COVID-19: This Weekend- Stay Home, Save Lives

We are reminding people to Stay Home, Save Lives this weekend.  The single most important action we can all take, in fighting coronavirus, is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives. You should only leave the house for very limited purposes:- shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.- one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household.- any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.- travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home. You can visit your local park or green space to get some exercise, or go for a walk but please remember to stay 2m away from other people while you are there. We have closed all of our play areas, including skate parks, outdoor gyms and tennis courts. Where we can, these have been physically locked and signs have been put in place to let people know that these areas are closed. Please don’t ignore the signs. Help us to tackle the spread of coronavirus and if you do go out, keep apart and use social distancing.
Look After Yourself
What everyone is being asked to do- stay at home- is really important. But we know it can impact on your health, and it’s really important to take care of our minds and bodies. Bedfordshire Wellbeing Service has created a list of Top Tips for your mental wellbeing, these include:1. Connect with others- stay connected by email, social media, video calls, and telephone2. Be active3. Take notice and focus on the present4. Stick to the facts and limit your news intake5. Have a routine6. Keep your mind active 
Find out more and get support from the Service via their website.
There is also advice or looking after your mental health from the NHS at their Every Mind Matters website. 
To help you stay in, stay safe, and stay fit our Sports Development Team  have launched a range of free online fitness classes to keep residents moving and promote wellbeing whilst at home. You can find these classes at Bedford Sport Live. 
There is a wide range of online services and resources available through the Virtual Library – including e-books, audio books and e-magazines. Anyone can join and you don’t have to be an existing library member – just visit our Libraries website.  
Do You Need Help, or Can You Help?
We have set up a Community Hub to support those Bedford Borough residents who are most in need of help. This means residents in self-isolation who have no family or friends locally to help them with shopping or collecting prescriptions. 
The Community Hub will deliver basic food parcels to these residents. The Hub will also collect and deliver essential prescriptions and offer a friendly link with the outside world. 
Find out more, and either ask for help or volunteer to help on our dedicated webpage.
Keeping You Updated
For updates on what’s happening locally, visit our dedicated coronavirus webpage: www.bedford.gov.uk/covid19 
Please encourage any friends and colleagues to sign up to receive regular bulletins from the Council and follow us on twitter and facebook
This bulletin has been sent to you by Bedford Borough Council Borough Hall Cauldwell Street Bedford MK42 9AP

CORONAVIRUS COMMUNITY SUPPORT NETWORK

St James’s Church has launched a village support network to help as we all work our way through the next few months. This is going to be easier together.

Core principle: No direct physical contact so NO risk of infection to either the vulnerable or the volunteer

Aim 1: Provide companionship (via phone) to the elderly/vulnerable/those self-isolating who may be lonely, concerned or simply bored stiff by being confined at home. We would aim to make regular calls just to check people are all right and, if wanted, have a chat about trivia and normal life.

Aim 2: Ensure food supplies for those, usually elderly, people who have to self-isolate but don’t have access to a computer. Volunteers would ring, get a shopping list and then organise an online shopping delivery/do shopping & leave on doorstep.

Aim 3: Regular phone contact would also pick up any unexpected issues which the group might be able to resolve safely or would simply refer on to the appropriate organisations. This system could also be used to support our local frontline staff – if you work in the NHS, police, social services, food distribution, prison or other frontline service and think there is some back up we can offer you such as shopping, while you are working flat out, email katesmith278@btinternet.com

So what are the mechanics? And would you like to be involved?

We are compiling two lists.

The first is of those in our community who are elderly, vulnerable in other ways and/or self isolating. If this is you and you would like some back-up or phone company, ring Kate on 07969 419574 with your name, phone number, address and whether you would like a regular check call, a chat and/or shopping.

Our second list is for volunteers who are ready to spare some time checking on people and possibly doing some shopping.

The two lists may overlap. For example, I may have to self-isolate but I can still pick up the phone to check on someone else or do an online shop for them. Indeed, the process of helping others may make the isolation easier!

If you would like to be a volunteer, can you email katesmith278@btinternet.com with your name, preferred phone number and whether you can to offer telephone company and/or online shopping. Please also say if you have a DBS check for any organisation. It doesn’t matter if you don’t, we still need your help – but safeguarding is important.

One final note: this will be entirely staffed by volunteers, some of whom are elderly and vulnerable themselves, others of whom are still juggling full time work and evolving family commitments. So, this may not be perfect – but we are going to give this our best shot. Do join us!

Kate Smith, St James Church

LOCAL CORONAVIRUS SUPPORT NETWORK

Some villagers need help and support; others are willing to give it. Whether for practical things or emotional support, we need to come together. St. James Church and the Parish Councils of Biddenham and Great Denham are working out how.

People need to help each other street by street. We need lead volunteers for each street who can organise things at that level, with help from other neighbours. A central team will coordinate who these people are, and give them consistent advice, guidance and tools to help them.

If you need help and don’t know anyone in your street who can assist you, call 01234 815393 (daytime only) or email help@biddenham.org.uk
Ways to get information and coordinate help
Check the Biddenham website
for key info
biddenham.org.uk
Share ideas on FacebookBiddenham ResidentsSt Mary’s, Biddenham – ResidentsGreat Denham Community
Make things happen using
WhatsApp
There will be a group
for every streetSee page 2 of “The Loop” for April
To volunteer: needed for your street, to coordinate help for your neighbours. Call 01234 815393 or email help@biddenham.org.uk now to register

Some volunteers will be happy to provide friendly chat over the phone to anyone who needs a bit of company. If you would like to be rung for a chat, do please call 01234 815393 or email help@biddenham.org.uk.

Brits to thank health workers with round of applause

People in the UK are preparing to thank National Health Service (NHS) workers with a nationwide round of applause. It was the idea of Dutch yoga instructor Annemarie Plas who wanted to show doctors, nurses GPs and carers some national gratitude.  People are being ask to clap from their front doors, gardens, balconies, wherever they may be, at 20:00 local time today.

Bedford Borough Council Response to Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Bedford Borough Council services are working closely with Public Health England and the NHS to tackle the threat of Coronavirus (Covid-19) in the borough. Robust plans are in place across the council and we are closely following Government guidance to ensure we safeguard local communities and provide accurate and up to date information. Please click link below for further details:-

https://www.bedford.gov.uk/social-care-health-and-community/public-health/coronavirus/