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Your Questions Answered

Are you confused and worried about the coronavirus pandemic? We have put together the following up-to-date information, advice, and support if your self isolating or want answers to your questions on the pandemic.

Two people holding speech bubbles looking confused and wanting to ask questions

Our Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic

Woman answering telephone

The following information on this page and associated pages are to help answer any questions you may have about the coronavirus pandemic.

Please do get in touch if you would like any further information or help. 

Need someone to talk to?

Call our Time to Talk team on Freephone 0300 303 3691 or SMS 07856 426 940

Contact our friendly HUB team Tel: 01392 459 222 or email info@livingoptions.org. We are also available on webchat via our Facebook page.

(This page was last updated 06.12.2021)

How are the rules changing in England?

The Government has set out its ‘Living With Covid’ Plan.

From 24th February:

 

  • people with Covid are not legally required to self-isolate
  • however, guidance recommends that those who test positive stay at home and avoid contact with others for at least five full days
  • self-isolation support payments of £500 for those on low incomes have stopped
  • routine contact tracing has ended – people in contact with someone with Covid will no longer be advised to self-isolate or take daily tests
  • workers are not required to tell their employer if they need to self-isolate
  • face coverings are not mandatory on Transport for London’s tubes, trains or buses, but they are still “strongly encouraged”

 

5.) There are so much information and news updates about the coronavirus, I don’t know which one to read?

For up to date, factual information, visit GOV.UK or the NHS website.  For local facts on the coronavirus we suggest reading the information on your local council website: Devon County CouncilCornwall CouncilSomerset County Council and Dorset Council .  You could also use the GOV.UK Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp. This automated chatbot covers the most common questions about coronavirus.  Citizens Advice are also a good source of practical support and information.

6.) Where is the information and updates on the coronavirus in BSL?

Charity ‘SignHealth’ provides daily updated information on the Coronavirus on their Facebook and YouTube channel. BSL users can contact Devon County Council using the InterpretersLive service

We provide additional support for the Deaf community on our website Your Deaf Community You contact Justine in our Deaf Led Services team and Mark from our Deaf Get Active team both use British Sign Language.

7.) Can I get the information in an alternative format, such as an easy read guide or in large print?

Easy Read guides can be found on the Learning Disability Devon website. If you need information in another language or format please contact customer@devon.gov.uk, phone 0345 155 1015 or SMS text ‘Devon’ then your message to 80011. 

Somerset County Council coronavirus helpline 0300 790 6275, or if you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech-impaired you can contact them using SMS text: 07781 482858. 

Cornwall County Council email DIAL Cornwall for advice for disabled people, carers and families or call  01736 759500.

Dorset Council call 01305 221000 for help and advice or email us communityresponse@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk.

8.) I’m worried about having the covid-19 vaccination?

NHS England and NHS Improvement have launched a series of animations aimed at tackling confusion and worry about the COVID-19 vaccine. These animations are available in 17 different languages. The videos (audio and subtitled) cover key topics including vaccine safety, how it was tested, how it was developed so quickly, what is in it, and what the side effects are.

You can view these videos with the transcript HERE. For correct and accurate information on the coronavirus, and the covid-19 vaccine visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.

Book your coronavirus vaccination appointments online.

Our Deaf Counsellor Justine joins Together for Devon to encourage you to get vaccinated

9.) What is the booster vaccination?

A COVID booster vaccination is an additional dose of a vaccine given after the protection provided by the original shot(s) has begun to decrease over time. Typically, you would get a booster after the immunity from the initial dose(s) naturally starts to decrease.

People aged 40 to 49 can now get a booster vaccine 6 months after their second dose. Book your vaccination appointment online or find a walk-in clinic. The NHS will contact you when you are eligible to book your booster dose.

10.) Does Coronavirus make you feel anxious, isolated, and at times lonely?

Please call us if you feel anxious, isolated or would just like to hear someone’s voice or make contact with someone, our Time to Talk team is available on Freephone 0300 303 3691 or SMS 07856 426 940.  Alternatively, you can contact our friendly HUB team on 01392 459 222 or email info@livingoptions.org

We also offer lots of useful links to help and support on our dedicated Your Wellbeing webpage and have a new counselling service offering you 6 free sessions with a trained counsellor (BSL counsellor available). Counselling is a talking therapy which can help you understand and manage complicated feelings and emotions.

12.) Are you struggling to use technology to keep in touch with family and friends online?

Our friends at AbilityNet help people of any age and with any disability to use technology to achieve their goals at home, at work and in education, why not get in touch with them, call 0800 269 545 or email enquiries@abilitynet.org.uk

13.) I’ve heard that scam, crime and violence might be on the increase due to the coronavirus?

The outbreak of the coronavirus has seen an increase in scams and doorstep traders who are trying to exploit fear and uncertainty.  They often target elderly and vulnerable people and usually imitate Benefit or Government emails.  Please keep safe, always ask for a persons ID if you are unsure and don’t open links and attachments from unknown emails. 

Isolation may increase domestic abuse, violence, and crime, please be assured there is help available, our Victim Support team work closely with Victim Care Devon and Cornwall to provide victim support services to disabled and Deaf communities across Devon.  We offer support for both reported and non-reported crimes, helping the victim to overcome the affects caused by a crime. Our volunteers are trained to give emotional support, information, practical help (including in British Sign Language) to people that have been affected by a crime. This is a free and confidential service call us on 01392 459222 or SMS text 07734 768910 or email info@livingoptions.org​

There are several different ways to contact the police depending on the support you need. Remeber in an emergency always call 999. To find our more about their support services during the pandemic visit the Devon and Cornwall Police website.

A leaflet from Devon and Cornwall Police on how to contact them through the pandemic.  Remember in an emergency always call 999

Our Support Services

Living Options Devon Keep Active

Our team supports anybody with a disability, or long term health condition to get active and keep active both body and mind.

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Time To Talk

Our free, confidential listening support and advice helpline, for those with a disability, long term health condition or Deaf people who use BSL.

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The Hub

Your first point of contact with Living Options Devon, our friendly Hub team connects you to the support services, advice, and information that you need.

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Deaf Led Services

As British Sign Language users and members of the Deaf Community, the Deaf Led team know first-hand the issues faced by Deaf people and the best advice and support to give to overcome these.

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Devon Disability Network (DDN)

Enabling disabled and Deaf people to campaign and be involved in developing the support services they need.

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Countryside Mobility

Providing easy access to the countryside for anyone who has difficulty walking, through an off road mobility scooter hire scheme
Explore the South West with freedom and ease.

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Deaf Get Active and Volunteer

We aim to increase participation in sport / activity in the local Deaf community through volunteer-based peer support and online resources.

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Counselling Service

6 free sessions of accessible counselling to people with a disability and members of the Deaf community (British Sign Language Users) across Devon.

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Living Options Northern Devon (Formerly the See Hear Centre)

Living Options Northern Devon, supporting you with information, advice and equipment for sight and hearing loss. The team also signpost to additional support services locally for disabled people and members of the Deaf Community.

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Heritage Ability

Our team works with heritage sites across the south west supporting them in improving the customer experience for disabled people and Deaf people who use British Sigh Language

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Victim Care and Support

Free confidential support for victims of crime

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