The latest government advice on meeting people from outside your household is available here, please note the following:

 

If you need to report a serious breach of COVID-19 measures, Thames Valley police have created a reporting tool that can be assessed here.

 

To read Earley Town Mayor David Hare’s latest statement on COVID 19, click here.

 

For the latest service updates from Wokingham Borough Council, click here.

 

To find the latest local figures please check the Public Health Berkshire Dashboard, which also contains a helpful My Local Area link where you can check the latest guidance of what you should and should not do in your area.

 

Christmas

 

The government have produced helpful guidance on forming a Christmas bubble, between 23rd and 27th of December. Wokingham Borough Council have also produced a concise infographic.  The key guidance is

 

  • you can form an exclusive ‘Christmas bubble’ composed of people from no more than three households
  • you can only be in one Christmas bubble
  • you cannot change your Christmas bubble
  • you can travel between tiers and UK nations for the purposes of meeting your Christmas bubble
  • you can only meet your Christmas bubble in private homes or in your garden, places of worship, or public outdoor spaces
  • you can continue to meet people who are not in your Christmas bubble outside your home according to the rules in the tier where you are staying
  • you cannot meet someone in a private dwelling who is not part of your household or Christmas bubble

 

How to help

 

To see simple ways to help your community during the COVID 19 situation, and details on what to do if you need support, click here.

 

If you’d like to support the work of Wokingham Foodbank in supplying essential items for those in need, you can find their latest shopping list here.  If someone is in need of their help,  encourage them to register with one of the care agencies in the town, such as Citizens Advice Bureau, so they can then request a voucher that can be exchanged at the Foodbank for a food parcel or help with fuel.

 

The NHS have developed an app to help the Test and Trace system that goes lives from Thursday 24th September.  You can download the Test and Trace app from the Apple app store or the Google Play store.  More information can be found on the NHS webpage.

 

Waste Management

 

Blue Bags can be ordered direct from Wokingham Borough Council.  Arrangements for delivery or collection sites can be found there. They can also be purchased from the Earley Town Council helpshop.

 

Garden Waste Sack information can be found at Wokingham Borough Council.   The 75 litre compostable garden waste sacks, which cost £1 each, can be ordered by calling WBC on 0118 974 6000.  They can also be purchased from the Earley Town Council helpshop.

 

Please note WBC will continue to empty public litter bins, dog bins and bottle banks.  If the bins and bottle banks are full, please take your items home with you.  Do not leave anything next to the bins/bottle banks.

 

The Borough’s recycling centres have re-opened in a limited format.  You will need to book a slot in advance on their website here

 

Community Support

 

Councillor Andrew Mickleburgh has been amongst those volunteering their time to serve as part of the Wokingham Borough Community Response.  The Wokingham Paper recently covered how they’ve been helping in this article.

 

To find out more about the Earley Help Hub, which links volunteers with local needs in Earley, click here.

 

North Earley and Whitegates have set up a Covid-19 support group, with a contact point in every street and back up volunteers across the area.  To learn more, click here.

 

Wokingham Borough have provided a helpful flowchart of the support they can offer, whether it is help with picking up supplies or prescriptions, or you just need someone to chat to – get in touch with Citizens Advice Wokingham here.

 

Health and Wellbeing

 

With the use of masks becoming more commonplace, the government have produced a helpful infographic on how to use a face covering safely, available here.  For more information on face coverings: when to wear one, exemptions and how to make your own, please check this government website.

 

Get the latest NHS advice on Covid-19, including advice on symptoms, self-isolation and arranging a test click  here.

 

If you’re unsure about household isolation periods should a member of your household show Covid-19 symptoms this graphic could help.  More advice on this can be found on the government website.

 

The government have produced  a helpful graphic to help you be ready for self-isolation if you are so advised either because you, or a contact, have tested positive.

 

At home shouldn’t mean at risk.  If you, or someone you know, is suffering from Domestic Abuse, isolation rules do not apply and help is available. @BWA_RDG can provide advice, support and refuge, call 0118 9504003.  If you are in immediate danger call 999, and if you are unable to talk, press 55 when prompted (mobile phones only).  Details here, here and here.

 

A number of organisations have provided guidance, advice and tips on how to maintain your mental wellbeing if you need to stay at home or are worried and anxious about the outbreak, especially for those who are in isolation.  Find help from Mind, NHS, Samaritans and WHO.

