Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Updates on council services, health advice, and support available for residents and businesses.

swindon.gov.uk/coronavirus

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - What you need to know

Here for Swindon: How you can support yourself and others during the Covid-19 outbreak

Keeping active and exercising 

It is really important for your mental and physical wellbeing to keep active and eat well. Although lockdown restrictions are lifting, many people will be spending more time indoors than before lockdown started.

There are lots of ways to keep active safely indoors, and there are lots of resources online which are free to use.

In addition, you can now leave your home to exercise and spend unlimited time outdoors for recreation with your household, or in groups of up to six people from outside your household or within your support 'bubble.' This is because the government recognises how difficult it has been to be cut off from friends and family over the last few months. The risk of the coronavirus being passed on to others outdoors is considered to be low as long as people maintain social distancing.

Full guidance on accessing green spaces safely can be found on the Government website.

Visit the Government FAQ’s webpage for more information on what you can and can’t do in terms of exercising outdoors.

Staying active while at home

Sport England has information on how to stay active while you are at home, including the following:

  • Exercising at home
  • What to do if you’re older
  • Online home workouts
  • Other gym workouts
  • Activities to do with the kids
  • Getting outdoors

There is also a huge range of online workouts, which you can find by doing a simple search on Google or Youtube, for varying lengths, activity types and abilities. For example, Yoga with Adriene is a popular yoga channel which offers over 500 free yoga videos which you can do at home.

For local ideas on how to be active and a ‘Social Distancing Timetable’ visit the Active and Inclusive Swindon website

Public Health England have also produced a blog of resources and advice on keeping active and healthy eating, for everyone spending more time indoors.

Looking after your mental health

Social-distancing and self-isolation can have a big impact on our wellbeing, especially our mental wellbeing. While many of us are feeling anxious or stressed, it’s really important we do all we can to look after our mental wellbeing. There are plenty of ideas and resources available to help:

General help

Staying at home can be difficult for a lot of people. Public Health England have launched Every Mind Matters, which has some great advice on looking after your mental health while staying at home. The Mental Health Foundation and MIND also have some great advice on looking after your mental health during the Coronavirus outbreak.

If you’re feeling stress and anxiety now or at any time, using self-help-help resources can help you understand and manage your wellbeing. The NHS website has a lot of advice on self-help and guidance to look after your mental wellbeing.

See also our longer list of resources to support children and young people:

Sleeping

Getting a good night’s sleep can be difficult if you’re worrying or feeling anxious, but it’s very important for good mental health. Implementing a positive night-time routine is essential and could include:

  • Minimising screen time on your phone, computer or TV before bed
  • Listening to something calming such as music or the Head Space app before you go to sleep
  • Minimising how much you watch/read about COVID-19 as this might cause you to feel more anxious and your body may not be able to rest

More information on how to sleep better at the Mental Health Foundation website

Eating

Did you know that what you eat has an impact on your mental wellbeing? When you’re stressed it can be easy to forget about heating healthily or drinking enough water.

However, certain food types and drinks could make us feel even lower and contribute to our stress levels even more. Take a look at this great guide from MIND on eating well for good mental health.

Exercising

Physical health and mental health are closely tied together, so in order to stay well we need to look after both. Any form of exercise can be good for your mental health as it:

  • Helps you sleep – as you feel more tired at the end of the day
  • Improves your mood – physical activity releases feel-good hormones that give you more energy and increase positivity
  • Helps you manage stress, anxiety or negative thoughts – it release chemicals that help reduce stress, but also gives your brain a rest by taking your mind of your worries.

Connecting with others

Self-isolation can leave many people feeling lonely, so staying connected is really important. Any form of positive connection is vital for good wellbeing, so consider these things when connecting to others:

  • Stay connected to people anyway you can, via email, social media, video calling or telephone. Can you use video rather than telephone so you can physical see how people are?
  • Can you make those conversations fun and light-hearted, perhaps avoiding discussions around Covid-19? Some people are running quizzes, having virtual tea parties or talking about the positive things our communities are doing.
  • Is there someone you know who you haven’t checked in with yet? Try and keep in touch with those who have less support.

