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Welcome to Handforth.info

This website front page has been created initially to provide information for Handforth residents about help in relation to the Corona Virus emergency. The normal front page will be restored when we all return to normality.

WASH YOUR HANDS – STAY HOME – STAY 2 METRES APART – PROTECT THE NHS – SAVE LIVES

Follow us on Twitter:- @Handforth-Info (We’ve had to change this from .Info because Twitter couldn’t fix a fault)

This website page gives links (see below) to various services that may help you during the Corona virus crisis. If you know of others you think should be shared, please email details to: Handforth.Info@gmail.com – thank you very much.

Corona Virus (COVID-19) Advice and Useful Websites

Government Advice:

Stay at Home

Only go outside for food, health reasons, or work (but only if you cannot work from home)

If you do go out, stay 2 metres (6 feet) away from other people AT ALL TIMES

Wash your hands as soon as you get home

Do not meet others, even friends or family

Government Benefits during the Epidemic

  • Universal Credit from the DWP – (Dept of Work and Pensions)
  • Housing Benefit
  • Discretionary payments to help with rent, for people receiving Housing Benefit
  • ESA – Employment and Support Allowance
  • see also New-Style ESA (from 27 March 2020)
  • see also New Style Job Seekers Allowance from February 2020

If you think ANY of these benefits, or any other Government help may possibly be useful to you, go to this link:

https://www.gov.uk/welfare

The following is information from Cheshire East Council – it explains emergency plans for help the Council will provide to residents during the Corona Virus epidemic.

Emergency shielding arrangements (including food supplies)

Local councils are playing a key role in ensuring that our most vulnerable residents have everything they need during this outbreak.

Cheshire East Council is providing emergency support to those residents, identified by the government as most at risk, through the community shielding initiative. Our role is to provide emergency food parcels, where needed. 

The council has received emergency supplies from central government to its secure distribution centre.

Over Friday and Saturday 28/29 March, staff contacted 321 vulnerable residents and 11 of those said that they did not have enough food to last them over the weekend.

They put together basic food parcels and delivered them, through volunteers. In Handforth, food parcels are being provided by the foodbank charity Hope Central.

Click here if you NEED help

Help with Shopping and other tasks

CEC have also set up a department to link people in the community who need help – for example with shopping – with volunteers who are able to help.

This is called “People Helping People”.

Click here if you NEED help

For information about the Cheshire East scheme go to “People Helping People”

VOLUNTEERING

Click here if you can GIVE help to local people, for example to collect prescriptions or shopping.

Can you help in the current climate by taking on a job in Adult Social Care? Cheshire East Council are looking for people to work in a variety of jobs in care – click the Be A Care Hero button…

Be A Care Hero

Council Tax.

There is new additional support through Council Tax Relief, plus a further reduction for people of working age.

Residents whose employment, or income, has been affected, may be able to defer payment of Council Tax.

People of pension age, or on low income, can qualify for support, perhaps leaving nothing to pay at all.

See details at Council Tax help

Financial Difficulties

Cheshire East are providing further services to help. See these:

Emergency Help: See details at Emergency Assistance

Advice on Money, Employment, being Self-Employed, a Sole Trader, working in the “Gig-Economy”, losing your source of income, and many other difficulties: See details at Money Advice

Support from Your Bank

Most banks are being extra supportive during the Virus Crisis – it is highly possible you will be able to get some help.

For example:

Mortgages: you may be able to get a payments “holiday”.

Overdrafts: some banks will allow an intereest-free buffer on your overdraft.

Credit Cards: your bank may eliminate charges for cash withdrawals and late payments

Freedom to withdraw cash from Fixed savings and ISAs. The bank may allow you to withdraw cash without penalties.

Business Finance: your business may well be able to have special access to loans for overdrafts and other formats of loan.

Foodbank in Handforth

In Handforth, we also have the foodbank charity “Hope Central” (previously called Hampers of hope) who can help (and who can always use your donations).

If you are in need of emergency food support, please ask your social worker, doctor, children’s centre, housing association or other health/social care provider to make a referral to Hope Central on your behalf.

Personal Protective Equipment for care workers

The supply and availability of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as gloves, masks etc. remains a high priority in our response to Covid-19.  You will be aware that the issue has been raised at a national level and that the government has taken steps to speed up delivery of PPE to health and care workers.

As part of this response, the council has set up a secure distribution hub to receive and distribute supplies from the government as they are delivered this week.

PPE will be provided to care homes, domiciliary care providers and council staff in various roles, enabling them to continue to provide vital care services to our most vulnerable residents.

Beware of fraud and scams during Coronavirus pandemic

Law enforcement, government and other partners are working together to encourage members of the public to be more vigilant against fraud, particularly about sharing their financial and personal information, as criminals seek to capitalise on the current situation.

Between 9 February and 22 March 2020 Action Fraud received 189 reports of fraud relating to Coronavirus with reported losses already approaching £1m. In addition, over 1000 phishing attempts were also reported during the same period.

The main fraud types to look out for are:

•       Online Shopping and Auction Fraud – more people at home socially distancing increases the number of people online shopping through necessity but also the fact they have more time on their hands to browse the internet.

•       Computer Software Service Fraud – more people working from home will increase demand on IT systems causing slower responses and making some scripts seem more believable.

•       Lender Loan Fraud – there are already media reports circulating about parents concerned that they may not be able to feed their children if they are not at school and those who will be made redundant or self-employed receiving a much reduced income with potentially the same or increased living costs. This may mean people look to quick loans to see them through.

•       Investment Fraud including Pension Liberation Fraud – fraudsters could take the opportunity to create bogus investments in commodities in high demand, for example oxygen, and if people are worried that they might not have enough money to see them through this financially uncertain time, they may be more prepared to invest.

Help for Business

There is a lot of help for businesses from both the Government, and from Cheshire East council. Go to the page below.

Business Help

More information?

Feel free to email us for more information, OR to send us any additional details you think should be added to this website for the benefit of Handforth residents – thank you. Send it to: Handforth.info@gmail.com

It doesn’t ALL have to be doom and gloom ……….

And a HUGE HUGE thankyou to our NHS heroes…..