Post Office Announces "Payout Now" Scheme

The Post Office is making two of its products – ‘Payout Now’ and ‘Fast PACE’ (a pre-authorised cheque encashment service) – available to all the UK’s banks, building societies and credit unions to offer to any of their customers who are most in need of access to cash simply and speedily during the pandemic.

The scheme means that self-isolating or vulnerable people affected by the coronavirus pandemic can now contact their Banks and Building Societies (if they choose to offer these services) and arrange to withdraw cash quickly from their normal accounts through any local Post Office branch, with the help of a friend, family member, carer or local support worker.

Your organisation may be seeing an increasing number of enquiries from local people concerned about accessing their money during the crisis to pay for shopping and supplies. This scheme may provide an opportunity to support with helping people access their cash quickly and safely.


We are pleased to let you know that our service is still open for business and we are supporting families through this difficult time. Read on to find out how...


Our services remain open to support families at this time through the difficulties they face, whatever they may be. Our staff and volunteers are working hard to ensure that families continue to feel supported and have somewhere to turn during this challenging time of lockdown. We are still able to receive referrals either from professionals or from families themselves.

If you would like to make a referral please email office@homestartexeter.co.uk or phone 01392 826299. We know that sometimes it’s hard to speak on the phone, so you can also text Sophie on 07387 183932. You can download a referral form here.

Virtual home-visiting…

Our volunteers continue to provide virtual visits to their Home-Start family. Families can choose to receive support via an online face to face platform, phone, text, and email. Volunteers can spend time chatting with parents providing crucial emotional support; they can also chat with children providing them with some much-needed distractions like stories, ideas for crafting, games and telling jokes! Volunteers are also able to signpost parents to other much needed sources of support in the community, for example, help with shopping. They can even help a bit with home schooling!

Virtual Mothers in Mind group…

Our Mothers in Mind group is running online at the moment and we currently have two WhatsApp groups a week where we try to bring as much content from the programme as we can. We do this by creating videos and voice notes to the group and then spend time discussing the topics much like we would when face to face. We have time and space for a check-in where mums can message about how they are feeling. The Group Workers can also be contacted by phone and email for 1:1 support if there are things you wish to discuss or need support that is of a confidential nature. We will also be providing online group support via Zoom to those who wish to access that. You can contact the Group Workers on 07926 621855. Some feedback we have received so far: 

"I really appreciate having a place to discuss emotions rather than activities, I do feel better just knowing I have this time if and when I might need it, so thank you for keeping the space"

"Group makes me feel not alone, I like seeing posts when you all achieve something and feel connected when you discuss finding things hard at the moment.

Volunteer for Home-Start!

If you would like to become a Home-Start volunteer, please feel free to give us a call and chat it through to find out more information. We will shortly be running an online training course so you can sign up for that NOW! We desperately need more volunteers and would love to hear from you. If you’re interested, please call 01392 826299 and speak to Lea. You can also find out more on our website:

Very best wishes from the team

Sophie, Jo, Lea D, Lea L, Vicki & Georgina


We are reminded by the local police:-

Please be aware that not everyone out there is trustworthy and some people will take advantage of this unusual situation our society is facing.

Here are just some of the scams we are aware of, but please note that criminals come in all shapes and sizes and can contact you at the door, by phone, post or online:

  • Be aware of people offering miracle cures or vaccines for coronavirus – there is no specific treatment for coronavirus (COVID-19). Treatment aims to relieve the symptoms until you recover.
  • Home cleaning services
  • People impersonating healthcare workers, claiming to be offering ‘home-testing’ for coronavirus – this is a scam and these kits are not currently available to buy.
  • Emails saying that you can get a refund on taxes, utilities or similar are usually bogus and they are just after your personal and bank details.
  • There are lots of fake products available to buy online that say they can protect you or cure coronavirus. These will not help and are designed to take your money.
  • There are new mobile phone applications that claim to give you updates on the virus but instead, they lock your phone and demand a ransom.
  • Your bank or the police will never ask for your bank details over the phone.
  • People offering to do your shopping or collecting medication and asking for money upfront and then disappearing.

Tips to avoid being scammed:

  • Be cautious and listen to your instincts. Don’t be afraid to hang up, bin it, delete it or shut the door.
  • Take your time; don’t be rushed.
  • If someone claims to represent a charity, ask them for ID. Be suspicious of requests for money up front. If someone attempts you into accepting a service they are unlikely to be genuine. Check with family and friends before accepting offers of helps if you are unsure.
  • If you are online, be aware of fake news and use trusted sources such as .gov.uk or NHS.uk websites. Make sure you type the addresses in and don’t click on links in emails.
  • Only purchase goods from legitimate retailers and take a moment to think before parting with money or personal information.
  • Know who you’re dealing with - if you need help, talk to someone you know or get in touch with your local Council on the numbers below.
  • Protect your financial information, especially from people you don’t know. Never give your bank card or PIN to a stranger.

Contact information:

  • If you think you’ve been scammed, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 and if you need advice, call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133. If you are in immediate danger, contact the police on 999.
  • Contact your bank if you think you have been scammed.