Looking out for others 

Coronavirus is affecting everyone, so now is also a time to look out for of our friends, families, neighbours and people in our communities:

  • Take the time to check-in on any vulnerable family, friends and neighbours. Sometimes just asking how you can help or assisting with shopping can make a big difference.
  • Check-in on those around you. Self-isolation can be a very lonely and difficult experience for many, so calling or texting those around you might help reduce feelings of isolation.

Using the NHS for other health needs

The NHS remains 'open for business' despite the extra pressure on services caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

It's important to be aware of the following points:

  • If you need medical help, the NHS is still here for you.
  • If you need medical help from your GP practice, contact them either online, by an app or by phone to be assessed.
  • If you need urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 online service. If you cannot get help online, call 111.
  • If it’s a serious or life-threatening emergency, call 999.
  • If you are told to go to hospital it is important that you go to hospital.
  • You should continue to attend your appointments, unless you have been told not to attend.

Prescriptions

  • You can order your repeat prescriptions on the NHS App and through your GP surgery or pharmacy’s online service, where available.
  • If you need to collect a prescription and have coronavirus symptoms or are self-isolating at home, please arrange for a friend, relative or volunteer to collect for you.
  • To help us to keep supplying medicines to everyone who needs them, please only order repeat prescriptions in your usual quantities at the usual time.

Routine vaccinations

  • It is important that you or your baby or child still have routine vaccinations. They protect against serious and potentially deadly illnesses and stop outbreaks in the community.
  • If the person needing vaccination has coronavirus symptoms or is self-isolating because someone in the household is displaying symptoms, please contact your GP practice for advice.

Cancer patients

  • If you have a symptom that you are worried about, you must contact your GP Practice.
  • Your clinician will discuss with you the benefits of starting or continuing your cancer treatment against the increased risks of contracting coronavirus.

Heart attack patients

  • If you think you or a family member are suffering with the symptoms of a heart attack you must dial 999 immediately.
  • If you or a family member develop symptoms such as heavy or tight chest pain that may spread to your arms, neck or jaw, or make you breathless, sick, sweaty or light-headed and that doesn’t go away, this could be caused by a heart attack. Dial 999 immediately.

Stroke patients

  • If you think you or a family member are suffering with the symptoms of a stroke you must dial 999 immediately.
  • You can spot the symptoms of a stroke by using the FAST test:
    • Face - is the face drooping / fallen on one side? Can they smile?
    • Arms - can they raise both arms and keep them there?
    • Speech - is it slurred?
    • Time to call 999 if you see any of the above signs

Pregnant women

  • If you are pregnant it is important that you still attend your antenatal appointments and continue to seek advice from your midwife or maternity team.
  • If you are worried about your health or the health of your unborn baby, please contact your midwife or maternity team.

Parents of young children

  • If you are worried about the health of your baby or child, please call 111.
  • If it’s a serious or life-threatening emergency, call 999.

Mental health

  • The NHS is there to support your mental health during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as your physical health.
  • If you are concerned about the mental health of your child, please contact your GP or check online self-referral options for under 18 years olds on the NHS website.
  • If you are facing mental health issues contact your GP or key worker, if you have one, and continue to access your mental health services as usual. We are also still open for new referrals, via your GP or online.
  • If you’re experiencing stress and anxiety, you can get further information, including how to self-refer to psychological therapies on the NHS website.
  • If you are facing a mental health crisis, use the NHS 111 online service. If you cannot get help online, call 111.

Learning disability and autism

  • If you need medical help reasonable adjustments will be made so you get the right care and support.
  • Your local community teams and crisis support lines are available if you are worried or anxious.

Urgent eye care

  • Primary Eye Care provides NHS funded urgent eyecare services across Swindon. The services are available from local opticians.

