Carers Bulletin - April 2020 - COVID-19

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Coventry Carers' bulletin

Welcome to the April Carers' Bulletin

Unsung heroes

Welcome to the April Carers' Bulletin. As the weeks go by and the lockdown continues we're starting to talk about the "new normal".  We don't know how long some precautions will last but we do know that it will be a while until things return to normality. The NHS amongst other key workers have been recognised for their contributions during this crisis but unpaid carers are often a forgotten cohort who silently continue to look after those most vulnerable. We know that carers are shouldering enormous responsibilities during this time and are doing an incredible job of keeping people well protected in the way they would most want to be supported. Without this support we know that the NHS and social care would simply not be able to cope. We also know that people may have taken on extra caring responsibilities during this time. This week Carers UK published "Caring Behind Closed Doors" which showed their findings on the impact the pandemic has had on the lives of carers. The research states that 70% of carers have increased their caring responsibilities during this time, with 55% of carers saying they are starting to feel overwhelmed. 

We are continually updating our Carers Website pages and have recently produced a Carers Information pack which outlines local support agencies who may be able to support during this time, this includes information around debt, welfare benefits and bereavement. So please download and share the link with anyone you feel will find it helpful. Advice and guidance is constantly changing particularly with regards to Personal Protective Equipment and local testing, so please check these pages in between bulletins for any updates. 

Again this bulletin has a lot of information in it, so please read what you think is helpful for your situation and share with others where you think it may help. If you have something helpful you'd like to share for the next bulletin, please email

Stay safe, stay at home where possible and stay connected with others, reach out if you need to, no one should feel alone right now!

Community Support and Information

Coventry City Council have updated their website to support people to find out  more about community support available during this time. This includes information on those who have been asked to follow additional precautions and shield. 

If you would like to speak to someone about the support that may be available to you, you can contact our customers services line on 08085 834333

Carers Trust Heart of England - Survey of Support

Carers Trust

We want to know at this point in time what are the main worries for carers in Coventry, how can services be more helpful during this time? What has the impact been on you?

The Carers Trust Heart of England are undertaking a survey of carers to gather more of an understanding of Coventry carers experience during the pandemic and how they can help moving forwards.  It's just a short survey so please if you've got the time it would be really valued. You can complete the survey

Introducing Tea @ 3, a virtual cuppa for carers


We can help each other get through this!

Carers Trust Heart of England is coming together with carers for supportive chats and to share practical tips and tricks. It is also a safe environment sometimes just to vent. Looking after somebody who might be vulnerable to Coronavirus is really tough. There's no right answer, but we can figure things out together.

Come and join our informal group chat with people who care and recognise, what an amazing role you play in looking after someone.

The only request is that you bring your own cuppa 😊

Please email to express an interest to join, there is no need to download zoom and it is Free to take part in group meetings. You will be sent out a link once you've expressed an interest via email. We look forward to seeing you there.

The tea will take place every Wednesday at 3pm. 

Register with CRESS (Carers Trust Heart of England)


If you are not already registered with CRESS we really encourage that carers do this now to help you plan for an emergency and think about the contingencies you can put in place if you are to become unwell. 

You can register for the service by contacting 024 7625 8816 – Opt1

To find out more about what CRESS can offer you can visit the Carers Trust Heart of England's website.

Young Carers - stay connected...

Young Carers Support

Good Neighbours


During COVID-19 only, Good Neighbours Coventry is offering phone befriending, pen pals, and grocery shopping support to adults age 18+ in CV1-CV6 who are having to self-isolate, who can't do online shopping and don't have family/friends to shop for them.

Clients can pay for their food by cheque (preferred), cash or online bank transfer. No card payments are possible. There is no charge except the cost of the ordered groceries. 

Volunteers will shop no more than twice per week, normally once per week. Volunteers will drop food at the doorstep; they will not go in or help with cooking. Clients should contact us before they have run out of food.

Referrals by email (to are preferable to phoning (07563 902 904). You can call us but you might have to leave a message. Please only phone Monday-Friday 9am to 4.30pm.  

