Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Request support for vulnerable residents

Lewes District and Eastbourne Borough Councils are working in collaboration with partner organisations, voluntary and community groups. Our aim is to support those classified as “extremely vulnerable” who may require additional support during the Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.

A Covid-19 (coronavirus) community hub has now been set up to support the extremely vulnerable members of our community to provide them with the support they need to allow them to stay at home.

If you need to contact the council to request support, please use our online form:

Request support now

Read the latest updates from the councils on coronavirus (COVID-19):

Stay at home

  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home)
  • Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home

You can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms.

For the latest advice and guidance from the government on social distancing visit 

If someone in your household has symptoms of coronavirus, everyone in the household should stay at home for 14 days.The full guidance is available here: 

Coronavirus Information Service

The UK Government has launched a GOV.​UK Coronavirus Information service on WhatsApp. The new free to use service aims to provide official, trustworthy and timely information and advice about coronavirus (COVID-19), and will further reduce the burden on NHS services.

To use the free GOV.​UK Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp, simply add 07860 064422 in your phone contacts and then message the word ‘hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started.

A set of menu options is then presented which the user can choose from and then be sent relevant guidance from GOV.​UK pages as well as links to GOV.​UK for further information.

For more information, please click here

Update at 24 March 2020

During these unprecedented times we are sharing regular updates about the council services that residents in Eastbourne and Lewes district rely on.

Following the latest government advice and in the interests of the welfare of our residents and staff, we are changing the way our Customer Contact Centre operates. Resident enquiries continue to be answered, but we have now closed our reception areas at 1 Grove Road in Eastbourne and Southover House in Lewes. 

To contact the council, residents must use this website or email whenever possible. Our customer advisers will be calling over 3,600 vulnerable residents to undertake welfare checks and it is important to keep the telephone lines open to allow this critically important work to take place.

With the high volume of enquiries at this difficult time there will be some delay in responding, but our officers are working to resolve them all as quickly as they can.

Service updates include:

  • We are pleased to confirm that officers have completed the work on awarding expanded retail relief to 704 eligible retail, leisure and hospitality businesses in Eastbourne and their zero bills will be posted 1st class tonight (24/3/20). The total value of relief awarded is £24,098,895.  
  • The software to allow for the above work to be carried out for businesses in the Lewes district is expected in the coming days. If there is any delay from our software provider we will manually suppress all eligible accounts to ensure that April direct debits are not taken.
  • Our officers received the government’s business rates grants scheme guidance today (24/3/20) and are working as quickly as possible to publish it, along with an updated retail relief joint policy, on the council website.  It is hoped to have the information online by tomorrow morning at the latest.
  • The government advice on for businesses and workers continues to be updated on a daily basis. Alternatively, people can also visit 
  • Anyone having trouble paying their council tax should contact us via this website or by emailing . Visitors to the website also have the option of a web chat with a customer adviser. Residents who do not have online access or are vulnerable should contact us by telephone on 01273 471600 (Lewes) or 01323 410000 (Eastbourne).
  • Phones are being installed outside 1 Grove Road and Southover House tomorrow that residents can use to contact customer advisers.
  • It is business as usual for household waste and recycling collections but there will be no collections of bulky waste at this time e.g. appliances and furniture. 
  • Our waste teams are working incredibly hard at a time when inevitably some members of staff are in isolation. To counter this we are diverting staff from non-essential day-to-day duties to other frontline roles. For example, some of our grounds maintenance colleagues will be trained to work in waste and recycling. We will catch up with the grass cutting and other related work in due course.
  • We continue to liaise with the government and other partners about increasing support for the vulnerable in local communities. Our senior team is looking at how best to utilise existing council systems and infrastructure to achieve this. We will issue updates on this work as soon as possible.
  • Signs are in place confirming playgrounds are closed and all public toilets are closed too.

Update at 20 March 2020:

During these unprecedented times we are sharing regular updates about the council services that residents in Eastbourne and Lewes district rely on.

The main message today is that residents who need us are being helped as usual. Office based teams are responding to enquiries via emails and talking to residents on the phone, while our Neighbourhood First officers are out and about in local communities.

However, there are inevitably adjustments to our services and key information to highlight, so it’s important that these messages are communicated in a timely way.

