How you can help your community

Keeping our communities strong

To keep our communities strong and resilient, there are simple things we can do to help them continue to thrive.

Preparing food

Individuals or groups may wish to prepare meals at home for their community. Food provided for community groups must comply with food law and be safe to eat. You do not need a food hygiene certificate to provide food for charity or community groups. However, you need to make sure that you handle food safely. Please follow the Food Standards Agency's advice on community cooking.

Check in

Check in on any vulnerable family, friends and neighbours. Sometimes just helping them with their shopping and checking they have everything they need can make a big difference. Remember to keep your distance.


If you know someone who is self-isolating, contact them via phone or text to check that they’re ok. By its very nature, self-isolation is a solitary experience and their wellbeing will likely be improved by talking to someone.

Community point of contact

Appoint someone in your community/neighbourhood as the main gatherer of information so that everyone in your area gets access to the same and most accurate information.

Stay factual

Please be mindful with your comments and actions, so as not to cause undue concern or anxiety within your community. If you hear misinformation that may cause issues, respectfully challenge if you are able to.

Be respectful

Be respectful of anyone you know who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 as it’s likely to be an anxious time for them. Due to patient confidentiality their details will not be publicly confirmed, so please do what you can to respect and protect their privacy, and do not speculate with the local media or on social media.

Social distancing 

Public Health England has advised people who are self-isolating to do what they can to avoid visitors to their home and any deliveries of groceries, medications or other shopping to be left at the door. Please ensure you follow government advice when providing support. 

Help cards 

If you post them through the letterboxes of people that you think may require assistance due to self-isolation make sure you offer this service for free.

Be safe

Unfortunately, some individuals may look to take advantage of the vulnerable in our communities. Please look out for one another and report any suspicious behaviour to Essex Police using 101 for non-emergencies and 999 in case of an emergency.


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Page last reviewed: 3 April 2020