We have collated a list of shops etc. which offer telephone ordering and delivery of food, cheap meals, meals on wheels. The list is regularly updated.

Updates on supermarkets & pharmacy deliveries

Supermarkets have been issued with a government database of vulnerable adults which they are using to cross reference with existing customers. It's important to recognise that this database will not hold information on every vulnerable person. To be included on the database that is shared with supermarkets you can visit this link. This link is for people / carers to utilise if they are shielding and there is a criteria around this. 


Support for Vulnerable Adults


Online shopping – should be prioritising vulnerable customers for online delivery (free of charge). Have increased online delivery slots.

Advice for customers who are self-isolating is to use the “Other Information” section whilst placing an order and they will drop the shopping off in a place of the person’s choosing.

They had introduced a volunteer shopping card that can be used to help anyone shopping on behalf of someone else.

No vulnerable shopping hours at present.



Online shopping – reserved online delivery slots for customers who have been identified as vulnerable. They have also increased their click and collect capacity. (Where you order food prior to going shopping, you collect it from the store).

Vulnerable adults shopping hours 9am to 10am – Monday - Wednesday, Friday


Vulnerable adults shopping slot between 8am and 9am - Monday, Wednesday and Friday

Prioritising only vulnerable adults with online deliveries (from information supplied from government)


Currently working on online prioritisation for vulnerable adults.

Able to take phone calls for delivery on 0345 322 0000 for people that do not use the internet.

They are also selling delivery food boxes that contain essential produce.

Top tip: You can order a Morrisons shop from Amazon and some people are reporting this is a quicker way of getting shopping


Vulnerable adults shopping slot for the first 30 minutes of trading Monday to Saturday

Started a food parcel delivery service (containing 22 everyday foods). Free for delivery for self-isolators.




Vulnerable shopping hours (same as NHS workers which is not advisable) Monday to Saturday 10am - 11am Sunday 10am -11am

You can also get Co-op food delivered through Deliveroo in various locations.


Online shopping prioritising vulnerable adults and people over state pension age (self-identifying). 

Marks and Spencer

First hour of trading - Mondays and Thursdays

Some smaller Marks and Spencer's such as ones based at BP garages can be delivered through Deliveroo. 

Waitrose (online only in Coventry)

Prioritising 25% of online shopping slots for vulnerable adults (from information received from Government)

Ocado (online only)

Similar to other supermarkets, are prioritising existing customers who have been identified as vulnerable. 


Priority hours - As a carer you are entitled to shop during the vulnerable shopping hour times. Both the Carers Trust Heart of England and (if you are known to) Adult Social Care can provide you with a letter/card to help you identify as a carer if you feel you may be asked.  Please note it's not advised to shop at the same time as key workers. 

Contact the Carers Trust Heart of England on 024 7663 2972 – Opt2

Or if you are known to Adult Social Care - 024 7683 3003

Local deliveries - Good Neighbours have compiled a really helpful list of all local delivery services offering delivery. Lots of stalls are still working from Coventry market. 

Pharmacies - Most pharmacies are able to provide deliveries during this time and are prioritising people who are shielding or vulnerable and their carers. You can contact your pharmacy to talk about your options. 

New Government Carers COVID-19 advice

Since the last bulletin was produced the government has since produced updated advice for unpaid carers which was published on 8 April. Things are moving incredibly quickly and advice and resources available are changing day to day but here are some important questions answered

Government Guidance for Carers

Alzheimer's Society - Dementia Connect

Alzheimer’s Society’s new Dementia Connect service offers online and telephone support to people affected by dementia. Issues that people have wanted to talk to us about during COVID-19 include access to essentials, finding different coping strategies, hospital or care home admissions or simply having an empathetic ear to discuss concerns arising from the pandemic.

The telephone number for support calls is 0333 150 3456 and is available:

Monday to Wednesday 9am – 8pm 

Thursday and Friday: 9am – 5pm

Saturday and Sunday: 10am – 4pm

Carers can visit for useful information about all aspects of dementia, included regularly updated information about coping around COVID-19. Our online community Talking Point can help carers to connect with others in similar situations as well as being a point to share practical tips.