  • If you are having trouble paying your council tax please contact us this website or email 
  • You can also chat live with an adviser via our live chat on the website.  If you do not have online access or are vulnerable, please do contact us by telephone on 01273 471600 (Lewes) or 01323 410000 (Eastbourne).
  • It’s business as usual for household waste and recycling collections but there will be no collections of bulky waste at this time e.g. appliances and furniture
  • Information for businesses about emergency support can be linked to via this website
  • Our reception areas remain open, but we are encouraging residents to contact the council through our website and via email and we have increased the number of advisers able to answer questions by live chat on our website
  • We are operating a two-metre social distancing zone around the main reception desks that people cannot enter until they have been spoken to – this is for the welfare of our staff and to allow us to remain open for customers.
  • Phones will be installed outside 1 Grove Road and Southover House for residents who want to speak to a council officer but want to remain outside each building.
  • The frequency of cleaning has been increased in all offices and receptions with a focus on touch points.
  • The Congress Theatre, Devonshire Park Theatre, Welcome Building, Stage Door Public House, Pavilion Café and Story of Eastbourne Exhibition are now closed until further notice.
  • Tourist Information Centres in Eastbourne and Lewes will close until further notice.
  • There is more information available on the government website - - where you will find information from Public Health England and details of support for workers, businesses and benefit claimants.

Follow us on Twitter @LewesDC and @EastbourneBC to receive the latest updates.

Update at 18 March 2020:

We fully understand how worried our residents are at this unprecedented time and so it is more important than ever to keep people informed about the council’s plans. 

Our priorities are the maintenance of frontline services across Eastbourne and the Lewes district, and the wellbeing of our residents and staff.  We support many vulnerable people and are doing everything possible to ensure they continue to receive help at this difficult time.  We are also in regular liaison with the voluntary sector to look at how best to support their work in Lewes district and Eastbourne.

We have implemented robust business continuity plans across all areas to minimise interruptions to normal services.  Clearly, we are in unprecedented times and it is inevitable that there will be a reduced level of activity by council officers in some areas.  

Our reception areas remain open, but in accordance with government advice about social distancing, we are encouraging residents to contact the council through this website and via email wherever possible.

The council’s customer contact centre is also fully operational, and staff are answering enquiries during normal office hours – 9am to 5pm.

We are adhering to all the latest advice from the government and Public Health England to minimise the risks associated with the Covid-19 virus.

All our residents are reminded to follow the government’s advice about social distancing, the need for regular and thorough hand washing and to self-isolate if you have any of the coronavirus symptoms. 

We have set out below the adjustments to services at this time:

  • There will be no collections of bulky waste at this time e.g. appliances such fridges and washing machines and furniture.
  • The Congress Theatre and Devonshire Park Theatre are now closed until further notice.
  • In Lewes, all planning and licensing meetings are postponed until the government announces new measures and we have the technology to conduct the meetings remotely, and we are working on the necessary systems to do this.  All non-decision making committees will be postponed.  Cabinet councillors will meet remotely to debate the Cabinet agenda prior to the Leader of the Council signing off any decisions.
  • In Eastbourne, all public council meetings are now cancelled until further notice.  Where decisions are required during this period, the council’s executive powers will be employed by the Leader of Eastbourne Borough Council.  If any planning or licensing decision is required, the chief executive’s urgency powers will be exercised.
  • Information for businesses about emergency support can be linked to via this website.

There is more information available on the government website - - where you will find information from Public Health England and details of support for workers, businesses and benefit claimants.

Update at 12 March 2020

Lewes District and Eastbourne Borough Councils are adhering to the advice of Public Health England and monitoring the guidance on a daily basis.

We are encouraging regular handwashing and good hygiene practices in all council premises.

We are advanced in our preparations to maximise opportunities for staff to work from home where possible.

All invitations to attend external events on behalf of the council are also being assessed on a case-by-case basis.

In terms of day-to-day operations, we are reviewing business impact analysis assessments for each service area. These focus in the first instance on prioritised activities for our most vulnerable residents. 

The assessments will capture the minimum level of service to be delivered along with staff numbers and solutions and resources to ensure continuity. 

Councillor David Tutt, Leader of Eastbourne Borough Council, said:

“We have instigated a number of measures internally and will continue to adapt our processes according to the advice we receive.

