Kingston’s vital financial lifeline for self-isolating residents like Surbiton’s Ditta given green light to continue

When Ditta was told by NHS Test and Trace that she had to self-isolate, a worrying question burned in her mind: What was she going to do about money?

“The loss of income hit me really hard,” said Ditta, a self-employed long-term resident of Surbiton. “I had to stop work, and I had already been unable to work for months, due to successive lockdowns.”

For people like Ditta - the self-employed, those on zero-hour contracts, and people not entitled to statutory sick leave - self-isolation means ten days without being paid.

With some residents falling short of the Government’s eligibility criteria for a £500 self-isolation support payment, Kingston Council launched a ‘Stay Home Support’ voucher programme in May 2021 to support residents facing hardship but falling through the net for the national scheme. 

The council offers the Stay at Home Support voucher scheme to eligible people who have been asked to self isolate by NHS Test and Trace and are facing hardship but do not qualify for the national £500 scheme. 

Funded by a national grant to the council to support the local response to the pandemic, the vouchers can quickly be made available to residents in need.

Ditta said of the vouchers: “It was a huge help. It ended that worry for those ten days and I was able to use the vouchers on food. It was very easy and fast.”

The scheme is part of the Kingston Stronger Together Hub, set up by the Council to support residents throughout coronavirus, such as through vital deliveries of food and prescriptions.

Although isolation rules have changed, people are still required to self-isolate if they test positive for coronavirus. Self isolation for people with COVID-19 is critical to helping stop the spread of the infection in Kingston.

Last month, the voucher scheme was extended, providing a vital financial lifeline to Kingston’s residents for months to come.

If NHS Test and Trace has asked you to self isolate and you need help, support is available. Contact the Kingston Stronger Together hub at or call 020 8547 5000 if you can't access online forms.

Published: 22nd November 2021