Community Shield: How Essex County Council are getting food supplies to our most vulnerable residents

Community Shield is the national effort to provide food and supplies to the country’s most vulnerable residents. Essex County Council are supporting this initiative to make sure everyone in Essex has what they need during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

In Essex, Community Shield is run by the Essex Resilience Forum, a group of all the public sector organisations in the county.

Community Shield has initially identified two groups of people that most need support:

  • The most vulnerable to coronavirus due to age and serious pre-existing health conditions. These people have already been identified and contacted through the NHS or social care providers.
  • People who are also considered vulnerable because they are over the age of 70, are pregnant, or have underlying health conditions, and they do not have friends or family to support them.

Mobilising Support

From 28/29 March, food supplies have started to arrive for onward distribution to residents. The food packages will be dispatched from three distribution hubs in Witham, Southend and Thurrock.

A wider group of people in Essex are also vulnerable to coronavirus because they are over the age of 70, are pregnant, or have underlying health conditions. These are people who may not have the support of friends or family or neighbours. It is the Council’s aim and role to provide them with food deliveries if they need them.

In Essex and Southend, the Essex Welfare Service (EWS) is administering the support for these residents. The EWS is using the services of Provide, who run health and social care services.

People will be asked to register with the EWS if they need assistance getting food or medicine. They will be contacted by the NHS/GP surgeries beginning this week.

If you have NOT been contacted by your GP surgery and you need the food supplies, you can contacted the EWS by:

  • visiting the EWS website
  • calling 0300 303 9988 (Monday to Friday, 8am-7pm; Saturday & Sunday 10am-2pm)

More information

The Essex Resilience Forum is working with supermarkets, delivery companies and other organisations to develop supply lines. District councils may also use local community hubs and the support of volunteers to run their operations.

If you want to sign up to help as a volunteer in your local area, visit the Essex Coronavirus Action Support Page on Facebook.

Latest News

Updates about Community Shield will be posted on the Essex County Council website. Updates will also be posted on their social media channels: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The latest government advice on coronavirus is available on the Public Health England website, and further information about preventing, recognising or dealing with the virus is available on the NHS website.

Healthwatch Essex

Our Information & Signposting Team are here to support you with all health and social care enquiries. For support, please call 0300 500 1895: leave a message and we’ll reply as soon as possible. Alternatively, text 07712 395 398 or email info@healthwatchessex.org.uk 

#StayHomeSaveLives