Getting support from charity services

The information below aims to tell you what charity services are available during the coronavirus pandemic and how to access them.

Age UK Wiltshire

Community meals service is still operating - a two-course hot meal delivered seven days a week for £6.50 a meal. You can contact them on 0808 196 2424 or e-mail communitymeals@ageukwiltshire.org.uk.

Age UK Wiltshire website

Alzheimer's Society

The Our Dementia Connect support line remains open on 0333 150 3456. You can access their online community, Talking Point, through the website. All face-to-face and group services are suspended.

You can contact the Swindon branch on 01793 485404 or via e-mail to swindon@alzheimers.org.uk.

Alzheimer’s Society website

Citizens Advice Swindon (CAS)

Providing advice by telephone and e-mail on 03444 994114 and advice@swindon.cabnet.org.uk. All drop-in sessions and face-to-face appointments suspended until further notice.

CAS website

British Red Cross

Free coronavirus support line available on 0808 196 3651 to provide practical and emotional support. Can also provide contact details of local organisations that can help with accessing food or medicine. The support line is available every day between 10.00am and 6.00pm.

British Red Cross website

Business West Limited

All events have been cancelled for the foreseeable future. They have launched Trading Through Coronavirus to provide guidance and support on COVID-19 for businesses, employers and employees in the region.  

Business West Limited website

Coram Voice

Providing young people with advice and advocacy support by phone or video and other messaging apps. You can contact their advocacy helpline free on 0808 800 5792 (Monday to Friday 9.30am to 6.00pm and Saturday 10.00am to 4.00pm).

Coram Voice website

CRUSE Bereavement Care

Providing telephone support on 01793 619933.

CRUSE Bereavement Care website

Discovering Autistic Spectrum Happiness (DASH)

All face-to-face sessions to be run by phone, text and e-mail. All group sessions are cancelled. Phone 07554 665715 or e-mail contactdashswindon@gmail.com.

DASH website

Disability Experts CIC

All courses and activities are suspended. Operating a limited advice service via phone/text and email. Contact details: 07870 643734 (telephone or text, call back available) or e-mail office@disabilityexperts.co.uk.

Disability Experts CIC website

Enham Trust

Continuing to support Direct Payment clients, employers and personal assistants through their existing contact channels. Contact details for Swindon are 01264 345862 or DirectPaymentsSwindon@enhamtrust.org.uk. The care homes have been closed to external visitors, and the cafes and charity shop are also closed.

Enham Trust website

Harbour Project

Drop-in sessions cancelled. Urgent help available by phone or e-mail on 07541 574 107 or help@harbourproject.org.uk.

Harbour Project website

Headway

Plan to offer a remote support service to their clients. Currently developing ideas for a range of activities that can be offered remotely. Phone 01793 674820.

Headway website

Healthwatch Swindon

Staff and volunteers are working from home and all face-to-face meetings have been cancelled. 

They are still able to pick up phone messages from the usual Healthwatch number, 01793 497777, e-mails to info@healthwatchswindon.org.uk and contact through social media. Opening times are Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 5.00pm.

Healthwatch Swindon website

Inner Flame

All programmes have been adapted to be delivered online. Phone 07531 473482.

Inner Flame website

IPSUM

Group work has stopped but support provided through website and social media.

IPSUM website

Jessie May Children's Hospice at Home

Staff are working from home and holding meetings over the phone or video conferencing, rather than face-to-face. Phone 0117 961 6840 or email info@jessiemay.org.uk.

Jessie May Children's Hospice at Home website

Julia's House

Continuing to provide care and support to local children and families in their homes. Stopped hospice respite care sessions for the foreseeable future. Assessing end of life referrals on a case-by-case basis as resources allow. All their shops are now closed. Phone 01380 562525 or contact online.

Julia's House website

MHA Swindon Live at Home Scheme

Continuing existing telephone befriending service.

MHA Swindon Live at Home Scheme website

Olive Tree Café

Closed until further notice.

