We know that many people are slipping into financial difficulties, and claiming benefits for the first time, as job losses, furlough and the current economic situation start to bite. There are a variety of new and existing schemes to help people who are facing hardship now, who might not be aware of the support that is available to them. Cornwall VSF re-organised our website over Christmas to help ensure that the information you need is easy to find. The main Support Resources page now links to everything else that’s about providing immediate help to individuals, and organisations.

Here are the highlights for the needs presenting right now.

Food

Cornwall Council has launched a new interactive map showing all emergency food support in towns and villages throughout Cornwall. The new Help with Food map was created in partnership with community organisations and is online on the Let’s Talk Cornwall site. Transformation Cornwall also has an up to date list of opening times and availability for all the food banks.

The Getting help with food page on Cornwall Council’s website includes information on supermarket deliveries for the elderly or vulnerable, how to contact volunteers for help with shopping, how to pay for food and accessing money for those who have to stay at home, and help for families eligible for food vouchers. There’s information about assistance with other services on Cornwall Council’s Do you need a helping hand? web page.

Financial hardship

We have compiled a list of charities and grant-providers which offer financial assistance. Many of these need to be applied for by an organisation, and not by the individual themselves.

Other crisis help is available on the Cornwall Council website for:

Mental Health

One of the biggest impacts of the new lockdown will be on mental health, especially as our collective resilience will be lower after so many months of the crisis. Please help to let people know that there is support available for them, that they are not alone, and that it is OK not to be OK.

There are mental wellbeing guides for different age groups and in different languages on Cornwall Council’s coronavirus and mental wellbeing web page.

Cornwall VSF has also compiled an extensive list of mental health support.

Finding a volunteer to help

Volunteer Cornwall has 3,600 volunteers throughout Cornwall who can help with access to food, signposting to debt advice, general health and wellbeing support and information local activity and social groups. Please email requestforhelp@volunteercornwall.org.uk or phone 01872 266988.