Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Emergency support helpline

Emergency Support Helpline for vulnerable people needing urgent help with food, medicines and essential supplies

Map of Cumbria showing local resources

Interactive map of local resources

Cumbria County Council and partners are running an emergency support service and 6 welfare coordination Hubs for people at high risk of becoming seriously ill, as a result of COVID-19, and who do not have support available from friends, family or neighbours. 

If they have no alternative support, these people will now be able to call the Freephone number to request help with getting food, medicines, essential supplies and home deliveries.


You can request support by:


The telephone call centre operates Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and 10am to 2pm at weekends and Bank Holidays. The service also accepts referrals from members of the public who may be concerned about people in their community.

To support the helpline every area is coordinating a supply of essential food, medicines and supplies which can only be accessed via the emergency helpline or email. The requests received asking for help will then be matched with local support and supplies being offered by community groups, volunteers, councils and businesses. 

Cumbria is already seeing widespread community and voluntary sector support for the response to COVID-19 and informal support, including neighbourhood WhatsApp groups and community Facebook groups, alongside a commitment from existing community emergency planning groups, local churches and faith groups and formal voluntary sector organisations who are working with the county council and partners including District Councils and NHS.

Government food parcel no longer needed?

How to stop the weekly government food parcels:

If you have received an NHS letter and if you have registered as shielding, you may have received a weekly food parcel. This will contain enough food for one adult for one week.

If you want to cancel this, do one of the following:

  • Refuse the parcel when it is delivered, this will then cancel it and remove you from the government distribution list
  • Go to GOV.UK where you registered as shielded, go to the question 'Do you have a way of getting essential supplies delivered at the moment?'. You previously answered no to this question, please now reply as yes. You will then be removed from the government distribution list
  • Call 0800 028 8327 and make sure you have your NHS number (this will be on the top of your NHS letter). This is an automated phoneline and you will need to follow the instructions. You will be asked the question 'Do you have a way of getting essential supplies delivered at the moment?'. You previously answered no to this question, please now reply as yes. You will then be removed from the government distribution list.

Please note that deregistering from the food parcels will not cause you to lose your priority status slot for supermarket delivery.