How to get help during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

If you need help, advice or support during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, you can find out how to access this from a range of services below.

You can also call us for coronavirus advice between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday on (01226) 774444 or 0808 196 3531 (freephone).

Financial support for food, housing or utilities  

We have a COVID-19 hardship fund which includes financial support available through:

  • the local welfare assistance scheme - including foodbank referrals and support with living costs
  • discretionary housing payments - for a rent top-up for a temporary period 
  • council tax discretionary relief - additional relief if you already receive council tax support

Find out more about the COVID-19 hardship fund and apply for support.

Test and Trace support payment

If you've been contacted by NHS Test and Trace and told to self isolate, you could be entitled to a support payment if you're unable to work from home and will lose income as a result. Find out about the Test and Trace support payment and apply.

Help and support services

Alzheimer's and dementia 

Barnsley Alzheimer's Society

Barnsley Alzheimer's Society provide services including dementia adviser support, memory cafe and singing for the brain. Their experienced advisers can provide you with personalised practical and emotional support for people with dementia and their carers.

BIADS (Barnsley Independent Alzheimer's and Dementia Support)

BIADS provides support to those who have any form of dementia, as well as their families and friends.

Autism and learning disabilities

Speakup

Speakup is run by and for people with learning disabilities and autism. They have a range of services that can support you, including the below:

Prioritise Me

Prioritise Me is a training resource to show you how to join the 'priority services register' with your energy company. You'll also find other training presentations and films that will help support you, such as how to save energy and still keep warm, understand energy bills and switch providers.  

Peaceful Minds

Peaceful Minds can help you with ideas for things to do when staying at home. You'll also find information about online yoga sessions and quizzes.

For more information

Befriending

Age UK Barnsley

Age UK Barnsley offer a telephone befriending service for people living in the borough aged 50 and over. They can provide a regular friendly conversation over the phone with one of their volunteer befrienders, to help reduce loneliness and isolation, increase personal wellbeing and to provide companionship.

b:friend

b:friend is a charity working to reduce social isolation and loneliness in older people in the Dearne and the wider Barnsley area. Befriending is available to anyone aged 65 or over, living alone who is lonely and/or at risk of social isolation.

Warm Connections (DIAL)

Warm Connections is a service provided by DIAL that can provide emotional and practical support to isolated and vulnerable residents of in the North Area Council area. They also offer an over-the-phone befriending service.

Bereavement 

Listening Ear

Listening Ear offers support to anyone who has been bereaved or needs additional support; for example, people working in caring roles. It provides support, advice or guidance to anyone who needs it. 

Carers

Barnsley Carers Service

Barnsley Carers Service is a free-to-access service to support unpaid carers. They can help you with information and advice, one-to-one support, help getting into employment, events and activities, befriending, and assistance with accessing grant funding.

Children, young people and families

0-19 Public Health Nursing Service

Barnsley's 0-19 Public Health Nursing Service offer a range of services including antenatal and postnatal support, growth and development assessments, advice about common childhood illness, managing behaviour difficulties, managing behaviour difficulties, and many more.

Families Information Service (FIS)

Barnsley Family Information Service provides free and confidential information and advice for the whole family. 

Family centres

Family centres deliver joined-up early help services for children from pre-birth up to 19 years (or 25 years if the young person has a disability).

Family Lives

Family Lives provide targeted early intervention and crisis support to families who are struggling.
The issues they support families with include family breakdown, challenging relationships and behaviour, debt, and emotional and mental wellbeing.

Targeted Youth Support Service

The Targeted Youth Support Service brings together a range of agencies who work together to help young people who are taking risks or experiencing difficulties get back on the right path.

Digital support/help to use the internet

If you need some support to use the internet to help you keep in touch with family and friends or shop online, you can request digital support by filling in our online form below.

Our digital champions can provide free digital sessions and over-the-phone support to talk you through how to get started with video calling (such as using FaceTime or Skype), using social media (including Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp), or how to shop online safely.

Disability support

Barnsley Blind and Partially Sighted Association

Advice, support and guidance to blind and partially sighted people, as well as their family, friends and carers.

DIAL (Disability Information Advice Line)

DIAL is a local service supporting disabled people and their families in Barnsley. They provide free confidential information, advice and support to enable local people to live independent lives.

RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People)

One of the UK’s leading sight loss charities and the largest community of blind and partially sighted people.

Domestic abuse

IDAS (Independent Domestic Abuse Services)

IDAS is a specialist charity supporting anyone experiencing or affected by domestic abuse or sexual violence.