Olive Tree Café website

Out of the Can

Youth clubs closed, but offering telephone support. E-mail ootc@hotmail.co.uk and they will call back. 

Out of the Can website

Phoenix Enterprises Ltd

Currently closed. Service users can access a support worker on 07379 308610.

Phoenix Enterprises Ltd website

Royal Voluntary Service (RVS)

Still providing telephone support on 0330 555 0310, 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday. All face-to-face community services have stopped, but are continuing to support the community with welfare/companionship telephone calls and by delivering essential food and medication. Local contact number is 07342 076383.

Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) website

Samaritans

Providing telephone support on 116 123 (free from any phone) day or night, 365 days a year. Can also be contacted on 0330 094 5717 (local call charges apply). Currently unable to offer face-to-face service.

Samaritans website

SHINE - Perinatal Support

Providing support on social media via the SHINE Facebook page.

SHINE - Perinatal Support website

STEP

Main office closed and all direct contact/group sessions with children and young people temporarily suspended. Providing regular links/tips and where to find support through the links page on the STEPS website and the Friends of STEP Facebook page. You can contact them by e-mailing swindonstep@aol.com.

STEP website

Stroke Association

Providing support by phone and digital channels. Call the helpline number 0303 3033 100 or e-mail helpline@stroke.org.uk.

Stroke Association website

Swindon & Gloucestershire MIND

Providing telephone support from their wellbeing teams, but all groups, one-to-one sessions and training are cancelled. You can contact them on 01793 432031 or by e-mailing admin@sgmind.org.uk.

Swindon & Gloucestershire MIND website

Swindon Advocacy Movement (SAM)

Offering service remotely via telephone and online video calling services. You can contact them on 01793 542575 to speak to an advocate. All face-to-face sessions cancelled indefinitely. 

Swindon Advocacy Movement (SAM) website

Swindon Carers Centre

Phone support available on 01793 531133. Carer groups and activities have been cancelled until further notice.

Also providing an informal IT technical support hotline for registered carers through Avagio IT Services, to support with using social media/video, staying safe online and setting up online shopping services. You can contact Avagio from 9.00am to 5.00pm on 01249 470148 or by e-mail to helpinghand@avagio.co.uk.

Swindon Carers Centre website

Swindon City of Sanctuary

Providing support by phone and e-mail. All groups have been postponed. Phone 07903 167142 or e-mail info@swindon.cityofsanctuary.org.

Swindon City of Sanctuary website

Swindon Parkinson’s UK

Providing telephone support on 0808 800 0303. All respite, exercise classes, coffee mornings, committee meetings and AGM have been cancelled.

Swindon Parkinson’s UK website

Swindon Pregnancy Choices

No longer seeing clients face-to-face, but continuing to offer telephone counselling on 07473 207217.

Swindon Pregnancy Choices website

Swindon Shopmobility

Closed until further notice.

Swindon Shopmobility website

Swindon Women’s Aid

National helplines, e-mail, text and live chat support services are open as usual. Swindon helpline: 01793 610610, national helpline: 0808 2000 247.

Swindon Women’s Aid website

TWIGS Community Gardens

Currently closed to visitors and all activity sessions are suspended.

TWIGS Community Gardens website

Victim Support

Offering emotional and practical support to victims of crime (whether it has been reported to the police or not) through phone and e-mail support. Contact details: 0808 281 0113.

Victim Support website

Volunteer Centre

Drop-in centre is closed. Taking volunteer enquiries by e-mail on info@swindonvolunteers.org.uk.

Volunteer Centre website

Voluntary Action Swindon (VAS)

Main office is closed until further notice. Unable to provide meeting rooms, printing, training, or DBS. 

VAS is coordinating 'Compassionate Swindon', so the website has information about the scheme and the coronavirus response funds that voluntary groups can apply to. E-mail info@vas-swindon.org.