“There is obviously some disruption to the normal course of council activities, but it is incumbent upon every local authority to lead by example and do whatever the medical experts are telling us.

“As an example, we were due to undertake a peer review in the coming weeks facilitated by the Local Government Association, but we took the decision to postpone it at this time.  

“We’ve also been invited to an event in London next week where the council has been shortlisted for an award, but it is untenable for anyone from the council to attend at this time.

“We will continue to follow the advice of Public Health England and do everything we can to limit the spread of the virus.” 

Councillor Zoe Nicholson, Leader of Lewes District Council, said:

“The council is following the advice of Public Health England 

“I fully understand the worry this situation is causing residents, but in the majority of cases the symptoms of this virus are quite mild.

“We will continue to take the sensible steps being prescribed by the medical experts and I’d encourage all our residents to do likewise.”

Published 12 March 2020

We have produced community information packs for residents, containing advice and local contact details for health and other services. You can download the information packs below.

All of our offices are currently closed to the public.

Due to the Coronavirus and government guidelines on social distancing and self-isolating, we are experiencing both a reduction in front-line staff and an increase in phone demand as people are unable to leave their homes. 

We are asking customers, wherever possible, to use our online services and webchat. This frees-up our resources to assist those most in need. As such, please consider whether your enquiry is necessary and understand there is likely to be a delay in our response times and you may be asked to make your report or source the information online yourselves. 

Thank you for your understanding during this challenging time.

Contact us

We appreciate that this is a difficult time for many of our residents and that the COVID-19 virus is having a significant impact on the economy.

Your council tax pays for a range of vital services including Sussex Police, East Sussex Fire and Rescue, East Sussex County Council (social care and children's services) as well as the services we deliver such as bin collections, support for the homeless and support for the most vulnerable in the community.

If you think you are going to struggle to pay your 2020/21 council tax bill and your instalments are over 10 months we can extend them to 12 months.

We also may be able to reduce your payments temporarily if you have previous year arrears.

It is really important that if your financial circumstances have not changed that you continue to pay what you should and maintain your direct debit payments or payment plan, as detailed on your bill.

If you are in financial difficulty we encourage you to make a claim for Council Tax Reduction  

If you are having trouble paying your council tax please contact us and we will advise the options available depending on your individual circumstances.  

Contact us 

Coronavirus Hardship Fund

On Tuesday 24 March we received further details of the Hardship Fund the government has announced to help people pay their council tax.

Everyone of working-age who receives Council Tax Reduction will have £150 credited to their council tax account for the financial year 2020/21. If the amount you need to pay after Council Tax Reduction is less than £150 we will simply bring your council tax balance down to zero. While this might sound simple, it is a complex piece of work that we are working on urgently. Please bear with us during this particularly challenging time while we work to put the new scheme in place as quickly as possible.

Anything left in our Hardship Fund pot will be used to help those most impacted by the current crisis. 

If you are self-isolating with COVID-19 symptoms you can find out how to dispose of your used tissues and disposable cleaning cloths safely here

  • We have suspended our bulky waste collections to help our operatives focus on providing household waste and recycling collections.
  • If you would like to order a new bin, or if you have done so in the last few days, please be aware that is likely to be a delay in delivery. We apologise for this inconvenience.
  • East Sussex County Council (ESCC) has now closed the household waste and recycling centres in the county.

All other waste and recycling services are currently operating as normal.

Business Support

The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

This includes a package of measures to support businesses including:

  • a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
  • a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs)
  • a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England
  • small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
  • a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.

All UK-wide employers with a PAYE scheme will be eligible – this includes the public sector and charities.

How to access the scheme

You will need to:

  1. designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers,’ and notify your employees of this change - changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation
  2. submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal (HMRC will set out further details on the information required)
  3. HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. HMRC are working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. Existing systems are not set up to facilitate payments to employers.

Self-employment Income Support Scheme

Use this scheme if you're self-employed or a member of a partnership and have lost income due to coronavirus.

Who can access the scheme?

You can apply if you’re a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and you:

  • have submitted your Income Tax Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19
  • traded in the tax year 2019-20
  • are trading when you apply, or would be except for COVID-19
  • intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020-21
  • have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19.

