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COVID-19 Outbreak

Briefing on Community Response Unit, Derbyshire County Council

Derbyshire County Community Response Unit

Our Community Response Unit (CRU) is aimed at supporting those who are most vulnerable and in need of support, and who cannot currently get this help directly from friends, relatives or neighbours. The CRU is working closely with the CVS and District/Borough Councils in each area to ensure a coordinated community response.

As well as helping to arrange support for individuals the CRU is also helping coordinate volunteers to help their local communities.

Who is Eligible for Help?

The CRU is aimed at supporting the most vulnerable in Derbyshire who do not have anyone (relatives, neighbours, friends) who can support them but with a particular focus upon people who are:

·        Extremely vulnerable (those in the Shielded cohort who have received a letter from the NHS)

·        Vulnerable (those aged over 70, underlying health conditions, pregnant women)

·        Self-isolating due to the individual or someone in their household being ill with suspected COVID-19

What help is available?

The CRU is able to offer a range of assistance to help people who have an urgent need meeting their basic needs including:

·        Food/essential shopping

·        Prescription collection

·        Social isolation

·        Financial needs


We can arrange for a person to receive a weekly food parcel from the Council that will be delivered to their door.  The parcel is free for anyone on the Shielded list and is intended as emergency support until their NHS food parcel delivery begins. For people who are vulnerable or self-isolating there is a small charge of £25 for each food parcel.  In cases of exceptional hardship we can arrange either an emergency payment via the Derbyshire Discretionary Fund to enable the person to pay for a food parcel or help via the network of foodbanks.

In exceptional cases were a person needs food and the food box is unsuitable due to allergies/medical needs we can arrange someone to shop on their behalf.  We can also arrange to shop for other essential items that are not currently in the ‘food box’ e.g. cleaning products.


We can arrange for a volunteer to collect and deliver prescriptions.  We are working with the LPC and Pharmacies to increase delivery support across the County to reduce the need to collect individual prescriptions.

Social isolation

Regular calls can be made to anyone who is socially isolated.

Financial Support

People who are experiencing undue financial hardship can be supported via the Derbyshire Discretionary Fund or the Welfare Rights service.


We are not able to support people on the Shielded list to register with the Government – this support should be provided by the person’s GP practice.

How Does Someone Get Help?

A person can get help by:

·        Registering with the CRU themselves or someone (relative, friend, professional) can register a vulnerable person on their behalf.  Registration can be done online here or by telephone (01629 535091)

Our phone line opening hours are:

Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm

Saturday 9am to 1pm.

·        Anyone on the Shielded list and who has registered with the Government for help is contacted directly by the CRU to discuss what help they may need.  The CRU receives a daily updated list of those people who have registered.


Contacting the CRU

The easiest way to contact the CRU is via our email address:

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This email address should not be used to make individual referrals – please complete the online form referred to above.