A SELF-ISOLATION support pilot developed by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council is helping people get the support they and their families need when self-isolating with Covid.

As part of this government-funded pilot, the council and its partners provide ‘self-isolation support boxes’ to anyone who, when contacted by the Test and Trace Team, is identified as needing additional support to enable them to self- isolate. Over 150 people have already received these boxes.

When someone living in Blackburn with Darwen tests positive for Covid, Test & Trace officers pass their details to the self-isolation support team. Trained officers will then get in touch with the individuals to carry out a telephone interview, taking time to get to know their individual situation and devise a bespoke support plan, arranging any necessary help to avoid individuals breaking self-isolation rules – and risking infecting other people with Covid.

Blackburn with Darwen’s teams work closely with a range of local organisations and groups who can help to put in place tailored support.

Support packages vary from one person to another but everyone who is identified as needing additional support receives a box containing cleaning products and items bespoke to that person’s needs. This may include things such as colouring and activity books for children or magazines and puzzles for people living on their own.

When Sarah (whose named has been changed for confidentiality reasons, a 36-year-old single parent and university student with two young children tested positive for Covid, she needed someone to help take her children to school, as well as financial support and access to the foodbank. Sarah received a bespoke self-isolation support box for herself and her children.

Sarah said: “The care package kept us all occupied over the weekend and in the evenings when I couldn’t take the children to their usual activities. Hopefully we don’t need to use the service again, but if we do, I feel so much more at ease knowing there is help out there.”

Councillor Mustafa Desai, executive member for adult services & prevention, said: “We know that self-isolation periods are effective in preventing the spread of Covid in our local communities, but we also appreciate how difficult it can be for people when they have to put their lives on hold and stay at home.

"The council is supported by a variety of fantastic local organisations, charities and community groups who can contribute to bespoke support packages for residents. Together we will support more people to self-isolate, and help prevent the spread of Covid in Blackburn with Darwen this winter”.