VAS website

Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust

Continuing their home security service for older and vulnerable people throughout Wiltshire, but not giving any talks to community groups. You can contact them on 01380 861155.

The Staying Safe Online team are providing telephone advice on 01380 861191, but will not be doing home visits until further notice.

Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust website

Wiltshire Law Centre

Office is closed. Phone advice available. If your call goes to answer phone, leave a message to receive a call back. Phone 01793 486926 or e-mail info@wiltslawcentre.co.uk.

Wiltshire Law Centre website

Wiltshire Sight

Providing support and advice by telephone and e-mail on 01380 723682 or info@wiltshiresight.org. All drop-ins, socials, one-to-one face-to-face sessions and home visits are suspended until further notice.

Wiltshire Sight website

Wiltshire Treehouse

Providing bereavement support to parents, children and young people over the phone and online. Phone 01793 987105 or 07493 509750 or e-mail admin@wiltshiretreehouse.org.uk.

Wiltshire Treehouse website

Wiltshire Wildlife Trust

Planned events and activities cancelled or postponed until further notice. The Kingfisher Café, Langford Lakes and Lakeside Care Farm are also closed. E-mail info@wiltshirewildlife.org.

Wiltshire Wildlife Trust website

Accessing home schooling resources

For parents and teachers with children learning from home, there are lots of resources and activity ideas available, to keep them entertained and learning during lockdown

Returning to school

  • Tips on returning to school - In this short film, Dr Jess Richardson, principal clinical psychologist (National & Specialist CAMHS and Maudsley), provides straightforward, important suggestions for parents and teachers to deal with any potential apprehension or anxiety children may experience on returning to school.

Early years

General education resources

  • Chatter Pack - A comprehensive list of home-learning resources for all age groups.
  • Wabisabi Learning - A list of terrific STEM project-based learning activities for teachers and home-schooling parents.
  • STEM learning - Free home learning resources for primary to post-16.
  • BBC Bitesize -The BBC Learning suite of activity sites, with links to much more (pre-school to post-16).
  • Audible - Free audio books.
  • Sparkle Box - Thousands of free printable resources for primary school teachers, parents and others who work with children.
  • Twinkl Home Learning Hub - Home school resources, printables, book readings, live lessons and positive news updated daily.

Maths

Science

  • Lift Lessons - Offering free resources to parents and schools, including science vocabulary
  • Science Theatre - Free science lessons online.

SEN (special educational needs)

  • Chatter Pack - List of free speech, language, communication and SEN resources for schools and parents and carers.
  • Do2Learn - Resources for learning at home including fine motor skill development, language development and visual discrimination.
  • SEN Teacher - Teaching resources that are free to share and use at school and at home.
  • Books beyond - Reading support for all SEN.
  • Simultaneous oral spelling - Multi-sensory spelling techniques.
  • Spelling support strategies ­- Synthetic phonics approach to spelling.
  • Disability Matters - A free e-Learning resource for the UK workforce.

Sports and drama

Social and contact stories

Mental health and wellbeing and talking to your child about Coronavirus

General parental resources

Quitting smoking

During the coronavirus pandemic, it is now more important than ever to quit smoking.

Due to the current pressure placed on services, normal stop smoking services may not be available. However, there are still online and telephone support services available to help you.

ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) are leading the #QuitforCovid campaign. There are many health and financial benefits to quitting smoking, but now more than ever quitting means you can:

  • Reduce the likelihood of complications from COVID-19
  • Protect the health of others. Exposure to second hand smoke also increases the risk of complications from respiratory infections.
  • Reduce the burden on the NHS. Stopping smoking brings immediate health benefits particularly to the heart and lungs.

Visit Today is the Day for more information on smoking and coronavirus.

There is also a Twitter account @QuitforCovid which has been set up to support people to stop smoking. Every day between 7.30pm and 8.30pm a quit clinic is hosted by a health expert to provide advice and support for people who would like to quit.

Why is it important?

