Community advice and support

Information and guidance for residents during the current Coronavirus (COVD-19) pandemic

Protecting the most vulnerable

We have set up a dedicated helpline for residents who are vulnerable and are self-isolating in line with NHS Advice.

This is to ensure that the most vulnerable people in our community, who are unable to go outside to buy supplies, are helped to get the things they need.

If you or someone you know requires support, you can either call 01843 577330 or email communitysupport@thanet.gov.uk. The helpline is open between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

Frequently Asked Questions

To make it easier for you to find quick answers to some of the questions you may have, we have provided some Frequently Asked Questions below. These FAQs were updated on Thursday 16 December 2021.

While everyone is at risk of contracting COVID-19, some people are at an increased or “higher risk” of severe illue due to their age, chronic illness or underlying health conditions. You can find a list of the people who are clinically vulnerable on the NHS.uk website


As the community lead we are connecting people in need with the appropriate specialist organisations who are providing support on the ground.

Anyone that is self-isolating or social distancing due to coronavirus symptoms or underlying health conditions, and who does not have friends, family or neighbours they can call on, should contact us for help.


Thanet District Council’s Community Support Team is leading the response for our most vulnerable residents. Working in partnership with a wide range of specialist organisations, the team is responsible for coordinating the support requested by people without family, friends or neighbours to help them. We have set up a dedicated helpline open for calls five days a week (open year round excluding public holidays). Our Multi-agency Task Force previously stepped in and delivered food parcels to people ahead of the Government’s plans coming into play.

As well as helping those who contact us directly, we are using local and government data to identify where our most vulnerable residents are, matching them to volunteer agencies and groups that are providing support on the ground locally. We are also monitoring the supply chain and highlighting any issues to the Kent Resilience Forum, the Kent-wide emergency planning group which we are a part of, along with all the other local councils in the county. This command chain provides a direct link into central Government.

People can also call 01843 577 330. There are people taking calls Monday to Friday – from 9am to 5pm (excluding public holidays).


As an organisation we have a well established Safer Neighbourhoods team that includes staff dedicated to working within all the communities in Thanet particularly those which may be seen as harder to reach. Through our liaison with the NHS, local community groups, individual community leaders and local councillors as well as intelligence from our Multi-agency Task Force officers, we are already aware of some of the most vulnerable residents who require help. The coronavirus means that people who were previously managing may now need additional support.

We also need your help. If you or someone you know is in the higher risk group and is therefore taking extra precautions, or is self-isolating and cannot get out then please tell us. We want to ensure that we are aware of everyone who needs help so that we can share their details with our partners who are out in the community providing the assistance people need.


We are working with a number of established local voluntary organisations, charities and community groups to deliver the help that people need.

The organisations we are working with include; Salvation Army, Age UK, Our Kitchen, Margate Independent Food Bank, Thanet Food Link, The GAP Project, Parish & Town Councils across the district, NHS volunteers and Connect Well East Kent as well as a number of other organisations.

With the help of these organisations we are able to provide assistance with referrals to food banks, collection of prescriptions and offer access to a paid for hot meal delivery service. In some situations we can arrange for an emergency food parcel to be delivered too. We are also giving general advice for residents as well as putting people in touch with local befriending services.

Every caller’s need is different, and we work regularly with NHS colleagues to help discharge patients and people with complex medical needs. Anyone who contacts the support line with a specific need will be referred to the appropriate agency.


If your concern is for someone needing help urgently (within 48 hours) you should ask them to call our telephone helpline. 01843 577 330. There are people taking calls Monday to Friday – from 9am to 5pm (excluding public holidays). If they are unable to do so, please contact us by phone or email communitysupport@thanet.gov.uk. This mailbox is monitored from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).


When we receive a call to the helpline we gather as much information as possible about the caller and the needs they have. We aim to identify the most appropriate organisation to share that information with and pass all the details on. We use the information we are given by the caller to understand how quickly help is needed. The aim is for the assigned organisation to make contact within 48 hours but it depends on the urgency of the call.

If someone is experiencing a medical or health emergency they should call 111 or 999.


Our dedicated rough sleeper support team – RISE – worked hard and quickly found accommodation options for all the rough sleepers known to us during the first lockdown. A large number subsequently accepted the offer of somewhere to stay and moved in. We do still have some people who, despite being offered accommodation, have chosen not to accept it at this time. We’ll continue to stay in contact with them and encourage them to take up an offer of a safe place to stay.

During periods of extreme weather, the Council operates a Severe Weather Emergency protocol (SWEP). Extreme weather can include any conditions that increase the risk of harm to people who are rough sleeping. This is often, but not exclusively, periods of cold weather or significant rainfall. When deciding whether to trigger the protocol, the Local Authority must take into consideration local context and weather forecasts.

When the protocol is triggered, the Council will promote this on its website and via social media channels that it will provide emergency accommodation for any person sleeping rough in the district so that it can prevent unnecessary deaths due to extreme weather.


There are a number organisations across Thanet offering help to people who are clinically extremely vulnerable to COVID-19  and to other individuals who needs support at this time:

Organisations offering food collection:

  • St Paul’s Church – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 10:30am-12pm 01843 447187 (covering Margate)
  • St Peter’s Food Bank – Friday 10.30-12 01843 447187 (covering Broadstairs and St Peter’s)
  • Margate Independent Food Bank – 6 Duke Street, Margate (covering Margate)
  • Salvation Army Margate – 01843 298260
  • Salvation Army Ramsgate – 07900 497326
  • St Austin’s & St Gregory’s Food Bank – 01843 220825 (covering Margate)
  • The GAP Project – Queens Road Baptist Church, Broadstairs (covering Broadstairs)

Organisations offering shopping services

Befriending services and support

Mental health support

Domestic abuse support

Most domestic abuse websites have support and advice online, with quick exit buttons. 

Other support, including help with skills, transport and financial advice

  • Thanet Community Transport Association – 01843 602030 (Offers a transport service for elderly people in need of transport)
  • ‘Sudden’ Bereavement Support – 0800 2600400 (Support, advice and a helpline for those who have lost someone suddenly)







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