Support for residents

Updated: 08.10.21

From 16 August 2021, people who are fully vaccinated and who are identified as contacts will no longer be required to self-isolate. This will mean that fully vaccinated contacts are ineligible for the self-isolation support payment from 16 August 2021. Please do not apply if you have been fully vaccinated.

Help Hub

The Help Hub is a partnership between the Council and local organisations to support residents with:

  • finance, benefits and debt management
  • mental health support
  • wellbeing and loneliness
  • learning, training and employment
  • getting online and using technology
  • access to food and essentials.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch however big or small your request may be.

How to contact the Help Hub

There are two ways to contact the Help Hub:

  1. Ask for help online using the online form
  2. Call us on 01254 588111 Monday to Friday between 09:00 and 17:00

Step up Youth Hub

Help is available to young people who have lost jobs and training placements as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. The Step Up Youth Hub is a partnership between the Council, the Department for Work & Pensions and Blackburn Youth Zone. Step Up gives 16 to 24 year olds living in Blackburn with Darwen the support of skilled Youth Employability Work Coaches from the Jobcentre.

Through Step Up, young people can get help with:

Careers advice and guidance

  • CVs, job applications and interview skills
  • Digital upskilling
  • Job matching service
  • Mentoring
  • Work readiness support
  • Bespoke support to overcome personal barriers to work.

To get help from the Step Up team, 16 to 24 year olds can call 01254 588111.

Our partners

We are working with a range of local organisations who can also offer support.

Whether you need a prescription picking up, some shopping delivered, or a warm meal, there’s someone in Blackburn with Darwen who can help.

  • Age UK: Wide range of support services, information, advice and guidance for people over 55. Contact: 01254 266620
  • Blackburn Food Bank: Food supplies to people in need. Contact: 01254 672756
  • Blackburn with Darwen Carers Service: Support, information advice and guidance for people who care for friends and family. Contact: 01254 688440
  • Care Network: Information, advice and guidance on a wide range of community services including the Safe Trader scheme. Contact: 01254 507255
  • Child Action North West: Range of services to support children, young people and their families. Contact: 01254 244700
  • Health and wellbeing advice: Range of services to support people to improve their health and wellbeing. Visit the BwD re:fresh website. Contact: 01254 682037
  • Lancashire Women: Range of support services for women designed around individual needs. Contact: 0300 3301354
  • Prescription medication: If you need prescription medication, we advise you to contact your GP surgery or local pharmacy.
  • Shelter: For other financial, welfare or housing advice. Contact telephone 0344 515 1831. Contact email: lancashire@shelter.org.uk

Help Hub in action

Read about how we have been helping residents over the past 12 months.

Financial support for those self-isolating

Test and Trace support payment

Do not apply if you are isolating after returning to the UK from abroad.

Please read the Test and Trace support payment further information before you apply.

To apply you will need to have a personal Blackburn with Darwen account already or register for one.

Please only make 1 application per isolation period. Multiple applications will not be considered. We will contact you once a decision on your application has been made.

There is no right of appeal against a decision not to award a payment. If you do not receive an award it is because you do not meet the criteria. We will not reply to any requests to review our decision.

To get the payment you:

  • must have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace
  • must have responded to messages received from NHS Test and Trace in which you are required to provide your contact details and where you have tested positive, the details of your contacts
  • must be employed or self-employed
  • must be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result and
  • must be currently receiving one of the following benefits:
    • Universal Credit
    • Working Tax Credit
    • income-based Employment and Support allowance
    • income-based Jobseeker’s allowance
    • Income support
    • Housing benefit
    • Pension credit.

Please do not apply if you do not meet the above criteria.

Any payment made will be disregarded when calculating other benefits. The Test and Trace Payment is taxable if you are a taxpayer, however, it is not subject to National Insurance Contributions. HMRC will automatically collect tax from your pay through your tax code, or self-employed recipients should report the payment on their 20/21 Self-Assessment tax return.

Apply for Test and Trace support payment

Test and Trace discretionary support payment

If you do not meet the above criteria you may be eligible for the Test and Trace discretionary support payment. The discretionary scheme will end as soon as the fund has been exhausted.

To get the payment you:

  • must have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace
  • must have responded to messages received from NHS Test and Trace in which you are required to provide your contact details and where you have tested positive, the details of your contacts
  • be employed or self-employed
  • must be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
  • must reside within the borough of Blackburn with Darwen.
  • must have annual earnings of £25,225 or less if a single person, or £50,450 or less if a couple.

Please do not apply if you do not meet the above criteria.

Apply for Test and Trace discretionary support payment

Financial support for parents or guardians of children self isolating

Information on financial support for parents or guardians of children self isolating can be found here.

Covid community champions

Find out more about the community champions programme.

Mental wellbeing

Supporting people’s mental health and wellbeing is a key priority for the council. It is important than ever that you get help when you need it most.

Please read our Shuttle article for the latest mental health resources.

Council Tax

Please see the Covid-19 Council Tax advice information for help with paying your Council Tax.

Housing Advice

If you need advice because you have nowhere to live or are at risk of becoming homeless, please complete the online enquiry form using a computer or smartphone. You can find further information about our homelessness advice and support.

If you need support to find rented accommodation, landlord advice and other support please check our website.

Shelter can also offer financial, welfare and housing advice.

Other financial support

Please see the Council website for further information on council benefit claims.

Please see the Government website for further income support.

Find out more information on our debt and welfare advice page.

Protecting yourself against fraud and scams

Unfortunately, criminals are using COVID-19 to target people online and in person with different types of fraud and scams. Lancashire Police are reminding people to be vigilant and suspicious of cold callers (in person and on the telephone) as the scams can appear realistic.

Please use the advice below to protect yourself and your family:

Stop

Take a moment to stop and think before handing over money or sharing personal information online.

Challenge

  • It is okay to say no. Only criminals and fraudsters will rush you to make a decision. If in doubt, call the company to confirm that the visit is official.
  • Official organisations will never ask you for online money transfers, cash or passwords.

Protect

If you suspect covid related fraudulent activity please contact the COVID fraud hotline on 0800 587 5030.

If you think you have been a victim of a financial scam please contact your bank immediately.

If you suspect other fraud cases please call Action Fraud on 0300123 2040 or the Police on 101.

Keeping homes well ventilated

Improving ventilation reduces the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses such as flu.

Everyone releases aerosols when they speak, cough or sneeze which can include viruses such as COVID-19 and flu. If people breathe in this air they can become infected. This is known as airborne transmission.

Allowing fresh or cleaned air into your home dilutes viruses and stops them from building up and infecting you, the people you live with and any visitors.

How to ventilate your home

Opening windows, air vents and doors to improve natural ventilation

Windows and doors fully, or partially open improve ventilation. In colder months it is important to consider how to do this whilst remaining comfortable and reducing cold drafts:

  • Use openings at the top of windows, if safe to do so
  • Open windows and doors at opposite ends of rooms and in more than one room to allow a flow of fresh air.
  • Ensure trickle vents (small vents on the top of a window) or grilles are open and not blocked.
  • Open windows and doors regularly throughout the day to allow a constant flow of fresh air into the home.

If you, or someone you live with, is self-isolating

To reduce the spread of contaminated air to other parts of the home:

  • Keep a window slightly open in the room they are isolating in and keep the door closed. .
  • If any shared space in the home, such as the kitchen are used by the person who is self-isolating open windows fully during their use and for a short period after they have left.

For further information about ventilating your home please see the Government guidance.

For further advice and support please contact the BwD Help Hub.