Coronavirus (COVID-19) can cause mild symptoms, but for older people and those with an underlying health conditions it can be more serious. As well as health implications, the current necessary restrictions on daily life to stop the spread of the virus will make some of us vulnerable in other ways, for example our personal finances may be negatively affected, or our domestic situation may be difficult.

Many Ark Housing tenants across Northern Ireland are considered vulnerable at this time and we want to ensure that we support all of them. Therefore, we have pulled together guidance for vulnerable people on reducing their risk of catching and spreading the virus as well as other support which is available.

Health & Wellbeing COVID-19

  • nidirect.gov.uk – This is a one stop shop for all COVID-19 information for Northern Ireland.  On this site you will find health and wellbeing information and support.  This information includes details about food parcels and extra support for those who are shielding themselves and or have no support network.
  • publichealth.hscni.net- The Northern Ireland organisation for health and social wellbeing protection provides daily updates and statistics on the spread and management of the ongoing health crisis

Getting the Essentials

People should order prescriptions and take their medicines as normal.  Extra supplies should not be ordered from your doctor.

As well as prioritising online delivery slots for vulnerable people, many of the larger supermarkets have priority shopping times.  Please visit their websites for up to date information.  If you are unable to use online resources please ask a trusted friend or family member to assist you.

Don’t forget that most local shops are now delivering orders to vulnerable people or those self isolating.  Contact your local convenience stores, butchers and bakeries to find out more.

  • 0808 802 0020 – The Freephone COVID-19 community helpline is designed to ensure the most vulnerable in society and those most at risk of COVID-19 have access to support services such as food, medication and practical or emotional support. Please don’t hesitate to give them a call to find out what help and support you could receive.

Financial Support

If you have been affected by Covid-19 (Coronavirus) financially and are worried about paying for your rent please check the Department for Communities website:

https://www.communities-ni.gov.uk/landing-pages/covid-19-and-benefits

This website will be updated regularly with the latest information, so you should check this page for advice on what to do if you are receiving benefits or how to apply for benefits.

If you are applying for benefits or considering applying for benefits due to the COVID-19 crisis NiDirect has a wealth of information regarding financial support- nidirect.gov.uk/articles/coronavirus-covid-19-and-benefits

If you are worried about money, please contact your Housing Officer to discuss any issues on 028 90 752310 or by email to info@arkhousing.co.uk

Personal Safety

This is a worrying time for everyone, particularly so for adults and children living with domestic abuse.  As always, if you or someone you know is in danger please call 999 and ask for the police.  Silent Calls will work if you are unable to speak.

The national Make Yourself Heard campaign aims to help people alert police when they are in imminent danger but are unable to speak.  The campaign enables a 999 caller who is too scared to speak, to press 55 when prompted to inform police they are in an emergency.

  • Dial 999
  • Listen to the questions from the operator
  • Respond by coughing or tapping the handset if you can
  • If prompted press 55

For more information on this system visit http://healthallianceni.com/make-yourself-heard/

As well as the support and information above we are encouraging all our tenants to continue to support each other and our staff in these trying times. We will continue to update this page in line with information from our partners and statutory agencies.

Stay safe and healthy. Let us know how we can help you.