skip to main content
Leigh-on-Sea Town Council 1996

Tel: 01702 716288
Email Us

Worried about the knock on effects of Coronavirus?

This page contains helpful information about:  

  • Helplines for adults and children 
  • Registering extremely vulnerable people 
  • Financial support for Businesses
  • Council Tax Support 
  • Fraud and Scams 
  • Support for those with learning disabilities
  • Domestic abuse advice 

Helplines

Source www.southend.gov.uk

If you're worried about how you feel about the coronavirus, or are concerned for someone you know, help is available.

If you're a child or young person and you're worried about how you feel or about someone you know, help is available for you too, tailored to you.

Here are a number of organisations that are used to speaking to people with similar concerns. It's always good to talk, so if you think you might benefit from some friendly advice, then do have a look at their websites:

For everyone

Specifically for young people

Chathealth school nurses

  • relationships
  • drugs
  • bullying
  • alcohol
  • healthy eating
  • mental health and more

Even when school isn't open, you can contact local ChatHealth school nurses, by email, on Twitter (DM)) or by phone (01702 534843) or by text  message.

We do not usually inform your parents, teachers, or anyone else if you contact the school nurse. We might inform someone if we were concerned about your safety, but we would normally speak to you first.

Messages are charged at your normal rate.

Specifically for older people

The Silver Line - helpline for older people

You are not alone.

Talk to someone you trust. Sharing a problem is often a good first step to feeling better.

Get coronavirus support as a clinically extremely vulnerable person

If you have a medical condition which makes you extremely vulnerable to coronavirus (COVID-19), register and tell us whether or not you need support.

You may have received a letter from the NHS telling you that you’re clinically extremely vulnerable, or been contacted by your GP or hospital clinician. If this has not happened, contact your GP or clinician after you register with this service.

It may take time for any support offered through this service to arrive. Wherever possible you should continue to rely on friends, family and wider support to help you meet your needs.

You can register yourself, or on behalf of someone else, visit https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable

Financial Support for Businesses

Small businesses, as well as companies in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, now have the opportunity to apply for a grant to help them during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Small Business Grants Fund makes £10,000 available per eligible business who are currently in receipt of small business rates relief. Payments will be made by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council from government funding to support a business’s cash flow.

The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grant scheme provides businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property.

  • For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of under £15,000, they will receive a grant of £10,000.
  • For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000, they will receive a grant of £25,000.

Businesses will only be allowed to claim for one grant and must also be aware of State Aid rules in applying.  

A simple form must be submitted by relevant businesses for the grant which applies to them, to ensure the council meets government requirements. Those businesses who think they qualify for the grants and would like to make an application should see this page on the council website

The council will endeavour to make payments as soon as possible after receipt of an application.

Cllr Kevin Robinson, cabinet member for Business, Leisure and Tourism said:

“Our teams have been working hard since the Government announced these different grants and funds, both to draw down the money from Government and respond to the national guidance on this to ensure we get the right information from businesses and make the process as simple as possible.

“These grants are now available for the many businesses that have suffered disruption during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.

“If you think your business qualifies, please check the web page linked, complete the form and the council will aim to process your application and make payment as soon as possible”.

For further information on help available to businesses please go to www.southend.gov.uk/businesscorona. This page is updated as and when new information is provided.

For further information on help available to businesses please go to www.southend.gov.uk/businesscorona. This page is updated as and when new information is provided.Bus

 

Council Tax Support available to Residents

Residents concerned about paying their council tax bills are being asked to contact the council for support and advice.

If you are struggling with finances at this time due to a reduction in your household income, in the first instance please review the council’s dedicated website page: www.southend.gov.uk/coronafinances

View the section titled Benefit Calculator and if appropriate submit a claim for council tax reduction, which could lead to a reduction of up to 75% of your council tax bill.

Additionally, a COVID-19 hardship fund has been set up to give those already in receipt of council tax reduction an additional £150 off their council tax bills. Those of working age and in receipt of council tax reduction do not need to do anything as it will be applied automatically.

If you are not entitled to council tax reduction but are still worried about your account, please contact the council tax team to discuss what support we can offer you through this period. The department is not available to answer calls during this period, therefore all communication will need to be via email to ‘ctax@southend.gov.uk’ and someone from the council tax team will contact you either via email, or by phone if this is your preference.

In light of the situation surrounding COVID-19 and the impact this may have on residents, the council tax department has also suspended all council tax enforcement action at this time. Please note, if your financial situation has not changed, please pay your bill as normal.

