This information is being regularly updated in line with latest Government guidance and advice. The content of this page was checked and updated on 27 March 2020.
We know that during this unprecedented time our communities coming together to support each other is more important than ever.
We'll be working with partners to deliver the best care we can in the community, supporting many voluntary sector organisations and groups who are mobilising to support some of the most vulnerable, unwell and at risk across Sunderland.
The most important thing we can all do to keep our communities safe is continue to follow Public Health England's guidance at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus
If you're able to help in your community, there are a few things you can do:
1. Shop sensibly. Many supermarkets have announced different opening hours to support elderly or vulnerable people, including priority online shopping deliveries too. Be mindful of any restrictions on key items when you're shopping.
2. Look out for your neighbours. If you have neighbours who are vulnerable or self isolating, check in safely if there's anything you can do to help like picking up shopping.
3. Support local foodbanks. Foodbanks need our support, whether that's with food, money or time. Foodbanks are planning to stay open to support those who cannot afford food to support their families, not those who have the resources but are for example self-isolating. You can find out how to donate to the Sunderland Foodbank and Washington Community Food Project as well as the most urgently needed items.
4. Volunteer if you can. Foodbanks are not alone in needing volunteer support to keep running even during the lockdown. Register your support on our volunteering platform to help us build a database of those who wish to volunteer. We can then match volunteers to communities in line with public health guidance regarding social distancing.
5. Stay in touch with what's happening in your area. Remember our area Facebook pages will share information about your local area and you can let us know what's going on in your community too.
6. Be mindful of potential scams. Trading Standards advises that there are cases reported throughout the country where vulnerable people have been tricked into handing over bank cards, money and other personal details in the belief that they will be used only to obtain essential items like food and medication. Sadly, this hasn't always been the case. Our advice is to never provide bank details or bank cards to anyone and seek any help you need from family and friends wherever you can. If you think you may have been the victim of a scam, please report it through the consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133.
7. Stay safe online. It's also important to protect yourself from online scams. When online watch out for fake news and use trusted sources like .gov.uk and NHS.uk websites. Beware of fake products being advertised online and on social media pages claiming they can protect you from or cure Coronavirus. They will not help you and are just money making schemes. There have been reports of phishing emails making tax refund claims. These emails are normally bogus and are simply an attempt to obtain your personal details. Other email scams try and trick you into opening attachments claiming to have information about people in your local area affected by Coronavirus or other Coronavirus information. Do not open these attachments as they may put you at risk of identity theft. If you think you may have been the victim of a scam, please report it through the consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133.
8. Be a good neighbour. Most people will now be spending much more time at home and indoors so we all need to be considerate of neighbours and the wider community. Consider any noise you create, both inside your home and in the garden; think about how excessive and prolonged noise could affect your neighbours' quality of life during an already difficult and unprecedented time. An open window may be the only opportunity for some of us to get fresh air over the coming weeks. Please don't prevent this by having a garden or allotment fire, or by burning inappropriate fuel in your home causing lots of smoke.