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Councils providing vital community and business support through the lockdown

We know the winter lockdown will be tough on some of our residents and businesses, but we’re here for anybody who urgently needs our help.  

That’s the message from South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse district councils as the nation prepares for the next lockdown tomorrow (5 November). 

The councils’ Community Hub, which has been up and running since the first lockdown in March, is on hand to answer calls and emails from people struggling to access support and essentials during the lockdown and have nobody else to turn to.  

The councils also provide a local support service for businesses in the districts worried about the impact the lockdown will have on their operations, providing helpful guidance and pointing them in the direction of the support that is available. 

The Community Hub can put people who need help getting essentials in contact with community groups and volunteers providing doorstep support in their neighbourhoods. The councils also have some practical support available for eligible people facing financial hardship as a result of the pandemic. 

This helps provide a vital lifeline to a way to access basics like food and prescriptions for those who are vulnerable or isolated, as well as a friendly voice at the end of the phone for those who need it. 

The message to anybody who is unsure if they need help, or if they’re unsure if the councils can help, is if in doubt, get in touch! 

It can sometimes take a day or two for support to reach people, so anybody who thinks they’ll be in need should not wait until they’ve run out of supplies before getting in touch. 

Cllr Bethia Thomas, Cabinet Member for Community Engagement at Vale of White Horse District Council said “We continue to work extremely hard to make sure everybody gets the help they need. We are gratefulfor the hard work of the community groups and volunteers we’ve been working with throughout the pandemic – they’re providing a vital lifeline to some of the Vale’s most vulnerable people. If you or anyone you’re aware of needs help, get in touch with us as soon as possible.” 

Cllr Maggie Filipova-Rivers, Cabinet Member for Community Services at South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “As we stand plans are in place and we are prepared to support our communities through the second wave. We will continue to work with community groups, parish and town councils and schools to ensure vital information regarding support is filtering down to those experiencing hardship over the coming months.  Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need help.” 

Individuals who need support can fill in an online form at: 

Or they can email or call 01235 422600.  

The Community Hub team is currently available from:  

  • 8.30am-5pm Monday to Thursday  
  • 8.30am-4.30pm on Fridays  

Businesses needing support should visit  


The new restrictions, in place from 2 November to 2 December mean: 

  • You must work from home if you can 
  • You should not socialise with people who are not from your household, indoors. 
  • You may only meet with one person from another household and must stay outdoors 
  • All non-essential shops to close, but may offer click and collect or delivery services.  
  • Food stores, supermarkets and pharmacies will stay open 
  • Hospitality businesses to close, but may offer take-away deliveries or click and collect (excluding alcohol) 
  • Gyms, leisure centres and leisure venues like cinemas and museums to close 
  • Schools, colleges and universities remain open