 

Whilst coronavirus is infectious to children it is rarely serious. If your child is unwell it is likely to be a non-coronavirus illness, rather than coronavirus itself.  More advice for parents here.  WBC have also produced a helpful guide to determine when your child should or shouldn’t attend school due to Covid-19.  It can be accessed here.

 

If you’re an informal carer (providing regular unpaid assistance to someone) there is lots of different support available – either by phone, online, or someone visiting you at home.  More information is available from WBC. The best place to start to find out about support is The Wokingham Carers Hub (0118 324 7333), it also has an online group for young carers as well as telephone support.  The hidden carers free helpline (0800 133 7851) has been extended until the end of December.  You can also request an assessment in your own right if you’re caring for someone aged 18 or over. Simply complete an online self-assessment on our website (search carers assessment) or call the Health and Social Care Hub on 0300 365 1234 and request a paper one.

 

This year’s Flu season will coincide with the continuing impact of COVID-19 on the population, the NHS would like as many people to get the Flu vaccine as possible.  As with COVID19, it is possible to have no symptoms of Flu and unknowingly spread it to your friends, family and those you care for.  For more details on the flu jab, please look at the NHS website, or read this leaflet.  You can get a flu jab from your local Pharmacy or GP Practice.

  

Track and Trace

 

If you are concerned about scammers pretending to be from the NHS Track and Trace team, WBC have provided some advice on what official staff will and won’t say, as well as an example of what a scammer might say.  Official Track and Trace staff will never ask for payment. 

 

An overview of how NHS Track and Trace works can be found on the government website.

 

The NHS Covid 19 App is quick and easy to download onto your phone, free of charge, from the App Store and Google Play. It takes only minutes to set up. All you need do then is type in the first four letters/numbers of your postcode.  To find out more more about the app, please check the NHS page.  Earley Town Council is encouraging all users of our community centres to download the app and participate in the scheme to help defeat the virus.

 

For information on Test and Trace Support Payments, please take a look at this Wokingham Borough webpage.

 

Other advice and support

 

WBC’s Sports and Leisure team have produced a range of home exercise workouts for you to try including: aerobics, pilates, tai chi, standing and seated exercises.  Leisure centres are currently closed to the public in line with current legislation.  Videos are available here.

 

WBC’s libraries have moved back to a virtual model.  Any overdue fines will remain suspended while library sites close and residents are encouraged to continue using the libraries’ online services for e-books and audio during this time.  More information is available on the WBC library page.

 

The government has collated a list of free online educational resources, to support children and their families learning at home, covering subjects such as English, Maths, Science, PE, Wellbeing and SEND appropriate material.  Available here.

 

For the latest RSPCA Advice on how to care for your pets during the COVID-19 situation, click here.

 

Fraudsters are exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic and targeting individuals by emails, texts, phone calls and WhatsApp messages.  Please stay alert for Covid-19 related scams and never provide personal data to unknown parties.  Advice on protecting yourself can be found here, and more information from Thames Valley Police can be found here.

 

A number of Community Foundations and other organisations have launched emergency funding programmes to assist local organisations in responding to the challenges of the Coronavirus Pandemic.  Involve have compiled a list of organisations and the types of funding they have made available here. 

 

The Council for Intellectual Disability has put together some resources for people with additional needs explaining how to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.  These cover: looking after your mental health during coronavirus, staying safe from coronavirus, and what is social distancing, and can be found here.

 

If you are out of work or worried about losing your job, then Wokingham Job Support Centre is available to help.  Jobseekers can contact them for free support and advice including: searching for job opportunities, creating a CV, applying for roles, and improving your interview technique.  Their team of advisers are on hand from 10am-2pm, Monday-Friday, to help you over the phone or online. 
Please email your name and phone number to jobsearch@wjsc.org.uk and they will call you back.  For further information, please visit here.

 

Please do not be tempted to have a bonfire as many people at home are vulnerable and any one of your neighbours might have respiratory issues or even be fighting the Coronavirus itself. During this difficult time please put their needs first.  More information is available from the Public Protection Partnership.

 

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue have put together some advice to take extra care when enjoying the outdoors, whether that’s your garden or further afield, to ensure we all stay safe.