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 apply for this using our online forms below. A range of services in Barnsley are also continuing to provide specialist help and support.

Request financial support for food, housing or utilities  

Our COVID-19 hardship fund includes financial support available through:

  • the local welfare assistance scheme -  including referrals to foodbanks, support towards daily living costs, help with utility bills and rent arrears;

  • discretionary housing payments - providing for a top-up of rent for a temporary period to help people facing a crisis to stay in their homes;

  • council tax discretionary relief - additional relief for council tax is you already receive council tax support but are suffering from extreme financial hardship.

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 payment of £500 (depending on your circumstances) to support you 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.

Request support to get essential food if you're clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) or self-isolating

You can request support to help you get essential food if you don't have any family, friends or neighbours who are able to go food shopping on your behalf, and you're:

  • clinically extremely vulnerable (you're classed as this if you have a certain medical condition or if your hospital clinician or GP has added you to the 'shielded patients list' because they deem you to be at higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus). You can find out if you're classed as clinically extremely vulnerable on GOV.UK.


  • self-isolating (either because you or a member of your household or support bubble has symptoms or has tested positive for coronavirus, you've been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app, or you've arrived in the UK from a country with a high coronavirus risk).

Before you request support to get essential food

If you have internet access and just need some help to do an online grocery shop, you should request digital support instead. One of our digital champions will contact you to help you complete this.

Request help to get your prescription/medication

You can contact your local GP or pharmacy to ask for prescription/medication support. Many pharmacies offer a delivery service.

Request emergency support to get your prescription/medication

You can request emergency support from a Barnsley CCG volunteer to collect and deliver your prescribed medication if:

  • you're registered with a GP (doctor) in the Barnsley borough;
  • you're unable to leave your home to collect your medication and don't have anyone who is able to do this on your behalf; and
  • you only have enough medication left for three days or less.

Before you request prescription/medication support

  • You need to have already ordered your medication from your GP and it must be ready for collection from your pharmacy before you can request support from a volunteer.

  • If you submit your request on a weekday you'll be contacted within 24 hours to arrange for your medication to be collected. If you submit your request on a weekend you'll be contacted the following Monday. If you have an urgent medication request on a weekend please call (01226) 433777.

  • If you have enough medication to last four days or more you won't be able to request support through the online form. Please call 0808 196 3646 to request help from a NHS volunteer responder through the Royal Voluntary Service.
  • If your pharmacy usually deliver your medication and you want to confirm that they're still able to do this, please contact them for advice before requesting prescription support.

  • 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.

Request digital support

If you need some support to use the internet to help you keep in touch with family and friends or shop online during the COVID-19 pandemic, 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.

Request befriending support

You can request support from our befriending service to combat loneliness by filling in our online form below. 

This service can help you to feel supported and connected by chatting to a local volunteer if you're self-isolating, and can make a huge difference to your wellbeing.

Please note, this service isn't a substitute for professional support if your mood is really low. You can find out about professional support services available in the mental health section of this webpage.

If you're unable to fill the online forms in you can call us between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday on:

  • (01226) 774444
  • 0808 196 3531 (freephone)


Specialist help and support services

Alzheimer's and dementia 

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.

Barnsley Alzheimer's Society 

Autism and learning disabilities


Speakup is run by and for people with learning disabilities and autism. They have a range of services that can support you and help during this time. 

Prioritise me

Prioritise me: showing 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 skill keep warm, understanding energy bills and switching providers.  

Peaceful Minds

Peaceful Minds: you'll find ideas for what to do when staying at home.  You'll also find information about a very relaxing yoga session, which takes place at 2pm every Wednesday.  If you'd like to join the yoga session via Zoom, please email: 


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. 


Barnsley Carers Service 

Children, young people and families

0-19 Public Health Nursing Service 

Family centres

Find out more about Barnsley family centres or visit their Facebook:

Families Information Service (FIS)

Family Lives

Supporting pregnant women and new mums.

Targeted Youth Support Service 

Disability support

Barnsley Blind and Partially Sighted Association 

RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) 

DIAL (Disability Information Advice Line)

Domestic abuse

IDAS (Independent Domestic Abuse Services)

During social distancing for COVID-19 IDAS will be providing support to residents via:

  • online video support sessions
  • WhatsApp messaging
  • phone calls
  • online live chat - supporting new users that don't have an advisor
  • email

Find out more about IDAS services during COVID-19.

Inspire to change 

Support for those worried about their behaviour in their relationship

Drugs and alcohol 

Recovery Steps 


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.


Barnsley CAB (Citizens Advice Bureau) 

Barnsley Community First Credit Union 

Savings and loans 

Big Local Thurnscoe Barnsley CVS

Community group grants 


Rent and mortgage advice

General COVID-19 advice and guidance

GOV.UK WhatsApp service

GOV.UK have a free WhatsApp service to provide COVID-19 advice and guidance using online chatbots. The service can offer advice on prevention, symptoms and the latest number of cases in the UK. 

Send the word hi in a WhatsApp message to 07860 064422 to get started. You can find out more on the GOV.UK website.

Mental health 

Mind Barnsley 

Recovery College 

Support to improve mental wellbeing 



Support for young people with minor mental health problems

Umbrella services 

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

Older people

Age UK Barnsley 


Combating loneliness and isolation 

Sexual health and sexual abuse

Spectrum Community Health

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.

Stopping smoking 

Yorkshire Smoke Free