Dementia itself hasn’t changed, so as well as our offer reflecting current times, Dementia advisers continue to support people around issues including:

  • Planning financial and legal futures
  • Coping day to day
  • Understanding dementia
  • Navigating the health and social care system
  • Carer support and coping strategies

And look out on Facebook if you’d like to join a Singing for the Brain session – the first one is at 3pm on 30 April, but there will be more opportunities to virtually get together coming up.

Dementia Connect

Update on Carers Allowance

Do you claim Carers Allowance but have been unable to provide care during this time?  The government have made some changes to Carers Allowance during this time. 

The DWP has announced the introduction of two temporary carer's allowance easements in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Both are designed to “help unpaid carers through the current emergency”.

The two new easements mean that:

  • carers will be able to continue to claim carer’s allowance if they have a temporary break in caring, because they or the person they care for gets coronavirus, or if they have to isolate because of it; and
  • the provision of emotional support to a disabled person will now count towards the carer’s allowance threshold of 35 hours of care a week.

For more information, see the DWP's Touchbase: Coronavirus Special available from

Seeking out medical support during this time...

It is still really important during this time that if you have any concerns about your health you seek the medical advice you or the person you are caring for may need. You can still contact your GP, 111 online or call 111 for help. Or in the event of a medical emergency you contact 999. If you are told you need to go to hospital it's really important that you follow that advice. 

Pic for bulletin

Coventry libraries have a lot to offer online, including brushing up on IT Skills and you can still register

Coventry Library Service have lots of online resources free for Coventry library members.

Not a member? Join the library.

Hoonuit is a great way to find out how to make the most of your computers, smart devices and internet access with helpful short video guides.

IT offers online how-to training on hundreds of common software applications and devices, including Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite, Google Docs, and iPad. There is a wide variety of training to get both individuals and entire organisations up-to-speed, no matter the nature of their day-to-day tasks.

Each online training course is made up of short one to three-minute video segments, helping users get the most out of their training. This learn-at-your-own-pace solution offers the flexibility to skip lessons users are already familiar with and review lessons that prove more difficult.

All training is online and on-demand, available anywhere with internet access, and there is no need to download software.

You can use Hoonuit for free as part of your library membership.

Oxford Press


Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. Publishing for over 500 years, their resources continue to support and guide modern research journeys and education worldwide.

Their online resources that Coventry library members can access free of charge are:

Oxford Art - the authority on art from pre-history to present day

Oxford Bibliographies – research guides; expert recommendations on the best sources available

Oxford Dictionaries - a current English dictionary, grammar, and practical writing resource

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography - lets you explore the lives of over 58,500 people worldwide in an illustrated online collection of specially written biographies

Oxford English Dictionary - guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of more than 600,000 words, past and present, from across the English-speaking world

Oxford Music - the definitive source for music scholarship, with vast number of entries on music history and culture

Oxford Reference – the authoritative place for quick facts, dates and definitions

Oxford Research Encyclopaedias - articles written, peer-reviewed, and edited by leading scholars

Very Short Introductions - are the perfect introduction to subjects you previously knew little about

You can use all these online resources for free as part of your library membership.

Not a member? Join the library.

Coventry Library Service newsletter

For up-to-date information, online resources, reading suggestions and tips please sign up to our Coventry Libraries newsletter.

Here is our latest newsletter for your information.

We also welcome suggestions for content for future newsletters

Other helpful resources

SCIE has produced some information for carers of looking after someone with a learning disability and/or autism during this time. 

Alzheimer's Society have produced information for carers looking after an adult with dementia and how to support during the lockdown. 

Coronavirus - A Book for Children illustrated by the Gruffalo Artist, a short book has been produced for younger children to help them understand the Coronavirus. 

CRUSE Bereavement Support - Have published a booklet written by carers, for carers, to explore the journey of supporting someone with dementia including exploring grief and bereavement. 

Sign up or contact us

It’s simple! Just add your email address in the top right hand corner and click GO!

You can also sign up or view previous bulletins from our Carers' website.

If you have any comments or wish to contribute something to the next bulletin, please let us know by contacting us at