A charity is extending its benefits advice scheme to help anyone affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in the Epping Forest area.

Voluntary Action Epping Forest (VAEF) already had a support service for housebound people in the district, but now anyone suffering from Long Covid or ill health as a result of the pandemic can ask for help and advice on what benefits they might be entitled to.

From April 2015 to the end of March 2020, VAEF Benefits Advice has advised and supported 972 Epping Forest housebound residents and £1,480,906 has been awarded in annual benefits.

This is in addition to the charity’s help in negotiating Council Tax reductions, Blue Badge applications, Pension Credit and Housing benefits.

Among those to benefit from the service was Mr Harris. He said: “I got the letter this morning awarding me the allowance. I can't thank you enough for all the help you gave me. This is truly life changing."

Mr Bates was another to be helped. He said: “Thank you for speaking to my wife about helping her mum. She was absolutely delighted to get your advice and help with my mum’s benefit application."

If you or someone you know is suffering from ill health following the Covid pandemic, you could be entitled to benefits from Voluntary Action Epping Forest.

The charity's trained advisor is available to assist with advice and application support for those who have been affected.

For more information call 07835 310 550 or visit www.vaef.org.uk.