Support for vulnerable individuals

GP phone line:

We are working directly with GP surgeries across York to cover a phone line (from 08:00-18:00) that forms part of the GP call menu and provides individuals with access to non-medical support. Within the first week we actioned and supported over 200 vulnerable people in York and so far we have supported over 850 people to access the support they need.

We have been receiving calls and providing support and guidance to people who are self-isolating and are lonely, scared, and feel extremely vulnerable. We have been providing bespoke solutions for individuals to get access to the food and medicine they need whilst working in partnership with carers and loved ones to keep them up-to-date on the person they care for.

Alongside taking phone calls we have:

  • Supported a number of vulnerable individuals identified by their GP to successfully amend prescriptions and arrange delivery or collection of medicines.
  • Provided support for people with learning difficulties to understand the importance of staying home and how to access support.
  • Put plans in place for individuals living with Dementia to receive a daily welfare call.
  • Supported individuals in crisis to access same day appointments with their GP.
  • Arranged for emergency food parcels to be delivered to those most in need, when this has been the only option.

Weekly welfare calls:

Alongside staffing the phone line, we are conducting weekly welfare phone calls to individuals who have been identified as vulnerable by their GP Practices. We are currently making over 130 phone calls per week.

As the crisis developed, our team of Social Prescribing Link Workers telephoned those individuals who had been identified, to establish if they would like to receive ongoing support. These people are now receiving a weekly welfare phone call to see how they are feeling and to check that they have everything they need. Individuals are also requesting to receive a weekly welfare call via the GP phone line.

Thank you to our fantastic volunteers!

Our weekly welfare calls are made by a fantastic team of staff and volunteers from a number of our social action projects, including: Healthwatch York, York Dementia Action Alliance and York Cares. We are well placed to deal with the often complex, sensitive issues that arise from welfare calls. Our long-established links with, and knowledge of York’s statutory agencies and voluntary sector organisations aids us in getting the right help to the right people as quickly as possible.

As I can’t currently work in my own business (self employed complementary therapist) I was really excited to find out about the welfare calls York CVS are offering.

Having spoken to a variety of vulnerable people on the phone by now, I can honestly say that I totally enjoy making these phone calls. Generally speaking the response has been wonderful, almost everybody seems to appreciate somebody phoning to check how they are doing. Most people are happy to have a chat  to tell me how they are feeling and coping with this difficult and scary situation.

I feel grateful having been given this opportunity to do something purposeful during these unprecedented times and it makes me happy to think that maybe I have brought a smile to the person I have just called.


Welfare Call Volunteer

Self-referral form:

If you would like to refer yourself or another individual, you can do so by:

Mr and Mrs A, both in their nineties, live in York and have no local family. Mr A is housebound, and Mrs A has not been able to go out since she received her shielding letter. Mrs A says getting our phonecalls  makes her feel safe because she knows people are looking out for her and her husband, “It’s lovely to know somebody’s thinking of us.”

City of York Council COVID-19 Helpline:

If you’re on your own and struggling to manage, or you don’t have any support, but need it because of COVID-19, City of York Council may be able to help you through this difficult time. Contact them by email:, or telephone: 01904 551550.

Mental health helplines:

Anxiety UK
  • Phone: 03444 775 774 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 10pm; Saturday to Sunday, 10am to 8pm)
  • Website:

CALM is the Campaign Against Living Miserably, for men aged 15 to 35.

Mental Health Foundation

Provides information and support for anyone with mental health problems or learning disabilities.



Promotes the views and needs of people with mental health problems.

Phone: 0300 123 3393 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm)


York Mind:


A charity run by people with OCD, for people with OCD. Includes facts, news and treatments.

Phone: 0333 212 7890 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)



Young suicide prevention society.

Phone: HOPELINEUK 0800 068 4141 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 10pm, and 2pm to 10pm on weekends and bank holidays)


Rethink Mental Illness

Support and advice for people living with mental illness.

Phone: 0300 5000 927 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm)



Confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair.

Phone: 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline)



Emotional support, information and guidance for people affected by mental illness, their families and carers. 

SANEline: 0300 304 7000 (daily, 4.30pm to 10.30pm)

Textcare: comfort and care via text message, sent when the person needs it most:

Peer support forum: