Council urges anyone struggling to get in touch

Lambeth town hallLambeth council leader Jack Hopkins has urged any local people who are struggling with the coronavirus crisis and who have not yet done so to contact the council and seek out the help it is offering.

The council said it has comprehensive support in place for residents needing financial help, access to benefits, employment support and housing advice.

It is working with public sector partners and community groups to focus on the key issues people in the borough face as a result of the lockdown.

Full details of financial help from the council, employment support and advice, support for the self-employed, advice services and housing support and advice have all been published on the Lambeth Council website at:

Cllr Hopkins said: “The lockdown and social distancing measures in place are critical at this time, and I thank the residents of Lambeth for observing these very difficult measures as we work to save lives and protect the NHS.

“We are working incredibly hard as a council to do our part, and ramp up support for local people, some of whom are facing very serious impacts on their incomes, their housing situations and their domestic finances.

“In Lambeth, we have a range of services that form our welfare safety net for people in financial difficulty or who are receiving benefits, and we have expanded all of those programmes so that more people can receive the support they need.

“I would ask that anyone who is struggling please contact the council and seek out the help we are offering.

“We are in the middle of totally unprecedented crisis, but it’s important that people realise support is available and make full use of it.”

Action the council has taken includes:

  • Expanding its emergency support scheme for those at immediate risk of financial hardship, with an extra £500,000 in emergency financial support for Lambeth residents. This includes food vouchers, fuel payments, second-hand furniture and refurbished white goods
  • Adding an extra £1million to the budget for discretionary housing payments to support residents who may struggle to pay their housing costs due to the virus.
  • Expanding its support for vulnerable people who struggle to pay their council tax by increasing the scope and funding for its council tax support scheme.
More than 1,000 volunteers are registered with the council. The Pedal Me bike delivery service has distributed more than 2,000 food packages and more are planned.
The council call centre run by staff deployed from other roles has so far (10 April) opened 5,794 cases for vulnerable residents. The helpline number is 020 7926 2999.