Kingston Stronger Together and FAQs
This page answers Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Kingston Stronger Together and more other support available at this time. You can find more information on the main COVID-19 page.
The Kingston Stronger Together Support Hub is being run in partnership between Kingston Council, Kingston Voluntary Action, Volunteering Kingston and other community groups. Together we are helping Kingston residents who cannot leave their home due to COVID-19 and need extra help on top of what friends, family, trusted neighbours and other local services are providing.
People can contact the Kingston Stronger Together support hub for help and the council will also be directly phoning those we know are most vulnerable. You can find out more about volunteering for the hub on our How can I help? page
Who are we helping?
The new support services are mainly aimed at residents of Kingston who cannot leave their homes because of Covid-19 (because they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or they have been requested to isolate, as a ‘contact’ of someone with COVID-19) or who are particularly vulnerable to the illness and who don't have support from friends, family or trusted neighbours. We offer self-support advice and information to all residents on the Connected Kingston website. If you have a medical query you should continue to contact the NHS on 111.nhs.uk or on 111 (in an emergency call 999).
What support is available?
There is a variety of support available through the Kingston Stronger Together Hub, including:
Information and advice on staying fit and well through the current situation
All residents receive information to help them take care of themselves while staying at home. Connected Kingston (our local service offer website) has been updated to include the most relevant information based on the prevailing resident need, including information about wellbeing, housing, food access, finance, employment and bereavement. Read more about how Kingston Stronger Together helps with self care and information.
Support to access food, medicine and other essential items
For those who need supplies to their door, we are able to support with food delivery advice (as well as delivering food where alternative options are not possible); medicine (including picking up a prescription where alternative options are unavailable); and other essentials such as soap, sanitary and baby products. For those who can afford it, a shopping service is available. Read more on our news pages.
Befriending and mental health support
Residents who are feeling isolated at home, lonely or in need of someone to talk to can be put in touch with volunteers who will check in with them regularly over the phone. Read about volunteer experiences and more on our news pages.
Referral to professional services
For people needing a higher level of support, we will link with the relevant team.
How can people access help?
The easiest way to access help is by completing the support form. You can also complete the form over the phone by calling 020 8547 5000. The best time to call is between 9am- 5pm, Monday to Friday. Calls to this number are free if you have inclusive minutes on your landline or mobile tariff, otherwise you will be charged at the standard local rates outlined by your provider.
You can complete the form on behalf of someone you are caring for if they are unable to do this for themselves. The council is also proactively contacting residents who have recently been discharged from hospital and may be more vulnerable and need support from the Hub.
What happens next?
All forms are reviewed by our team within 24 hours. The team is made up of staff that have been deployed from other council services. They are supported by experienced social care staff and refer people to various support teams based on individual needs and requests.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the KST Befriending Service?
As part of Kingston Stronger Together Hub, we have launched a befriending service, matching residents with volunteers who will check in with them regularly over the phone. Matching is based on language preference and other stated interests, as well the skills and background of the buddy.
We have a high number of skilled volunteers who are ready to buddy up with a resident who may require additional emotional support, be feeling lonely or would just like some extra company through a phone call. All volunteers are DBS checked.
How are medicines delivered?
Volunteers can deliver medicine to residents who are:
isolating for 7-14 days with no friends or family able to assist nearby.
in a vulnerable group and not able to use pharmacy delivery services
Residents will be linked to a neighbourhood volunteer or an RBK staff member to help them collect their prescription. This is a to-the-door service, and volunteers won’t enter people’s homes or come into direct contact with those with symptoms.
Can you pay for my prescription?
No. If you pay for your prescriptions, then you will need to have paid for your prescription before it is collected. Contact your pharmacy to see how you can pay either over the phone or online.
How do I know if I should be shielding and what does it mean?
If you’re clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus infection you were advised to take extra precautions during the peak of the pandemic in England. This is known as ‘shielding’.
The government is advising that you do not need to shield at the moment. This is because the rates of transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the community have fallen significantly. However, you are still advised to maintain strict social distancing measures.
You can find more information on the latest government guidance for shielding.
For more FAQ’s about shielding, please go to NHS Inform
I am no longer shielding, how can I still get help?
If you are receiving food deliveries via the National Shielding Service, these will be stopped. This will not affect your eligibility for a supermarket priority delivery slot or any slots you already have in place. There are also many local food delivery options which you can find on Connected Kingston. If you are struggling to get food, you are still able to request support with food and medication delivery from Kingston Stronger Together Hub.
If you are no longer shielding and require financial support around Council Tax or benefits you can go to Kingston Stronger Together Hub. For general financial support and advice, please go to Connected Kingston or contact Citizens Advice.
What will happen if there is a local lockdown and I am shielding?
If there is a local lockdown you will receive a letter from the government advising you to stay at home and shield. You will also be contacted by Kingston Stronger Together Hub to ask about any support you may need with getting food, medicine or befriending support without leaving your home.
See government guidance on shielding if there is a local lockdown.