Cllr Ian Gilbert, leader of Southend Borough Council, said: “We are acutely aware of the challenges many residents are facing. Many people are now on a reduced wage, and in some cases out of work entirely, and we must ensure we support these people as best we can.

“Council tax discounts will be applied as per the national guidance as soon as the systems have been updated, giving residents in receipt of council tax reduction a further £150 discount automatically. I urge anyone who is facing concerns about their council tax bill to contact us as soon as they can so we can advise and assist. 

For more information on the support available, please visit www.southend.gov.uk/coronafinances

Fraud and Scams

There are currently numerous bogus emails and text messages circulating, appearing to come from official bodies, such as the Government, World Health Organisation and US Centre for Disease control. They contain links which are designed to download malicious software (i.e. viruses) to your device, or to take you to a website that will collect your personal and financial details.

There are a variety of forms these emails can take, some of which are shown below. These can include:

  • Offering a tax rebate
  • Demanding payment of a fine
  • Asking for donations
  • Linking to a map of the spread of Coronavirus

The advice remains the same – if an email is unexpected do not click on any links, simply delete the email.

Use the ABC approach:

  • Never Assume they are legitimate.
  • Never Believe they are legitimate.
  • Always Confirm using a trusted number or asking friends and family.

Please see the official government response to messages such as the one shown below:

“The Government has only sent one text message to the public regarding new rules about staying at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Any others claiming to be from UK Government are false.

Criminals are able to use spoofing technology to send texts and emails impersonating organisations that you know and trust. We would remind anyone who receives an unexpected text or email asking for personal or financial details not click on the links or attachments, and don’t respond to any messages that ask for your personal or financial details.”

Gov.uk Text Messages - Official Update

Following the alert sent out this morning, please see the official government response to messages such as the one shown below:

“The Government has only sent one text message to the public regarding new rules about staying at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Any others claiming to be from UK Government are false.

Criminals are able to use spoofing technology to send texts and emails impersonating organisations that you know and trust. We would remind anyone who receives an unexpected text or email asking for personal or financial details not click on the links or attachments, and don’t respond to any messages that ask for your personal or financial details.”

f you receive any such messages, report them to Action Fraud - www.actionfraud.police.uk/report-phishing or call 0300 123 2040.

Need to contact Essex Police ? Please always dial 999 in an EMERGENCY or see Alternate ways to contact Essex Police. 555 111 / crimestoppers-uk.org.

Support for those with Learning Disabilities 

If you believe you are unwell with Coronavirus and feel you need to go to the hospital, then filling in a hospital passport if you have learning disabilities can ensure that you are kept safe and happy whilst being treated. 

Use the following links to download the necessary documents. 

Easy Read Letter

Hospital Passport

COVID-19 Hospital Summary Form

For further information you can contact Paula Pearl, the learning disabilities nurse at Southend Hospital by calling 01702 435555 ext 6448 or via email at 
paula.pearl@southend.nhs.uk

Domestic Abuse Advice

During these difficult and unprecedented times, we at Leigh-on-Sea Town Council understand that for some lock down will cause great distress and possible harm. We endeavour to support all of our residents in any way we can during this pandemic and have highlighted a few important support services that may be able to help anyone that is experiencing violence, harm or is fearful for their own or someone else's safety. 

 If the situation is an emergency please call 999

Domestic Abuse services: 

  • Changing Pathways for Southend West: 01268 729 707 24 hour 0330 333 7444
  •  National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 200 0247
  •  The MensAdvice Line: 0808 801 0327 
  •  The Mix - information and support for under 25s: 0808 808 4994
  •  National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0300 999 5428

Children and families: 

  • Childline: 08001111 
  •  NSPCC: 0808 800 5000
  •  Southend Child protection MASH: 01702 215 007 Monday - Thursday 9am-5pm Friday 9am-4:30pm 
  •  Southend Emergency Duty Team Out of Hours 365 days a year: 0345 606 1212
  •  Southend Adult Social Care: 01702 215 008 
  •  Askal - Safeguarding Adults helpline: 0808 801 0345 

 Individuals 

  •  Samaritans (24/7 service) 116 123

The Rail Delivery Group has announced that those fleeing domestic abuse during the coronavirus lockdown can apply for free train travel to refuge accommodation. Tickets can be accessed through the member services of Women’s Aid Federation of England.