Local Services

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is impacting on everyone’s lives and Help in Preston is working with our partners district and city councils and other partner organisations to ensure that the most vulnerable in our area are well cared for.

We are deploying council staff and recruiting volunteers who can help others.

We are receiving a very high volume of requests and we are working on these as fast as we can.

Below is a list of local services either offering help and support or looking for volunteers. 

If you wish to be added to this page, please contact us using the form on the home page

Free School Meals

If your child has free school meals, you should be contacted by the school about the new food voucher scheme.

Children will continue to get a meal, or a weekly £15 shopping voucher while schools are closed due to Coronavirus.

For more information visit GOV.UK – Voucher scheme launches for schools providing free school meals. 

Preston Community Transport

Preston Community Transport will help with transporting people to:

  • Confirmed medical appointments
  • Shopping service
  • Prescription collection
  • Transport for NHS staff
  • Delivering from a food bank for anyone classed as most vulnerable

For more information please contact manager@prestonct.org.uk or call 01772 204667.

United Utilities

United Utilities have made some key changes to the way the Help to Pay scheme is running in relation to homeowners.

This will make it easier for homeowners on the relevant benefit to apply.

I would encourage wherever possible that this be done by completing the Struggling to Pay form on United Utilities website.

Due to the current influx of calls to the phone line, please use the website where possible.

For those customers where this is not possible the number to call is 0800 0726765

We do have a Payment Break Scheme for customers who are not in arrears, but whose circumstances may have changed affecting their financial situation .

This is especially relevant with  the impact that the Coronavirus is having with job losses.

Gas and Electric Pre-payment Meters

If you don’t have money to top up your gas and electric meters, below are the numbers to ring and ask for help.

Please note – operaters are working on a case by case basis and priority will be given to those people who are self-isolating with no other way to top up their gas and electric meters.

Each case will be looked at individually.

  • British Gas – 0333 202 9802
  • EDF – 0333 200 5100
  • EON –  0345 052 000
  • N Power –  0800 073 3000
  • Scottish Power – 0800 027 0072
  • SSE – 0345 026 2658

Age UK Lancashire

In response to Covid-19 Age UK Lancashire are providing these vital services to older people, we aim to offer support to our most vulnerable and shielded local residents on a consistent basis.

  • Support at home including shopping and collecting prescriptions
  • Taking people home from hospital and helping them to settle
  • Good day calls – a phone call every day, 7 days per week
  • Information and advice
  • Dementia support for those living with dementia and their carers

We have also launched a Bereavement Support page to our website and would welcome details of any organisations offering support so that we can publicise it.

We have also launched an Art of Isolation webpage for people to share their creativity during this period as a bit of light relief.

Please refer by email to us on advice@ageuklancs.org.uk or call 0300 303 1234.

For the latest updates to the change of services and their response to Covid-19, please visit age UK Lancashire.


Intact staff will still be available to provide support and guidance where they can.

Email: info@intact-preston.org.uk

Private message via Facebook Intact Centre (Intact.Centre.3)

Phone: 01772 760 760

Lancashire Women

Lancashire Women are still open, by phone and online, providing

  • mental health
  • wellbeing support
  • advice on managing money
  • benefits and debt
  • help improving skills
  • knowledge and gaining employment

All Lancashire Women services are free and accessible. They can offer one to one therapy and group therapy by phone and online.

Agencies can now refer using the Lancashire Women self-referral form.

The opening hours are now more flexible, you don’t need a doctors referral and you can self-refer. Further training has been taken to support you with the new polices that are being applied.

Get in touch on 0300 330 1354 or visit the Lancashire Women website. You can also follow them on twitter @LancashireWomen or Facebook.

If you would like to stay up to date on information from Lancashire Women, please join their mailing list here.

Disability Equality

Disability Equality is still providing services for disabled people during ‘lockdown’.

Please be assured that we are adapting to the changing circumstances to keep our support services open and accessible to all of our service users.

We have closed the office and have suspended face-to-face contact, including:

  • home visits
  • meetings
  • events and training.

Most staff are working from home but can still be contacted.

We have made provisions to ensure that voicemail messages are picked up daily along with incoming and outgoing mail.

The individual services arrangements are as follows:

Lancashire Independent Service

Lancashire Independent Service can still be contacted by email on lils@disability-equality.org.uk or by ringing or texting, Monday to Friday between 9am – 5pm

  • 07921 405623
  • 07713 307406
  • 07713 307402
  • 07713 307404

Supported Banking

Supporting Banking is classified as an essential financial service for disabled people and those providing support to disabled people.