Your self-employed trading profits must also be less than £50,000 and more than half of your income come from self-employment. This is determined by at least one of the following conditions being true:

  • having trading profits/partnership trading profits in 2018-19 of less than £50,000 and these profits constitute more than half of your total taxable income

  • having average trading profits in 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19 of less than £50,000 and these profits constitute more than half of your average taxable income in the same period

If you started trading between 2016-19, HMRC will only use those years for which you filed a Self-Assessment tax return.

HMRC will use data on 2018-19 returns already submitted to identify those eligible and will risk assess any late returns filed before the 23 April 2020 deadline in the usual way.

If you have not submitted your Income Tax Self-Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19, you must do this by 23 April 2020.

How much you will receive

You will get a taxable grant which will be 80% of the average profits from the tax years (where applicable):

  • 2016 to 2017
  • 2017 to 2018
  • 2018 to 2019

To work out the average, HMRC will add together the total trading profit for the 3 tax years (where applicable) then divide by 3 (where applicable), and use this to calculate a monthly amount.

 It will be up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for 3 months.

You will be paid the grant directly into your bank account, in one instalment.

How to apply

You cannot apply for this scheme yet.

HMRC will contact you if you are eligible for the scheme and invite you to apply online.

Individuals do not need to contact HMRC now.- Self Employment Income Support Scheme 

After you apply

Once HMRC has received your claim and you are eligible for the grant, they will contact you to tell you how much you will get and the payment details.

If you claim tax credits you will need to include the grant in your claim as income.

Other help available

If you are a director of your own company and paid through PAYE you may be able to get support using the Job Retention Scheme.

Deferring VAT and Income Tax payments

Government is supporting businesses by deferring Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months. If you’re self-employed, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021.


For VAT, the deferral will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020.

All UK businesses are eligible.

This is an automatic offer with no applications required.

Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during this period.

Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020 to 2021 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period.

VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.

Income Tax

For Income Tax Self-Assessment, payments due on the 31 July 2020 will be deferred until the 31 January 2021.

You are eligible if you are self-employed.

This is an automatic offer with no applications required.

No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged in the deferral period.

HMRC is also administering the Time to Pay offer (see below) to all firms and individuals who are in temporary financial distress as a result of Covid-19 and have outstanding tax liabilities.

Statutory Sick Pay Relief Package for SME’s

Government is bringing forward legislation to allow small-and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19.

In order to be eligible:

  • your business is UK based
  • your business is a small or medium-sized and employs fewer than 250 employees as of 28 February 2020

A rebate scheme is being developed by Government. Further advice is available here

Business Rates

Expanded Retail Discount

The government has introduced business rates discount for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the financial year 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021. We have now received some guidance from Government on eligibility criteria.

Most businesses involved or related to the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors will be eligible including:

  • Shops, restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, pubs, cinemas and live music venues
  • Sport and leisure facilities, clubhouses, tourist attractions
  • Hotels, guest houses and self-catering accommodation.

Businesses that may be visible on the high street, but are not covered are:

  • Financial services (eg. banks, building societies, cash points, bureaux de change, payday lenders, pawn brokers)
  • Medical services (eg. doctors, dentists, vets, osteopaths, chiropractors)
  • Professional services (eg. solicitors, accountants, financial advisors, insurance agents)
  • Post office sorting offices

How do I receive the rates discount?

You do not need to apply. We have applied the discount to accounts for Eastbourne rate payers and revised bills were issued on the 24th of March. We are currently updating accounts for Lewes District Council rate payers and the amended bills will be sent shortly.

For more information see GOV.UK - Support for those affected by COVID-19 or visit our Business Rates reliefs and discounts page.

Business Rates Nursery Discount

The government will introduce a business rates holiday for nurseries in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

You are eligible for the business rates holiday if your business is based in England

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be hereditaments:

  • occupied by providers on Ofsted’s Early Years Register
  • wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage

The discount will be applied to eligible accounts and revised bills will be issued as soon as possible.

Business grants and funding

As part of the package of measures to support businesses, local authorities are due to administer the following:

  • Small Business Grant Funding (SBGF) of £10,000 for businesses in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF) funding of £10,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value up to £15,000 and £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,001 and £51,000

We are working hard to identify eligible businesses and will be contacting all eligible rate payers within the next couple of weeks. 

