Coronavirus support

Support for vulnerable residents

We are very concerned about the welfare of residents arising from the spread of COVID-19 and the changes to the way we go about our everyday lives.

Get help with food or medical prescription deliveries if you’re vulnerable

You can tell us if you or someone you know needs urgent help with food or medical prescription deliveries:

Ask for help

You can also call our coronavirus helpline: 020 8356 3111 (8am-5pm Monday to Friday).

Food deliveries

Read our advice about getting food deliveries if you’re self-isolating.


We want our vulnerable people, such as those with learning disabilities, to stay safe and well. Many of them will need support to do this. We have put together some information to help, including easy read information.


If you would like to donate, see our community support page.

Find support services map

The find support services map shows organisations that are open but providing an online or phone alternative to their usual activities in response to Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Help accessing prescriptions and medication

If you need to collect prescriptions or medication, wherever possible, please seek help from relatives, friends or trusted neighbours who are able to collect your medicines from the pharmacy and deliver them to you. 

Please remember that if you are self-isolating because you have coronavirus or have symptoms suggesting you may have it, relatives living in your household should also be self-isolating and should not go to the pharmacy. 

Where support is not available from family or friends, please contact your community pharmacy directly to arrange for your prescription to be delivered. If you are unable to get through to the pharmacy, you can call 020 8356 3111 to request support from a Volunteer Centre Hackney volunteer to collect and deliver your prescription. 

Community pharmacies are extremely busy at the moment, if you are not shielding or self-isolating and able to collect your prescription from the pharmacy yourself, please help us all by doing so.

Mental health support

Tips and guidance for looking after your mental health during the coronavirus crisis.

Financial help

Find out what financial help you could be entitled to and how to apply for it.

Support for renters

We’re calling on private landlords to support private renters affected by the outbreak, and have asked the government to do more to protect renters by banning using non-payment of rent due to coronavirus as a basis for eviction. Read the letter to the government from Cllr Sem Moema, Mayoral Adviser for Private Renting and Housing Affordability.

Our benefits and housing needs service can help ensure tenants are getting the financial support they are entitled to, provide advice on maintaining tenancies, and – where there is likely to be shortfalls in rent payments – help with applications for discretionary housing payments. For more information see housing options and advice.

Our website also lists all the usual support available for residents on low incomes who may be experiencing hardship:

Support for businesses

We’ve announced a £100million support package for businesses affected by coronavirus in Hackney – including business rate relief, grants and rent deferrals.

Employment support

If your income or job has been affected, you can seek support through our Hackney Works employment service. Our specialist team can help you to find work or training, as well as offer advice on interviews and CV writing.

You can contact the team on or 020 8356 5700, or see the latest roles – including new temporary roles being created during the pandemic

Sign up for our job e-newsletter

Sign up now

Topping up pre-payment meters when self-isolating

You should tell your supplier straight away if you can’t top up your meter. This includes if you are ill with coronavirus or following guidance to stay at home and self-isolate, and if you don’t have anyone to help you.

Customers with prepayment meters who are self-isolating or unable to leave their home can now speak to their supplier on the options. This may include:

  • someone being sent to top up your prepayment card or token
  • having funds added to your meter credit
  • having a preloaded gas or electricity card sent to you in the post
  • no credit meters, where you pay for your energy after you have used it, will be disconnected during the outbreak.

If your local top up shop closes, and list alternative vendors online, and the Post Office also provide top-ups for some suppliers. Your supplier can also help. If you are a smart meter customer, you should be able to top-up remotely, such as by phone, mobile application or online.

If you are a Council tenant and are unable to top up your Switch 2 or Sycous heat meter, please let us know so that we can make sure your heating does not get cut off. We will continue to provide heating for an initial two weeks, which can be paid back at a later date. 

Switch 2 users should contact the repairs contact centre to request this. Sycous users should call the Sycous Support team on 0333 880 3115.

Citizens Advice has published more detailed online advice for prepayment customers.  You can also call their free helpline on 0808 223 1133. 

Page updated on: 22 May 2020