be struggling to access support and our community hub will aim to address this gap. It’s been amazing to see the community response so far with many local Mutual Aid and Community Support groups made up of neighbourhood volunteers already offering support to our residents across the city. We are connected with them and want to thank these groups for their commitment which will continue to play a key part in our community response.”

Dr Mark Kelsey, Clinical Chair at NHS Southampton City CCG, said: “I would like to thank everyone working across health and care and the voluntary sector who have helped set up this new Community Hub so quickly. We are working hard to make sure everyone has access to the support they need. The community response that this hub will coordinate is vital.

“It remains, of course, that the single most important action we can all take to fight coronavirus is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.”

Jo Ash, Chief Executive of Southampton Voluntary Services added: “We are pleased to be supporting this joint effort by linking in offers from voluntary, community, social enterprise and faiths organisations and helping informal good neighbour mutual aid groups with safe practices as well as directing people to local services thorough our SO:Linked community navigation service and website. The upsurge in community spirit has been a bright light in these dark times and we thank all volunteers and local groups for their kind efforts and offers of help.”

To access support from Southampton Community Hub, please call 023 8083 4800, contact us via web chat or via this online form. For more information, and latest advice and updates on services please visit our Coronavirus pages.