You can download frequently asked questions about the grants and funding below:

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) 

A new temporary scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, has now launched to support small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to access bank-lending and overdrafts.

The CBILS scheme will support loans of up to £5 million in value, with the first six months of the finance interest-free. More information and eligibility criteria are available here 

Time to Pay Service

All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time to Pay service.

  • These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.
  • You are eligible if your business pays tax to the UK government and has outstanding tax liabilities

How to access the scheme

If you have missed a tax payment or you might miss your next payment due to COVID-19, you should call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.

Businesses housing the homeless

Government has stated that where hotels, hostels, and B&Bs are providing rooms to support homeless people, through arrangements with local authorities and other public bodies, they should remain open.

Guidance on the closure of all retailers that sell non-essential goods and other non-essential premises is available from

Rent support for businesses

Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of coronavirus will be protected from eviction. These measures, included in the emergency Coronavirus Bill currently going through Parliament, will mean no business will be forced out of their premises if they miss a payment in the next three months.

The change will come into force when the Coronavirus Bill receives Royal Assent. It will last until 30 June, with an option for the government to extend if needed. 

Covid Corporate Financing Facility

The Bank of England has also opened its new lending facility for larger firms, called the Covid Corporate Financing Facility. The scheme is a cost-effective way to raise working capital for companies experiencing severe disruption to cash flows. It is open to firms that can demonstrate they were in sound financial health prior to the coronavirus pandemic. More information is available at Bank of England 

Additional guidance

Still have questions? 

If you have a specific question regarding your business, please complete the Business enquiry form below and a Council Officer will get back to you as soon as possible.

Business enquiry form

If you or someone you know is homeless, at risk of homelessness, in temporary accommodation or is sleeping rough, download our guidance and contact information below.


application/pdfAdvice for homeless applicants or those at risk of homelessness (129KB)Download
 Download our advice for homeless applicants or those at risk of homelessness during the coronavirus outbreak

If you are having difficulty paying your rent to the council, please get in touch. 

You can email 

You can also chat live with an adviser via our live chat, available on all pages of our website. 

If you are elderly or vulnerable please do contact us by telephone if you prefer on 01273 471600 (Lewes) or 01323 410000 (Eastbourne). 

Joint tenants annual conference

Following feedback from tenant representatives, we have decided to postpone the Joint Tenants Conference, which was due to take place in Plumpton on 25 March. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and will be in touch with tenants and leaseholders with details of the new event date in due course.


Following the most recent government advice, our repairs contractor Mears are only undertaking emergency repairs in order to minimise contact with residents and maintain services. Only contact Homes First Repairs if the repair cannot wait. 

Once a repair has been reported, you may be asked to send in a photograph in order to avoid a pre-inspection visit.

Should an operative need to access your home they will ask you to adhere to some precautions to minimise contact, such as retiring to another room whilst they work.

Retirement and sheltered schemes

We are taking the following steps to help keep tenants in our retirement and sheltered schemes safe and well:

  • Restricting the number of people accessing the scheme to reduce the spread of coronavirus to our residents.

  • Only permitting entry to the scheme for residents and those providing essential services such as personal care, health care, maintenance, food and prescription medicine deliveries.

  • Ensuring our contractors are working in safe ways.  
  • Cleaning our schemes more frequently.
  • Careful and frequent cleaning ‘touch points’ such as door handles.
  • Providing up-to-date advice and guidance to all staff.
  • Sharing the latest NHS and government information and advice posters with tenants in our schemes.
  • Postponing communal activities at our schemes.
  • Only undertaking essential visits and offering additional telephone call checks.
  • Updating contact and next of kin information we have for all our retirement housing tenants.
  • Postponing our refurbishments at Reed Court and Riverbourne House.
  • Postponing the stock condition surveys.
  • We will be asking other colleagues to support the service to undertake health and safety checks.

Some of our staff will now be working from home due to personal health concerns so we will be asking the remaining team to help support the essential elements of our service. This will impact our visible presence on site but please be assured the team will be available over the phone

Please let the team know if you have been asked to self-isolate been diagnosed with or have any symptoms relating to Coronavirus. The team will then cease all visits and undertake contact via the lifeline system or over the phone.