The team can be contacted by emailing – supportedbanking@disability-equality.org.uk or by telephone 01772-250300 and leave a message, Monday to Friday between 9am – 4.30pm.

General Advice Service

General advice services can be accessed Mondays and Thursdays from 9.30am – 2.30pm by email on hello@disability-equality.org.uk or telephone 01772-558863 (opt 4) and leave a message or text  07544809806 or by sending an email to hello@disability-equality.org.uk

This is a part-time service and enquiries may take up to 3 days to process.

Hate Crime Project

The Hate Crime Project team will be providing ‘welfare checks’ on all current and former clients.

They will be in touch soon and will help you to access other support services if needed but you can also contact them on 07841017472 or email hatecrime@disability-equality.org.uk Monday to Friday, 9.30am—4pm.

ROSPA – Risk management for people at work and beyond

The best thing that anyone can do to help NHS fight and beat coronavirus (COVID-19) right now is to stay at home.

ROSPA have launched their ‘Accident Free, Avoid A&E’ campaign, and we would like to share this with colleagues and service users across Lancashire.

Everyone should make sure they are looking after themselves and keeping safe from injury, wherever and whatever they are doing during the pandemic emergency.

It’s important people avoid going to A and E unless absolutely necessary, to take pressure off frontline health services.

Whilst heeding the advice to stay at home, it is necessary to be aware that more accidents happen in the home than anywhere else. This is an unprecedented situation of everyone being told to stay at home, for work, school and play it is essential that we take extra care to stay safe and well.

Visit the ROSPA website for a list of many resources and support available, the campaign covers a range of topics and age groups. 

Microsoft Teams licences available

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic- Microsoft  have provided Lancashire and South Cumbria ICS with a number of Microsoft Teams licences free for six months, along with some limited technical and training support, to the voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise sector colleagues involved in the care and support of people in the community.

If you are involved in the provision of care or support to community based individuals and believe that you, your organisation and the people you support would benefit from access to Microsoft Teams then please email jane.byers@lancashirecare.nhs.uk.

Lancashire Digital Skills Partnership

If you are unemployed or just want to development your digital skills Lancashire Digital Skills Partnership have put together a list of free online learning for individuals across a wide range of digital skills levels and topics employment which should increase career opportunities.

Learn with Unite – the Union

Struggling with the lockdown? Need a reason to stay indoors?

Why not take a look at the 100’s of great courses offered by learn with Unite.

Free as part of your membership, short taster interactive courses to keep you occupied and your mind active with the Litmos Heroes platform.

They also have Wranx drills in English and Maths to help refresh your skills or support you and your children. 

Lancashire Volunteer Partnership

Lancashire Volunteer Partnership are offering referels to anyone who is feeling lonely and isolated and would benefit from a friendly telephone conversation. 

Please complete Lancashire Volunteer Partnership referral form.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service

Are you bored of being stuck inside on lock down and not having a routine?

Have you been furloughed from work and are struggling to structure your day?

You may even be feeling down and just need some motivation back in your life?

There’s only so much Netflix anybody can watch without getting fed up, right?

If this is you, then why not join our next Digital programme, starting on the 11 May?

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service are currently recruiting 16 – 25 year olds to take part in a Free online course.

You must have already left high school and no longer be in education or registered at College/University.

With daily communication and guidance from our staff over the phone and internet, this means that you can work towards a certificate of recognition awarded by Lancashire Fire & Rescue Service from the comfort of your own home.

This will look great on your CV and provide you with the support and guidance that you may need through this difficult time.

Lancashire Fire & Rescue Service are determined to help you be in a much better position once the restrictions are lifted and have a clear plan of what to do next once we return to ‘normal’ everyday life.

You must be connected to the internet and have a mobile phone.

Access to a laptop, computer or tablet will also be beneficial but not essential.

The programme offers you:

  • Help developing your confidence and self-esteem.
  • Advice on how to look after your mental health and well-being.
  • Tips on maintaining physical fitness and a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Information, Advice and Guidance on careers that suit your skill set.
  • Support when applying for jobs or college courses.
  • The opportunity to improve your employability skills by working on your interview technique and building an up to date CV.
  • The chance to increase your knowledge of the importance of British Values in our society.

If you are interested in this unique opportunity, or know anybody else that might be, then please contact us for more information on:

Preston Central

Team Leader (Anji) : 07900 268709
Programme Support Worker (Niall) : 07775 776256

 Preston Deepdale

Team leader (Sally): 07879 898662

Programme Support Worker (Glenis): 07823886540