Community support

Get help - support for the vulnerable

If you are having problems paying for or accessing food or collecting prescriptions, contact our Community Hub for help.

Harlow Community Hub is a group of volunteers offering phone support, reassurance and advice to the most vulnerable in Harlow - primarily those without internet access or support networks.

You can contact them on 01279 927005 between 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 1pm on Saturdays - it is no longer open on Sundays or bank holidays. You can also contact the hub by email

If you are struggling to access food, you can also look at our page on food collection and delivery

You can read the Community Hub privacy notice to find out how they will handle your personal information.

Give help - volunteering

Rainbow Services are working with community groups and local authorities to create a digital register of all those in need of help in Harlow and Epping, and those wanting to give help.

If you think you may be able to offer your time to support the community, you can register your interest to volunteer as an individual

If you run a business and you think your organisation could support the response, you can register your interest to volunteer as a business

If you are a voluntary or community group and want to share what you are doing or log a request for volunteers or resources, you can also use the voluntary services and community groups form

If you want to help support others in the community, you might find the government's advice on how to help safely useful.

More help available

Citizens Advice

You can get free, confidential and impartial advice on a range of issues, including applying for Universal Credit from Citizens Advice Harlow. They have stopped giving face to face advice, but you can still get advice:

Support for people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds

Research by Public Health England shows that if you are from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background you are at a greater risk of both catching, becoming seriously ill and dying from coronavirus.

Essex County Council have guidance on what you can do to protect yourself and your family from coronavirus

Domestic abuse

We have advice for victims of domestic abuse on our website

If you are a victim of domestic abuse:

Funeral and bereavement support

Cruse Bereavement Care have a particularly helpful guide to dealing with bereavement and grief during coronavirus

The NHS also have advice on coping with bereavement

You may be able to get a Funeral Expenses Payment, if you receive certain benefits, to help pay for a funeral you're arranging.

Parndon Wood Crematorium is currently closed to all visitors, but they are still open for funerals or burials. 


If you have an issue you'd like to be raised in government, you can contact the MP for Harlow, Robert Halfon on To arrange a surgery appointment, call his Harlow office on 01279311451.

Scams and safe giving

Fraudsters are targeting the public and organisations with emails, texts, phone calls and WhatsApp messages offering advice and treatment for the coronavirus.

To help members of the public protect themselves from becoming a victim of fraud, Cifas, the UK’s fraud prevention service, is advising: 

  • be sceptical if you receive an email, text or WhatsApp message about the coronavirus, and never click on any attachments or links 
  • never provide personal data such as your full name, address and date of birth – scammers can use this information to steal your identity 
  • don’t allow yourself to be pressured into donating money, and never make donations by cash or gift card, or send money through transfer agents such as Western Union or Moneygram 
  • if you think you’ve been the victim of a scam, then speak to your bank immediately and report any fraud to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 

We know many of you may also be thinking about supporting charities during this crisis. In this time of need, it is very important that donations reach their intended cause. 

Advice for the public on giving safely to registered charities is:

  • check the charity’s name and registration number on GOV.UK as most charities with an annual income of £5,000 or more must be registered
  • make sure the charity is genuine before giving any financial information
  • be careful when responding to emails or clicking on links within them
  • contact or find out more online about the charity that you’re seeking to donate to or work with to find out more about their spending