Homes First Neighbourhood Housing

As part of our service contingency plans we will continue to provide a neighbourhood housing service. The service has already been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 situation and we anticipate this will impact will increase. 

We will update the information on our website as the situation develops and please check our scheme noticeboards and speak to members of the Homes First team.

For the safety of residents and staff we will be minimising personal contact and will only visit tenants in their properties when essential. All other support will carried out by telephone. If a visit is essential our staff will ask you the following questions prior to attending an appointment:

  • Are you or anyone in the household suffering from flu like symptoms?
  • Have you or anyone in your household been in contact with anyone diagnosed with Coronavirus?
  • Have you or anyone in your household been to, or been in contact with, anyone who has returned from any of the countries who are known to have a serious outbreak?
  • Do you have anyone in the household that would be more vulnerable to a case of Coronavirus? 

If you answer yes to any of the above questions, we will not be able to visit you in person and alternative support arrangements will be made with you over the telephoneIf your situation is an emergency please contact the appropriate emergency service.

Whilst there is a cleaning contract in place for the communal areas within our blocks of flats we have suggested that residents also undertake additional cleaning of ‘touch points’ such as door handles or railings near their property. More information will be displayed within the blocks and is available to download below. 

There are many organisations and individuals looking to support those who are more vulnerable. Please follow guidance on this and be extra vigilant for any opportunists who would look to take advantage of those in need.

Mutual Exchanges

The latest Government advice recommends limiting contact. In light of Coronavirus (COVID-19) we are temporarily suspending processing mutual exchange applications. Once the guidance changes, and we return to our usual ways of working, we will be in contact with any customers who have applied to exchange.

The Department of Work and Pensions has published advice on it's Understanding Universal Credit website for anyone who needs to claim the benefit.

Understanding Universal Credit

STEPS to stay independent has taken the decision to offer telephone support only from Wednesday 18th March 2020 to support prevention of COVID-19 spreading to our clients and staff. 

All current clients will continue to be supported by their Floating Support Worker via the telephone or text, and any newly referred clients will be allocated to a member of the support team and be contacted directly.

STEPS remains open for new referrals. Calls should be directed to the main number: 01323 436414 and texts to: 07970 668106


If you would like to volunteer to help others in the community who in the greatest need, visit the 3VA website - or email your details to

We are supporting 3VA to coordinate community volunteers across the district and borough.

Public Health England have created a calling card for anyone wanting to offer support to their friends and neighbours who need to stay at home because of Coronavirus. It includes advice on how to stay safe when accepting help from others. You can download the calling card below.

Food banks

Food banks have never been so in-demand, however donations have dropped sharply in recent weeks. 

If you are able, please donate food via your local supermarket or donate money online. 

Find a food bank near you

Items In This Category

We are currently experiencing a high level of demand for pest control services. We are asking customers to please only contact us in an emergency. This will help us reduce non-essential contact and focus on those customers who need this service most urgently.

If we do need to carry out a pest control visit the team will ask a series of questions to determine if the household is safe for them to enter. If you are self isolating or displaying symptoms we will not proceed with the visit. In some customers we may ask customers to remove themselves from the area while the treatment takes place.

Update on funeral services at Eastbourne Crematorium and Cemeteries 

There is currently no ban on gatherings, so funerals can still take place. Where funeral ceremonies are to take place in a chapel, families should be advised to consider restricting attendance to close family and friends only so as to minimise the number of people in a relatively small space. Families should also be advised to follow the Government’s advice to stay at home for 14 days if they show symptoms or live with somebody who is showing symptoms. Those over 70, with an underlying health problem, or pregnant women are particularly encouraged to heed this advice. This may mean that they may have to miss the funeral, or hold the funeral, or have a memorial service at a later date. 

Updated Thursday 19 March 2020

For information about theatre shows and events visit


If you are worried about a vulnerable adult who may be being abused, neglected or exploited, please report this to Adult Social Care.

Phone them on 0345 60 80 191 or report your concern online here -

If you are worried about a child or teenager phone  01323 464222 or visit 

Domestic abuse

National Domestic Abuse helpline number - 0808 2000 247

Domestic abuse or violence is a crime and should be reported to the police - there are also other organisations who can offer help and support.

Report online here

Call 999 if it’s an emergency or you’re in immediate danger.

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