It has been amazing to see how people in Southampton have been playing their part and supporting each other to get through the coronavirus pandemic.

This community spirit is one of Southampton’s greatest strengths.

It has seen us through two world wars, economic crashes and emergencies in the past and I’m certain it will do so again.

My number one priority during the pandemic is to protect and help the most vulnerable in our society, whilst ensuring that we keep vital services running for everyone.

We have worked hard over the last couple of weeks to rapidly re-deploy staff and set up the Southampton Community Support Hub.

This is the result of close partnership working between the council, the NHS and our amazing voluntary sector.

We’ve already delivered hundreds of food parcels to people who have no other means of support and we will continue to do so for as long as it is needed.

Local business has been pitching in too. We’ve welcomed generous donations of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) which will be put to good use in caring for vulnerable people and we are working hard to secure further stocks of PPE locally, working with partners from across the region.

We’ve also taken donations of food from many local organisations which we are delivering to those in isolation without support.

I wanted to say a huge thank you to those businesses of whom there are too many to name in one article.

We still need these donations so please do get in touch with us if you could help.

I understand that residents may also have concerns about their ability to pay the bills if they can’t work or if they sadly lose their job during this pandemic.

The council has policies in place to support people who are struggling financially.

Council tenants who cannot pay their rent and residents who are unable to pay their council tax should contact us.

To access any of this support you can visit our website or call our dedicated COVID-19 helpline - 023 8083 4800.

We also have a dedicated phone number for businesses who may need help or advice – 023 8083 4300 (lines open Mon - Fri, 8.30am to 5pm).

The dedicated web pages will be kept updated on changes to our services as and when we have to make them.

You can find this information and sign up for updates at

We have planned for pandemics, and although the country has never seen anything on this scale before, I am confident that by working together, keeping calm and looking out for each other, we can continue to keep the city running over the coming weeks and months.

Everyone should be following the guidance issued by the Government to Stay at Home, Protect the NHS and Save Lives.

Sometimes the advice may be inconvenient for us as individuals and difficult with this beautiful weather, but it is for the greater good.

In the past Southampton has faced many challenges and come through the other side.

We will do the same with this pandemic as a city and as a country.

The council is rolling up its sleeves and doing everything in its power to support you in these difficult times.

Cllr Christopher Hammond

Leader of Southampton City Council