Inspire to Change 

Inspire to Change is a programme for people who have been abusive, controlling or violent towards their partner. The course combines learning and support tailored to an individual’s need and is free for those who are motivated to make a change in their behaviour and work to improve their relationships.

Drugs and alcohol 

Recovery Steps

Recovery Steps provide free and confidential support to help people make changes to their drug or alcohol use.

Employment

Enterprising Barnsley

If you've lost your job, are out of work, employed but at risk of redundancy, or employed and want to do some free training to help progress at work or get a new job, Enterprising Barnsley are able to give you free support via their helpdesk.

Finance and housing advice

Barnsley Community First Credit Union 

Savings and loans credit union.

Big Local - Thurnscoe

Community group offering discretionary grants of up to £500 for start-up and small businesses wanting to try something new or adapt their business due to coronavirus.

Citizens Advice Barnsley

Citizens Advice Barnsley offer free, confidential, independent and impartial advice to support with a range of problems.

Shelter 

Expert advice and support around housing, rent and mortgages.

Medication/prescription support

You should contact your GP or pharmacy if you need support to get your medication/prescription as you're self-isolating and you don't have any family, friends or neighbours who can collect it on your behalf.

Many pharmacies offer a delivery service.

If your pharmacy isn't able to deliver your medication, you may be eligible to receive support from a NHS volunteer responder who can collect it for you. Find out if you're eligible for help from a NHS volunteer responder or call 0808 196 3646 to request support.

Emergency support to get your medication/prescription

If your pharmacy isn't able to deliver your medication and you're not able to receive help from a NHS volunteer responder, you can request emergency support from a Barnsley CCG volunteer. To do this you must:

  • be registered with a GP (doctor) in the Barnsley borough;
  • have already ordered your medication and it must be ready for immediate collection;
  • be unable to leave your home to collect your medication and not have anyone who's able to do this on your behalf; and
  • only have enough medication at home for three days or less.

To request emergency prescription/medication support call us on (01226) 774444 or 0808 196 3531 (freephone) between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

After requesting support Barnsley CCG will contact you the next working day to arrange for your medication to be collected.

More information

If you're in financial crisis and can't afford to pay for your prescriptions as a direct result of COVID-19, please see our local welfare assistance scheme. You can check whether you need to pay prescription charges on the NHS website or by calling the NHS help with health costs line on 0300 330 1343.

Mental health 

24-hour helpline

If you're an adult experiencing emotional distress, you can get confidential help and support 24-hours a day by calling 0800 183 0558.

This helpline provides a listening ear, emotional support and guidance to adults with new or existing mental health conditions, as well as support for carers.

Mind: Rotherham and Barnsley

Mind are a mental health charity supporting those in need by promoting good mental health and offering high quality support so that no-one feels alone when dealing with mental health problems.

Recovery College 

Offers a wide range of courses and workshops to improve your wellbeing through learning. Their courses focus on being mentally and physically healthy, staying well and developing the knowledge and strength to overcome the challenges that we can all face at times in our lives.

Samaritans

If you need someone to talk to, are having a difficult time, or aren't feeling OK, Samaritans can support you.

TADS 

TADS offers support for young people with minor mental health problems including anxiety, depression and stress.

Umbrella services 

Offers a range of low level mental health support such as self-help courses, telephone advice, counselling and befriending - which link local volunteers to offer support and companionship.

Older people

Age UK Barnsley

Age UK Barnsley offer a telephone befriending service for people living in the borough aged 50 and over. They can provide a regular friendly conversation over the phone with one of their volunteer befrienders, to help reduce loneliness and isolation, increase personal wellbeing and to provide companionship.

b:friend

b:friend is a charity working to reduce social isolation and loneliness in older people in the Dearne and the wider Barnsley area. Befriending is available to anyone aged 65 or over, living alone who is lonely and/or at risk of social isolation.

Sexual health and sexual abuse

Barnsley Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Services (BSARCS)

Specialist service for people whose lives have been affected by rape, sexual abuse, sexual assault or any kind of sexual violence.

Spectrum Community Health CIC

Spectrum delivers integrated sexual health services across Barnsley, including contraception, screening and tests for sexually transmitted infections, vaccinations for Hepatitis A and B, and advice on unplanned pregnancy and other sexual health issues.

Stopping smoking 

Yorkshire Smoke Free

Yorkshire Smokefree provides expert NHS advice and support for anyone who wants to stop smoking.