Community Support & Volunteering during the COVID-19 pandemic

Community Support and Volunteering

Age UK Cherry Tree Centre:
The Cherry Tree Centre in Fairfield Road is closed until further notice although they are still providing support and services to older Burgess Hill residents. They are offering:

Information and Advice – including information on social care, housing and welfare benefits.

Telephone Befriending – a friendly chat if you’re feeling lonely or isolated.

Doorstep Deliveries – they can deliver meals, groceries and essential medication to your doorstep, as well as knitting kits, CDs/DVDs, books and jigsaws to stave off boredom.

Welfare and Safety Support – helping the most vulnerable with tasks such as cleaning, shopping and laundry, as well as offering respite for carers.

Wellbeing Advice – they can share information on healthy living, nutrition, hydration and exercises that can take place in the home or garden.

If you’d like to access any of the services above, or you’re worried about an older friend or family member at this time, please call 01903 731800 or email information@ageukwestsussex.org.uk.

Neighbourly Care
Local charity Neighbourly Care’s DBS checked volunteers can help people of all ages in need of assistance with shopping, collecting prescriptions and befriending phone calls. More volunteers are needed, DBS checks will be carried out. Contact them on 07876 066368 or email neighbourlycare@outlook.com.

Early Help

The Gattons and Sidney West Children & Family Centres are currently closed but the Mid Sussex Hub can provide information and crisis support for families with children under 18 years, or under 25 years with additional needs.  Visit the Early Help pages on the website.

Food Bank

The Foodbank will be distributing out of the Salvation Army Hall on Cyprus Rd in Burgess Hill, Tuesday and Thursdays 11am-1pm. Procedures are in place to keep everyone as safe as possible, with queuing outside the building (2m apart) and one client going into the foyer at a time.

Access via electronic voucher from:
Citizens Advice  – 0344 477 1171, web chat & email www.advicewestsussex.org.uk.
Burgess Hill Town Council’s Help Point – 01444 247726 email helppoint@burgesshill.gov.uk.
Early Help – contact via website www.westsussex.gov.uk.

Food collection point at Waitrose and the Co-ops on London Road and Junction Road. If you would like to help and can’t donate food you can donate money via Golden Giving on the Food Bank website www.burgesshillfoodbank.org.uk/. Younger volunteers are also needed so if you can help please contact 07849182231 or email foodbankburgesshill@gmail.com.

If you would like to make a monetary donation to the Burgess Hill Community Food Bank, this can be done online via Golden Giving. The link can be found at the bottom of their webpage.

Please note the following update from the Food Bank as of Wednesday 24 June:

‘Urgent Update: Today (24th June) we should have been moving our food & shelving units into our new premises. However, on Monday asbestos was found, this has been tested & we are awaiting the results. This means that the move will be delayed, we are unsure of how long as it is dependent on what actions are needed to be done to make the new premises safe (New River as the landlords are involved). However, we will continue to distribute out of the Salvation Army Hall on Cyprus Rd, Tue & Thu (11am-1pm), so it won’t affect our operation of supporting our community at this difficult time.

Please note there are some articles in the press which mention the move and when the new premises are open to the public – this is no longer true.’

Signposts Mid Sussex

The Signposts drop-in services and groups for adults with learning difficulties and their carers are closed until further notice, although they are still providing a support service through emails and phone calls. Contact 01444 616232 or 07572 211 509, or email will.geffin@signpostsmidsussex.org.uk.

Homelessness

Homeless support charity Turning Tides has increased its outreach provision in Mid  Sussex. Their aim is to deliver the essentials that are needed for the local rough sleepers.  Contact Amy on 07851 249561 or email Rebecca.Sowerby@turning–tides.org.uk.

Community Transport Sussex

Community Transport Sussex have temporarily suspended their normal services and dial-a-ride.

Volunteering

For those keen to volunteer work is being co-ordinated by the Volunteer Hub developed by West Sussex County Council and District Councils. Click here for details.

Mid Sussex Voluntary Action is signposting volunteers to groups and charities that are supporting people who are self-isolating. If your group/charity is planning to use additional volunteers to help deliver food or shopping, look after children or pets, keep in touch or check on people’s well-being – you can contact them on 01444 258102 or email volunteering@msva.org.uk (please include the contact details of whoever is coordinating recruitment). They are also preparing guidance for self-organising groups which are being set up to help with this specific situation.

Burgess Hill Allotment Buddy Scheme

Due to the current pandemic, the Council is aware that a number of allotment tenants are having to self-isolate or shield due to underlying health conditions or having symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19).

In order to assist these tenants the Council is proposing a new Allotment Buddy Scheme which could include working a self-isolating tenant’s plot, harvesting their produce and delivering to their home – whilst adhering to the social distancing rules set by the government.

For more information, or to volunteer for this scheme, please contact Gemma Wallis on 01444 238225 or gemma@burgesshill.gov.uk. To qualify to volunteer you must be an existing allotment tenant.

(This scheme would form part of your 1 hour a day exercise, as instructed by the government)

Workplace Health Support

The Mid Sussex Wellbeing team is now offering free virtual Workplace Health Support. This includes up to six virtual lifestyle sessions to employees within the Mid Sussex area.

These personalised sessions will be with a qualified wellbeing advisor discussing lifestyle and offering signposting to individuals.

If your workplace is interested in any specific Health talks, they are also able to arrange these virtually for up to eight employees per session.

To discuss any of the above, please get in touch with Julia, the Workplace Health Coordinator on 07395 283602  or via e-mail Julia.Meckael@midsussex.gov.uk