Get Help

In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, people across the city have been pulling together to build safe systems to get help to those who need it. The Knowle West Alliance is working with its members, partners and local volunteers to link help and support in our area. There are different routes to getting help for yourself or someone else:

Shielding & Clinically Extremely Vulnerable People

People who are most likely to get very poorly from coronavirus need to do more than other people to try and prevent themselves from getting coronavirus. This is also known as ‘shielding’.

If you are in this group, you will previously have received a letter from the NHS or from your GP telling you this. You may have been advised to shield in the past.

If you have a medical condition which makes you extremely vulnerable to coronavirus and you are unable to get food or medicine because you are shielding – e.g. you don’t have family or neighbours who can help – then you can contact this government service for emergency support.

The NHS Volunteer Responders programme is available to help support those who need it. Volunteers can collect and deliver shopping, medication and other essential supplies. Call 0808 196 3646 between 8am and 8pm, seven days a week to self-refer or visit NHS Volunteer Responders for further information.

For more information about shielding and staying safe visit the Government website.

Link into our Local Support Hub


People in urgent need can call the local We Are Bristol helpline to receive food, medicine and other necessities on (freephone) 0800 694 0184.
It’s open Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm and Saturday to Sunday 10am- 2pm).

A 24/7 helpline also available for people in Bristol to get immediate emotional and practical mental health support, on 0800 012 6549.

Day to Day

  • If you, a family member or a neighbour need help getting food or medicine or doing other essential tasks, or are feeling isolated:
    • fill in our enquiries form
    • call 0800 694 0184 (Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm), translation service available
    • deaf BSL users can contact the phoneline through a BSL Interpreter using SignVideo

You can also email and there is lots of information on the Council’s website.

This service links up with our new Knowle West Support Hub and you can get help with a wide range of needs including general information, collecting essential items like food or medication, and social contact and befriending.

Connecting with Neighbours

If you are on Facebook, local groups have already been set up by local people where you can request or offer support. For example, the BS4 and BS3 CV-19 Mutual Aid Groups.

Please make sure you take sensible precautions when using these groups, such as not sharing any personal information publicly or giving out or requesting other people’s bank details. There is some advice about safety when being helped or helping others at the bottom of this page.

This is a model that could be recreated for your street – perhaps using Facebook or WhatsApp to stay in touch, to create a smaller and more manageable arrangement at a very local level.  There is some information here from COVID-19 Mutual Aid about setting one up.

If you have lots of people on your street that don’t use WhatsApp or Facebook, a simple sharing of a few phone numbers will work just as well – here’s a template that Knowle West Alliance have made. It might be worth putting at a few names and numbers on there, so one person doesn’t become overwhelmed! 

Other Advice & Support

Mental Health Support

In an emergency call Bristol Mental Health on 0300 555 0334. This line is open 24 hours, seven days a week.

24/7 Support and Connect – A free NHS confidential 24/7 helpline for people who live in Bristol, North Somerset & South Gloucestershire 24/7 Support & Connect – Vita ( For immediate emotional and practical support call 0800 012 6549.

Our Frontline – mental health support for frontline workers – offers round-the-clock one-to-one support, by call or text, from trained volunteers, plus resources, tips and ideas to look after your mental health. Find out more here: Our Frontline – Mental Health At Work

Independent Mental Health Network (IMHN) has a range of support numbers:

Mind (mental health support): 0808 8080330

National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000247

Womankind: Helpline 0345 458 2914 / 0117 916 6461.

Age UK local support helpline: 0117 9297537

Crest Family GP Practice, William Budd Health Centre: 0117 9449700

Merrywood GP Practice, William Budd Health Centre: 0117 9449750

Filwood Hope (debt and housing advice): 07712661241

Citizen’s Advice Helpline can help those in financial crisis: 0808 2082138 (Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm).

Carers Support Centre Carers Line 0117 965 2200

WECIL – Weekly check in and chat service for disabled adults: 0797 368 6389.

Young Minds – mental health charity for children and young people. See below.

Financial support

The Government has extended the support available for citizens and businesses.

Furlough, or the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), will now remain open until the end of September 2021, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500, while the scheme continues.
From July, the government will contribute 70% and employers will have to pay 10% for hours not worked
In August and September the government will pay 60% and employers

Mortgage payment holidays have been extended until July 2021.

Business grants – if you run a business that is required to close in England due to restrictions, you will be eligible for business grants.

West of England Combined Authority (WECA’s) regional Growth Hub support has been expanded to help businesses through Covid-19.

The Self Employed Income Support Scheme  – check if you are eligible for a grant on the Government website.

Local Crisis Prevention Fund – vouchers for food, clothing, furniture and white goods: Email, include your/resident’s full name and address or phone: 0117 922 4500 (Mon to Fri, 9am – 12 noon).

Support for people on low incomes who are self-isolating
If you are on a low income and you have tested positive for Coronavirus, so you have to self-isolate, you could be eligible for a grant of up to £500. 

From 8 March 2021 this also includes adults who have to forgo normal earnings to look after a child/qualifying young person told to self-isolate.

Any claim can be backdated if received within 42 days of the first day of self isolation.
At present both schemes are due to run until 30 June 2021.
For more information on how to apply visit:

Bristol City Council also has a financial support page on its website:

You can sign up to the council’s business e-newsletter here or by emailing

Helping & Safety

Age Friendly Bristol has produced a useful toolkit for helping older neighbours:

If you are helping others, please take precautions to protect yourself from catching or spreading coronavirus:

  • Follow the NHS ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’
  • Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds
  • Practice ‘social distancing’ – such as maintaining a distance of around 2 metres from others
  • Leave shopping or food packages on the doorstep – knock or notify the person who is self-isolating that you’ve brought them, but leave before they open the door

Bristol City Council has provided guidance on considering safeguarding risks when you’re helping others, which includes:

  • show identification to prove who you are or where you live
  • never ask for personal details or bank details
  • encourage older relatives or neighbours not to give their personal details to anyone

Please make sure you respect and protect the privacy of anyone you help – especially people who might be vulnerable, such as those who live alone or older people. For example, please don’t share anyone’s personal details (such as their name, address or the things they need help with) with others or post it on social media. Even though many people may want to help, there may be others who could take advantage of knowing this information.

The council website also includes a link to fill in an online safeguarding referral form if you’re worried about someone who might be vulnerable at this time.

If you give out the Knowle West Alliance neighbourhood letters, be mindful of the fact that you will be giving your phone number out to people you may not know.

The Council guidance also has recommendations for anyone receiving help:

  • if someone offers to help you, make sure you know and trust them
  • never give them money, your bank details or any other personal details