Help with prescriptions and shopping

Are you self-isolating and not able to rely on friends, family or neighbours to get hold of the essentials? Or someone who has been shielding and is no longer required to do so? There is help at hand and people who can point you in the right direction.

The Community Helpline will help direct you to relevant help for you. If anyone is unable to get help from friends or family to collect an urgent prescription they should contact their GP or community pharmacy.

If you need help with things such as picking up shopping, prescription collections or having someone who can be a telephone friend, Councils for Voluntary Service (CVSs) can help direct you to services that can help.

Find out more and contact your local CVS

British Red Cross support

British Red Cross free coronavirus support line if you need essential supplies 0808 196 3651 calls between 10am and 6pm. The shopping is done via their Huggg.me system, a link will be emailed to you which will enable you to write a shopping list, pay for a voucher and then a volunteer will go out and do the shopping for them and deliver it.

Need to get hold of groceries but can't get out?

  • Wherever possible you should ask friends, family or neighbours who are well to go out and get food and essentials for you. If someone is going to the shops for you, most of the major supermarkets have ways you can pay for your shopping, such as e-vouchers or gift cards. You can buy these online and the person shopping for you can use them in store. To find out about payment options, visit your supermarket's website.
  • If you are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable and registered for priority supermarket delivery slots these will still be valid until 21 June 2021
  • If you don't have anyone to help you and don't want to/can't shop online, there may be community groups who can help in your area or your local shops may be able to provide orders for delivery (by phone or by email)
  • You could also get support from the NHS Volunteer Responders programme; you can call 0808 196 3646 and ask for help with food, prescriptions and essential items.
  • British Red Cross free Coronavirus support line is available if you need supplies 0808 196 3651 calls between 10am - 6pm. The shopping is done via their Huggg.me system, a link will be emailed to you which will enable you to write a shopping list, pay for a voucher and then a volunteer will go out and do the shopping for you and deliver it.

Picking up prescriptions and medicines

  • Do you have any friends or family that are able to collect your prescription for you?
  • If you are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable the national free delivery service of medicines and prescriptions will no longer be available from 1 April 2021 when shielding was lifted.
  • Some local pharmacies have a free delivery service others may charge - you will need to check with them what delivery service is available. The NHS Find a Pharmacy Service lists all pharmacies nearby.
  • The NHS Volunteer Scheme can also arrange for volunteers to pick up your medicines and deliver them to you. You can arrange this by calling 0808 196 3646 (8am to 8pm, 7 days a week).

Spring Bank Holiday Pharmacy opening hours

The NHS has published details of which pharmacies are open over the Spring bank holiday period. The details were correct at the time of publishing, but people are advised to contact the pharmacy before travelling and to check that they have the medication needed in stock.

Local help and support is still available

If you are still unable to rely on friends, family or neighbours to help with picking up essentials or prescriptions, rest assured there is still local help and support available. You can call the Community Helpline or contact your local district or borough council a list of contact numbers can be found on the Coronavirus I need help webpages.

How to pay if someone else is doing your shopping for you

If someone is going to the shops for you, most of the major supermarkets have ways you can pay for your shopping, such as e-vouchers or gift cards. You can buy these online and the person shopping for you can use them in store. To find out about payment options, visit:

  • your supermarket's website
  • UK Finance (the collective voice for the banking and finance industry

If you or a family member meet the criteria to get support from the NHS Volunteer Responders programme, you can call 0808 196 3646 and ask for help with food, prescriptions and essential items.

If you need urgent help and have no other means of support you can call the Surrey Community Helpline on 0300 200 1008 Monday to Friday: 9am to 5pm.

SMS: 0786 0053 465 for Deaf and hearing impaired residents only (Monday to Friday: 9am to 5pm).

Priority supermarket slots

If you have no other means of support and are unable to go to the shops yourself, we may be able to refer you directly for a priority supermarket delivery slot if you have access to the internet and you are able to pay for your food.

You may be eligible if:

  • you or someone in your household has been in contact with someone who is showing symptoms of coronavirus and has been advised to self-isolate
  • you, or someone in your household is showing symptoms of coronavirus and you need to self-isolate
  • you are finding it difficult to leave your home because of a disability or because of health or medical condition/s

To find out more about the scheme, please call the Surrey Community Helpline on 0300 200 1008 Monday to Friday: 9am to 5pm

SMS: 0786 0053 465 for Deaf and hearing impaired residents only (Monday to Friday: 9am to 5pm)

Please read our Surrey County Council COVID Privacy Policy here. This outlines how we use your personal information during the Coronavirus pandemic.

If you're struggling to put food on the table

Food banks and Community Fridges are there for people struggling financially to put food on the table. Visit the Surrey Information Point website for details on foodbanks and Community Fridges available in Surrey. Or perhaps you can donate your time to help out?

The Trussell Trust – There are over 1,200 food bank centres across the UK who provide a minimum of three days' emergency food and support to people experiencing crisis. Please visit their get help page.

The Surrey Crisis Fund is a discretionary fund run by Surrey County Council. It has been running since 1 April 2013, and was formerly known as the Local Assistance Scheme. It provides financial help to Surrey residents who have nowhere else to turn in an emergency or following a disaster. It also can provide assistance to set up a home in the community where no other funds or resources are available.