A "lifeline" has been thrown to North Tyneside's most vulnerable residents as the council rolls out a support service to shield them from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

North Tyneside Council has set up a dedicated helpline for those in need of immediate help and can’t call on family, friends, neighbours or carers.

It’s part of the council's plan to shield its most vulnerable residents who are living in their home without support from others, by providing non-medical help.

The service is available to anyone in urgent need of non-clinical help in the borough.

However, priority will be given to those identified by the NHS as critically vulnerable due to health conditions.

Support will be tailored for individual needs, including help with essential food and medicine deliveries.

Already this week, as part of the service, essential food parcels have been provided to those who have been asked to shield themselves during the outbreak and who do not have any other means of support.

This is been provided by the council until a regular supply of weekly food and essential parcels is provided directly by the Government.

The council will continue to provide support to those people who need it.

North Tyneside’s Elected Mayor, Norma Redfearn, said: “We are absolutely committed to protecting those most vulnerable in our communities, especially right now, which is why I am extremely pleased we have this service up and running. It will be a lifeline for some of our residents.

“We have also been inundated with offers of help from residents, businesses and community organisations in the borough and I’d like to this opportunity to thank each and every one of you. I have been overwhelmed by the generosity, the offers of support and the unity shown by our communities."

The support hub will be a partnership provided through the council and North Tyneside-based charity VODA.


Those experiencing coronavirus symptoms, such as a cough or fever, should self-isolate for 14 days.

You should stay at home if you or anyone in your household has a high temperature or a new and continuous cough - even if it's mild.

The package delivered this week contained essentials such as fruit, tinned goods, pasta and toilet paper.

In an effort to boost morale and send out messages of hope, children from across North Tyneside also drew and painted pictures to be included in the deliveries.

Chief executive of VODA, Robin Fry, said: “We have been working closely with North Tyneside Council and local support groups to scale up our Good Neighbours volunteering project.

“Our volunteers are providing a free shopping service for almost 100 local people who require support whilst they are self-isolating due to infection or as a precautionary measure. We expect demand to rise over the coming weeks.

“We are also working with local pharmacies to explore volunteers supporting the delivery of prescriptions across the borough."

Anyone wishing to offer their support should visit www.voda.org.uk. Volunteers can register now, and they will be added to the list and matched with a person or task when needed.

Volunteers going into the homes of others will need to hold a current DBS certificate. However, those without will be able to drop off food parcels on doorsteps and other tasks – helping to provide a vital service to those in need.

North Tyneside Business Forum will be collecting a list of businesses and essential services which are supporting the project and will be working with VODA to keep these lists up to date. Businesses can contact them by emailing [email protected]

The Covid 19 support hub is open Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm, and can be contacted on 0345 2000 101 or by emailing [email protected]