  • Emerging evidence from China has revealed that smokers with COVID-19 are 14 times more likely to develop severe respiratory disease.
  • Smoking tobacco is known to damage the lungs and airways causing a range of severe respiratory problems.
  • The evidence clearly shows COVID-19 virus attacks the respiratory system, which explains why smokers are at greater risk.
  • In addition, the repetitive hand-to-mouth movement provides an easy route of entry for the virus, putting smokers at greater risk of contracting COVID-19.

Useful links and resources:

Ordering food through delivery services

Getting access to food can be difficult during the Coronavirus outbreak, especially for people who have to shield or self-isolate. Below, you can find a list of businesses that are offering a range of food and meal delivery services.

Home meal deliveries:

  • The COOK Kitchen - A wide range of gourmet frozen meals for home delivery. Home delivery slots are available for people ‘at risk’, self-isolating or working for the NHS. Minimum order for delivery is £35, and home delivery is free of charge for orders over £85. You can order online or by calling 01732 759000 between 9.00am and 5.30pm Monday to Friday, and 9.00am and 1.00pm on Saturday.
  • Parsley Box - A range of cupboard stored meals (no fridge or freezer required) delivered straight to your door and ready to eat within minutes. Express delivery available and no subscription required. Order online or by phone on 0800 6127225.
  • Oakhouse Foods - With a choice of nearly 400 frozen meals, which includes meals to suit a variety of dietary needs. Using no-contact delivery as a standard method for deliveries. Order online or by phone on 0333 370 6700.
  • Wiltshire Farm Foods - Delivering frozen meals, with over 300 dishes to choose from. They also have a priority helpline for those who are extremely vulnerable. Order online or by phone on 0800 077 3100.
  • Age UK community hot meals - Service deliverting lunchtime meals to homes, specifically created for older people living in Wiltshire and Swindon. They will bring you a hot, freshly prepared midday meal and dessert for £6.50 per meal. Phone 0808 196 2424 or email communitymeals@ageukwiltshire.org.uk.
  • Stratton Juniors - Distributing free meals to the elderly and vulnerable in the community. Providing a meal service of a main meal and dessert from a standard menu. Anyone who would like to use this service should contact Paul on 07587 003990 or e-mail info@strattonjuniorsfootball.co.uk.

Fruit/veg boxes and groceries:

  • The Core - Providing fruit and/or vegetable boxes to customers and providing boxes to vulnerable and those struggling to meet cost. Boxes delivered to customers doors. A range of vegan meals is also available for delivery. Also providing free bottles of juice to the hospital on a daily basis. You can order online via the website.
  • Wiltshire Fruit and Veg Ltd - A local, family run fruit and veg business that delivers fresh produce. Range of boxes available to order, which include fruit, vegetables, milk, eggs and cheese, as well as meat boxes. Delivery is free to all areas in Wiltshire. Order online or phone 01380 502498.
  • Heritage Fine Foods - Fresh produce company with a range of home delivery boxes available, which include fruit and vegetables, bread, dairy, meat and a range of kitchen cupboard items. Currently delivering Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Order online or phone 01380 860968.
  • Marks and Spencer food boxes -  A range of fruit, vegetable or meat boxes are available to order online for delivery. A classic meal box of prepared meals is also available. Maximum order is two boxes of each type per customer.
  • Morrisons food boxes - Range of boxes including meat or vegetarian groceries together with household essentials to order online. Prices from £35, plus delivery charge of £5.
  • Helen Browning’s Royal Oak Farm Shop - Range of organic food boxes to order online for delivery in the local area (currently only available in SN1-7 and OX12 postcodes). Ready meals are also available, but are only available for collection.
  • JoJo’s Dairy - Lotmead Farm, Swindon - currently selling 1L and 2L bottles of milk. Open between 8.00am and 9.00am and again between 5.00pm and 7.00pm. Can pre-order via online shop - collection only.
  • Gateway Church - Opening a temporary food collective (food bank) distribution point to assist during the Covid-19 crisis. Currently only able to provide non-perishable food. Open 10.00am to 12 noon every Saturday. Phone 01793 526130.

