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Our online benefit claim and calculator will not be available between 7.00pm on Friday 21 January and 9.00pm on Saturday 22 January due to maintenance. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Get help if you're self-isolating

If you have to self-isolate, there are a number of options available to help you access food and other essential supplies.

Help from family and friends

If you have to stay at home because you have tested positive for coronavirus, or are a close contact of someone who has, you may have friends, family and neighbours who can support you to self-isolate. We would ask that these people continue to be your first point of contact, along with any additional support services such as health or social care you may receive.

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable and catch coronavirus see our Advice if you're at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable) page.

Use our online support directory

If friends and family aren't able to help, you can find local support groups and organisations who can help with food supplies, posting mail and chatting over the phone. Visit Locate - our online support directory.

Financial support

If you have to take time off work because you, or your child, has been told to self-isolate and are worried because you won't get paid while you are off you might be eligible for an NHS Test and Trace Self-Isolation payment. Find out if you qualify and how to apply on our Apply for a test and trace support payment page.

If you are struggling financially, contact County Durham Together and we can signpost you to the right service based on your needs. You can contact us by ringing 03000 260 260 between 9.00am until 5.00pm Monday to Thursday and 9.00am until 4.30pm Friday or emailing us at We also have lots of advice on our Covid-19 financial support page.

How to get food when you are self-isolating

Help from family and friends

If family, friends or neighbours can support you, some supermarkets have set up volunteer shopping cards to help people who cannot leave the house.
It is a simple, contact-free way of providing money to volunteers and is available as the following schemes:

Low-cost or free food

If you need food and are struggling financially, you can find a list of local support groups and organisations who provide low-cost or free food or cooked meals - please see our Locate - our online support directory. This information is regularly updated, and you can look-up support in your area. The organisations and groups listed will have their own guidelines for those who are eligible for their support.

Welfare assistance scheme

You may be entitled to help with your daily living expenses from our Welfare assistance scheme, which includes food or funds to help pay for food.

Further support

Chat together

We have a Chat Together service as part of our Community Hub. In addition to the support and advice on accessing food when you're self-isolating, this service can also support you if you are affected by the loneliness that often comes with isolation. The service is open to anyone who would like to hear a friendly voice and for someone to check that they are managing.

Our staff will be able to provide companionship, discuss interests, family stories and anything else that will hopefully brighten your day. 

Contact us on 03000 260 260 or

Ask a question

If this page doesn't answer your question, you can use our COVID-19 general enquiry form and we will get back to you with a response as soon as possible.

Contact us
County Durham Together Community Hub
03000 260 260