A Covid Vaccination Helpline has launched for Kent and Medway residents. It aims to answer any questions or concerns about getting a vaccination, translation services are also available. Phone 0330 320 4444 between 8.30am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

One of the things we can all do to help the NHS and Public Health England is to listen to their advice and follow national guidance:

Public Health England are updating the Coronavirus page on the GOV.UK website daily with the latest information.

The Government has published advice on how to stay safe and prevent the spread of Coronavirus

GOV.UK have launched a Coronavirus WhatsApp Information Service. The free to use service aims to provide official, trustworthy and timely information and advice about coronavirus (COVID-19), and will further reduce the burden on NHS services. For accurate and up to date information, simply add 07860 064422 in your phone contacts and then message the word ‘hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started.

Prevent Coronavirus spreading:

There are some things you can do to help stop viruses spreading:

  • cover your mouth with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough or sneeze;
  • put used tissues in the bin straight away;
  • wash your hands often with soap and water, or hand sanitiser gel;
  • try and avoid close contact with people who are unwell;
  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands aren't clean


If you think you may have symptoms of the virus, use the online NHS 111 Coronavirus service or call 111. Do not visit your GP, pharmacy or hospital.

NHS support via text message service for people with symptoms of COVID-19.


Expansion of testing to everyone across the UK

Everyone in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who is showing coronavirus symptoms is eligible to book a swab test to find out if they have the virus and the testing portal can be accessed here.

Test and Trace Support Payments:

If you are working and on a low income, you may be entitled to a one-off payment of £500 if NHS Test and Trace has told you to self-isolate. To qualify for the payment, you must meet all of the following criteria.

Self Isolating:

For the latest guidance on self-isolating please visit Gov.uk


Government advice on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from COVID-19.

Mental Health:

Advice has been made available to support mental health during the Coronavirus outbreak

Advice on mental health while you're staying at home:

  • Health partners and providers, local authorities and emergency services across Kent and Medway have launched a mental well-being support information hub providing information for people experiencing bereavement and loss, debt and financial difficulties, pregnant women and new mums needing extra support, and families looking for help with young children or teenagers
  • Every Mind Matters: how to look after your mental wellbeing while staying at home

Kent and Medway Mental Health Support Text Service:

A text service has been launched across Kent and Medway for people of all ages needing mental health support. As part of the Release the Pressure campaign, the texts are free on all major mobile networks and the service is provided by SHOUT and the Crisis Text Line. By texting the word “Kent” or “Medway” to 85258, you will start a conversation with one of the many trained and experienced volunteers who can give support at any time, wherever you are. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help.

You may be worried about work and money if you have to stay home – these issues can have a big impact on your mental health. For guidance on what your rights are at work, what benefits you are entitled to and what further support is available please see the governments guidance for employees or advice from citizens advice or the National Debt line.

For 10 tips to help if you are worried about Coronavirus please visit the NHS website.

Resident Support Contacts and Information that may be able to help during this crisis.

Resources to help keep you active

Every Mind Matters campaign and tackling loneliness:

Having to self-isolate may leave some people feeling lonely as social activities and contact with family and friends are restricted. The Every Mind Matters campaign, developed by the NHS, has a range of support products to tackle loneliness.

The following organisations also provide some useful advice and guidance on how to promote mental wellbeing:

The Living Letters project is connecting people and developing intergenerational friendships to help prevent loneliness during the coronavirus pandemic. The Chicken shed charity has volunteers aged from 18-21 who want to connect with senior members of communities.

If you have care homes or group settings that may benefit from this scheme to help prevent loneliness please contact rachely@chickenshed.org.uk for more details.