Managing your waste properly (including advice on bonfires)

Avoid bonfires

Please avoid bonfires during the outbreak. Our Environmental Health Officers will be investigating reports of bonfires during this period.

More information on bonfires and how to report them

Supporting our waste crews

Our waste teams are currently doing their best to keep as many collections running as possible. You can help us by:

Reducing your waste

With the Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) closed, you can help by:

  • storing any DIY and garden waste you would usually take to the HWRC until it opens again
  • reduce food waste by cooking and buying only what you need
  • leave lawn clippings on your grass to reduce garden waste

Being aware of scams

Unfortunately, scammers and rogue traders will always prey on people’s fears. and scams linked to coronavirus are emerging. While none have yet been reported in Swindon, we encourage people to stay vigilant and look out for each other to avoid anyone becoming a victim of a scam.

Potential coronavirus scams include:

  • Bogus doorstep calls offering shopping services or taking funding for a vaccine
  • Phone calls asking for money or offering money in relation to coronavirus
  • E-mails offering investment schemes, coronavirus information or financial support, often looking like government departments like HMRC
  • Overpricing for products in short supply
  • Loan sharks looking to take advantage of people in difficult financial situations

Find out more about scams and how to protect yourself

Helping prevent domestic abuse and supporting those affected

Reports of domestic abuse have increased nationally during the coronavirus lockdown.

Anyone suffering from domestic abuse can seek support from the council or the police, who will make sure that person is safe.

If you, someone you know, or someone you know of is experiencing domestic abuse, help is always available. In an emergency, always dial 999. If it is not an emergency, you can contact the Swindon Domestic Abuse Support Service 24-hour helpline on 01793 610610, or call Wiltshire Police on 101.

If you need help urgently, but are too scared or unable to make a noise or speak, you can:

  1. Dial 999
  2. Listen to the questions from the 999 operator
  3. Respond by coughing or tapping the handset if you can
  4. If prompted, press 55. This lets the 999 call operator know it's a genuine emergency

During the lockdown, you will be able to access safer spaces at Boots pharmacies consultation rooms, where you can contact specialist domestic abuse services for support and advice. For more information on this part of the new 'UK SAYS NO MORE' campaign, visit the Hestia website.

More help and guidance on domestic abuse

Social distancing and supporting Government measures

The Government has outlined a series of measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19, which will protect the NHS and save lives.

Read more about what you can and cannot do

Council housing tenants – doing minor repairs and small jobs yourself

At this time, our housing repairs team is only taking requests for urgent repairs (for example, leaks, blocked toilets or electrical faults). If you have any minor repairs that need fixing, we have a number of how-to videos that may be able to help you resolve these issues yourself.  

Using our library service

You can use our library service for a wide range of different things you can do during lockdown including:

  • Sign up as a library member online and access loads of eBooks, eAudiobook and eMagazines. Join online and immediately begin using our digital services.
  • Make use of our free family tree service
  • Join in with our weekly live-streamed Story and Rhyme time every Tuesday at 11.00am on our Facebook page

Special educational needs and disabilities updates

We have been working with Swindon SEND Families Voice during the pandemic to answer a set of frequently asked questions supporting children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

Answers to the FAQs include, for example, advice and guidance on how best to support well-being and updates specifically in relation to service delivery.

The FAQs will continue to be updated on the Swindon Local Offer website.

Help with energy bills

If you are on a prepayment meter for your gas or electricity, and are having difficulty adding credit because of being confined to your home or for financial reasons, then there is help available. The Warm & Safe Wiltshire advice service can discuss all the options available, including fuel vouchers and extra support from energy suppliers for people in this situation. They can also help anyone needing advice on managing their energy bills, regardless of payment method.

For further information, contact Warm & Safe Wiltshire on Freephone 0800 038 5722 or visit the Warm & Safe Wiltshire website.

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