Luke Pollard MP Member of Parliament for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport
Hello Plymouth, the second lockdown began last week. I know this is going to be a difficult time for many people in Plymouth. If you need help – please ask for it. You are not alone. To help make the next month easier for you my team and I have compiled a list of resources and information for you to easily access and be able to understand what changes this winter may bring for you and your loved ones.
This next month may be hard, but if we stick together, follow the rules, and look out for one another I believe that Plymouth will get through this. If me and my team can help at all please do get in touch.
Employment support – We are in the midst of a jobs crisis with more and more people losing their jobs every day in our city. The extension of furlough is welcome but many people have lost their jobs already and many people are still excluded from support. Skills Launchpad Plymouth offers a virtual, free skills service to help people equip themselves with the skills and confidence to find new employment opportunities, particularly those who are facing redundancy. https://www.skillslaunchpadplym.co.uk/
You may also need some employment advice around self-isolation, sick pay or supporting your family. ACAS offer both employers and employees free, impartial advice on workplace rights, rules and best practice – https://www.acas.org.uk/
Budgeting and saving – Plymouth Online Directory offers lots of advice around cutting costs in your household on things like energy bills. This includes a budget planner from the Money Advice Service which might help people if their household income has changed as a result of the pandemic – https://www.plymouthonlinedirectory.com/moneyandbenefits/budgetingandsaving
Food banks – Food poverty is on the rise. Food banks support those in financial crisis and don’t have access to other funding in an emergency – they not only provide help with food but could also help with clothes for job interviews, budgeting support and advice on your individual situation. There are many different people who can refer you to a food bank, including doctors, health visitors, social workers, Citizens Advice and Plymouth City Council, so please reach out if you are struggling to feed yourself or your family. The Food Bank in Stonehouse, Provide Devon and the Soup Run can all provide emergency food support.
Citizens Advice – Citizens Advice have a wealth of knowledge and information to be able to support those who are in need. They can provide advice on debt management, financial support, utilities bills and benefits entitlement and applications. They are working remotely during the pandemic but are still available to support you – https://citizensadviceplymouth.org.uk/
Domestic Abuse – Domestic abuse rose during the last lockdown, but you don’t have to suffer in silence. Domestic abuse can take many forms and affect anyone. Help is available to those who need it, and victims of abuse may leave isolation to seek refuge. Please get in touch with Victim Support Devon and Cornwall if you are in need – https://www.victimcaredevonandcornwall.org.uk/
Plymouth City Council – Plymouth City Council provide a range of services, most of which are continuing through the pandemic. This includes support for the clinically most vulnerable in the city. All of these services can be found on their website www.plymouth.gov.uk or by telephone on 01752 668000.
Coronavirus data – It’s important to know the facts about COVID-19. The UK Government provides a daily summary of coronavirus data, of which you can narrow it down to coronavirus data within Plymouth. This service can be found on their website here – https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/