Supporting your community
Sunderland City Council endeavours to ensure that information contained on this page is up to date and correct and in line with the latest NHS and Government advice. The council accepts no liability for error or omission.
We know that during this unprecedented time our communities coming together to support each other is more important than ever.
We'll be working with partners to deliver the best care we can in the community, supporting many voluntary sector organisations and groups who are mobilising to support some of the most vulnerable, unwell and at risk across Sunderland.
The most important thing we can all do to keep our communities safe is continue to follow official guidance:
If you're able to help in your community, there are a few things you can do:
1. Shop sensibly. Many supermarkets have announced different opening hours to support elderly or vulnerable people, including priority online shopping deliveries too. Be mindful of any restrictions on key items when you're shopping.
2. Look out for your neighbours. If you have neighbours who are vulnerable or self isolating, check in safely if there's anything you can do to help like picking up shopping.
3. Support local foodbanks. Foodbanks need our support, whether that's with food, money or time. Foodbanks are planning to stay open to support those who cannot afford food to support their families, not those who have the resources but are for example self-isolating. You can find out how to donate to the Sunderland Foodbank and Washington Community Food Project as well as the most urgently needed items.
4. Volunteer if you can. Foodbanks are not alone in needing volunteer support to keep running even during the lockdown. Register your support using the links at the bottom of our Need support or want to help? page to help us build a database of those who wish to volunteer. We can then match volunteers to communities in line with public health guidance regarding social distancing.
5. Stay in touch with what's happening in your area. Remember our area Facebook pages will share information about your local area and you can let us know what's going on in your community too.
6. Be mindful of potential scams. Trading Standards advises that there are cases reported throughout the country where vulnerable people have been tricked into handing over bank cards, money and other personal details in the belief that they will be used only to obtain essential items like food and medication. Sadly, this hasn't always been the case. Our advice is to never provide bank details or bank cards to anyone and seek any help you need from family and friends wherever you can. If you think you may have been the victim of a scam, please report it through the consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133.
7. Stay safe online. It's also important to protect yourself from online scams. When online watch out for fake news and use trusted sources like .gov.uk and NHS.uk websites. Beware of fake products being advertised online and on social media pages claiming they can protect you from or cure Coronavirus. They will not help you and are just money making schemes. There have been reports of phishing emails making tax refund claims. These emails are normally bogus and are simply an attempt to obtain your personal details. Other email scams try and trick you into opening attachments claiming to have information about people in your local area affected by Coronavirus or other Coronavirus information. Do not open these attachments as they may put you at risk of identity theft. If you think you may have been the victim of a scam, please report it through the consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133.
8. We have had reports of a scam email claiming to be from the government, including a link to click for a refund for a council tax reduction. All correspondence relating to your council tax bill will be sent from Sunderland City Council, rather than the government. When a credit on a council tax account is identified, we process a refund automatically without you needing to get in touch with us. We'll then send out a revised bill which will tell you the amount we have refunded.
You should avoid clicking on any links or downloading any attachments in unsolicited emails or texts from unknown sources, or even trusted ones, unless you are absolutely sure that it is authentic. You can find some top tips on how to spot scam emails as well as how to report them at Action Fraud - scam emails. For more information about your council tax please visit our Council tax pages.
9. Be a good neighbour. Most people will now be spending much more time at home and indoors so we all need to be considerate of neighbours and the wider community. Consider any noise you create, both inside your home and in the garden; think about how excessive and prolonged noise could affect your neighbours' quality of life during an already difficult and unprecedented time. An open window may be the only opportunity for some of us to get fresh air over the coming weeks. Please don't prevent this by having a garden or allotment fire, or by burning inappropriate fuel in your home causing lots of smoke.
We've pulled together a directory of local services and support available for each of the five areas of the city. Click on your area below to find out more: