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COVID-19 information for your community
- 24 November 2020: A new food campaign and website, Bristol Bites Back Better, has been launched to get people more involved in the city's local food system, sharing knowledge, skills and stories. It has been developed by Bristol Food Network and Bristol Green Capital Partnership, Bristol City Council, and Resource Futures.
- 23 November 2020: Do you know someone who has been an amazing volunteer during the pandemic? You can nominate them for a Lord Mayor's Medal. The work they have done must be voluntary (unpaid). As part of your application, you need to submit two statements from Bristol residents, one statement from a Bristol City councillor or the Mayor of Bristol, and a short statement of no more than 500 words on why your nominee should be given a medal. Nominations close on Thursday 21 January 2021.
- 23 July 2020: The Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, and Councillor Helen Holland, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, have written an open letter to the 12,000 care workers in the city, thanking them for their hard work during the 'unprecedented circumstances' of COVID-19. 'We are deeply grateful for the commitment, the skills and - above all - the selflessness you have brought to your roles throughout the crisis', they wrote. Click here to read the full letter.
- 11 June 2020: Fuad Mahamed, CEO of ACH, has called for Bristol's economic recovery from COVID-19 to involve all our communities, making sure black, Asian and minority ethnic communities and businesses aren't excluded. You can read his report, How to restart an inclusive economic recovery in Bristol post COVID-19, here.
- 27 May 2020: Up Our Street has created a COVID-19 directory of local support and services for residents in Ashley, Easton, Lawrence Hill and surrounding neighbourhoods. The directory was produced in partnership with Vocalise magazine.
- 25 May 2020: In a new update from the government, all non-essential shops - for example, charity shops, indoor and outdoor markets, and gift shops in museums and galleries - can open from Monday 15 June, provided they can meet social distancing and hygiene standards.
- 12 May 2020: Bristol's local advice centres still cannot see people face-to-face, due to social distancing restrictions, but they can speak to people by phone or email:
North Bristol Advice Centre - covers North Bristol and South Gloucestershire. Phone advice is now for debt or welfare rights only (call 07731 842763 or 07595 047278). For everything else, fill out the online referral form or email the team.
South Bristol Advice Services - covers welfare and debt advice for all of South Bristol. Phone advice is available for debt (call 0117 903 8358 or 07526 067224), fill out the online referral form, or post documents to SBAS, The Withywood Centre, Queens Road, Bishopsworth, BS13 8QA. Further information is on the website.
St Paul's Advice Centre - covers the St Paul's community. Phone advice (call 0117 955 2981) and email advice is available.
Health and social care
- 28 July 2020: Bristol City Council, Public Health England and construction firm Balfour Beatty have been working together to support staff and implement public safety arrangements, following a number of COVID-19 cases associated with an industrial site in Avonmouth.
Christina Gray, Director of Public Health for Bristol City Council said:
“Things have moved quickly since the first cases were reported to reduce the potential spread of the virus and to identify all those potentially impacted. Balfour Beatty reacted promptly to the reports of cases at the factory, voluntarily closing its site to reduce the risk of infection and calling in public health experts for support. These actions along with those we are now taking will contain this outbreak and prevent it spreading into the community.
“Individuals with positive tests are self-isolating as per national guidance and contact tracing is taking place. The company has already begun a deep clean of the site and plans to carry out another in the coming week. I remain in regular contact with Balfour Beatty and colleagues in Public Health England to monitor the situation and offer the support needed to safely reopen the site when appropriate.”
- 9 June 2020: Figures released for Carers' Week (8-14 June 2020) show that 4.5 million people in the UK have become unpaid carers for older, disabled or seriously ill relatives and friends since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 2.8 million of these new and unpaid carers (62%) are juggling paid work alongside their caring responsibilities.
- 2 June 2020: Public Health England has published a report investigating why BAME groups are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. We will summarise the key points from the report on the Voscur website as soon as possible.
- 26 May 2020: Bristol Disability Equality Forum (BDEF) has joined a range of people in the deaf community in calling for face masks to have transparent sections so that people with hearing impairments can lip-read. Opaque face marks and face coverings make it impossible for people to lip-read and see facial expressions. You can add your name to their letter by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 12 May 2020: Following the advice we posted from Blind Veterans UK on 29 April, The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association has produced its own tips for helping people with sight loss during COVID-19. It recommends you should not take a guide dog for a walk if asked by the dog's owner.
- 11 May 2020: The UK government's 60-page COVID-19 recovery plan explains the detailed stages of lockdown easing and the conditions that need to be met to move to each stage. From Wednesday 13 May 2020, the public can do more exercise and can meet one person outside their household in a public place, such as a park, whilst keeping 2 metres away from each other. However, those in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are still encouraged to stay at home.
- 11 May 2020: The UK government has a guide on how to make a cloth face covering to reduce transmission of coronavirus in more crowded places where social distancing is harder. Non-surgical coverings are designed to protect the public (key workers require PPE; member of the public are discouraged from buying surgical masks, to ensure supplies can reach those on the frontline). Face coverings can also include scarves or bandanas if you cannot make a covering or do not have materials that can be cut up.
- 11 May 2020: The Germ Defence website, run by university researchers at Bristol, Bath and Southampton, can help the public reduce the risk of catching and spreading coronavirus, and reduce the length of their illness if they do catch it. Website users can find a range of advice and guidance, which only takes approximately 10 minutes to read. Content is available in several other languages.
- 29 April 2020: Blind Veterans UK has issued guidelines on how to help someone in your community who is blind or partially sighted. The tips relate to helping with food shopping during coronavirus, but they could also be relevant for other types of volunteering task.
- 22 April 2020: Bristol is one of the areas taking part in the Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine trial. If you are aged 18-55 and in good health, and your postcode is BS1-BS6 or BS8, you could be eligible to take part. Click here to find out more and take the pre-screening questionnaire.
- 20 April 2020: Wesport has launched a weekly activity schedule with activity bingo, to keep kids active during lockdown. Suggested activities include virtual PE lessons, yoga and dance classes. This is part of Wesport's #StayInWorkOut campaign; it is recommended that young people are physically active for an hour every day.
- 31 March 2020: Bristol City Council has launched a recruitment campaign via Proud to Care to address a 25% shortfall in staff due to sickness and self-isolation. It is especially keen to recruit people from the hospitality sector currently not working and students for roles in residential care homes.
- 2 June 2020: Bristol Food Network has a range of COVID-19 community resources about running community food projects safely and efficiently.
- 20 May 2020: The Sustainable Food Trust has an article on the Going for Gold food sustainability campaign in light of coronavirus. Bristol City Council created Going For Gold as part of the One City Plan, and organisations and individuals around the city have been working towards Gold status in the Sustainable Food Places initiative.
- 20 April 2020: Following the launch of volunteer shopping cards from Asda and M&S, Sainsbury's has launched its own volunteer shopping card, available from today. This means you can buy an e-gift card online for a friend or volunteer to shop for a vulnerable person.
- 8 April 2020: Local food banks are working hard to serve communities across Bristol. Find details of your nearest food bank here. Please note that most food banks are moving to a home delivery service instead of encouraging people to visit, but they still welcome food donations and online money donations:
North West Bristol
- 7 April 2020: FareShare South West has launched an emergency fundraising appeal to support its work redistributing food from supermarkets, hospitality organisations and suppliers to the most vulnerable people in the region. You can provide a one-time donation or donate monthly, quarterly or yearly.
- 3 April 2020: Asda and M&S have both introduced e-gift cards to help vulnerable people safely make payments to volunteers who collect food shopping for them. You can load cash onto the e-gift cards, which are then emailed to your volunteer (or the voluntary group they are working with). The volunteer can pay for the food shopping by showing the email with the code at the checkout. Read more about the Asda Volunteer Shopping Card and the M&S We're All in this Together e-gift card, and check back for updates as and when other supermarkets launch similar schemes.
- 25 March 2020: Food banks and distribution: Voscur is part of a team that is working on food supply and distribution with the aim to increase supply through food bank and distribution centres. This work also links up with potential deployment of volunteers to support vulnerable people to receive food. If you can contribute and haven't yet made contact with your existing service partners, please let Voscur know and we'll include your offer into coordinated efforts.
- 23 March 2020: If your organisation is providing support or aware of initiatives in your areas, please complete this short form to let us know so we can coordinate actions across community groups and public services.
- 10 June 2020: The NSPCC reports a 32% increase in calls to its helpline about children at risk of domestic abuse since the start of lockdown. 58% of these calls led to referrals or referral updates to local authorities.
- 14 May 2020: Imkaan has published a paper, The Impact of the Two Pandemics: VAWG and COVID-19 on Black and Minoritised Women and Girls. Report authors Baljit Banga and Sumanta Roy, of Imkaan, wrote that a 'simple response does not address the existence of the two pandemics and pushes equalities to the side-line'.
- 1 May 2020: From today, most Boots pharmacies across the UK can provide safe spaces for victims of domestic abuse. Anyone who needs to use the safe space pharmacy consultation room can ask at the pharmacy counter. Inside the consultation room, there are telephone numbers for domestic abuse helplines, and signposting to download the Bright Sky app from the charity Hestia. Any pharmacy wishing to become a safe space can do so by visiting Hestia's UK Says No More website.
- 20 April 2020: Support has been increased for people experiencing or at risk of domestic abuse and this summary of local services from Keeping Bristol Safe provides a range of sources of help.
- 6 April 2020: There are widespread concerns about the impact of lockdown and self-isolation on individuals and families at risk of domestic abuse. The National Domestic Abuse Helpline, run by Refuge, has reported a 25% increase in demand for its services during the coronavirus pandemic. The freephone number is 0808 200 0247. However, if you think someone is in immediate danger, please call 999.
- 6 April 2020: Next Link, which provides support to women and children in the Bristol and South Gloucestershire area who are domestic abuse survivors, has its helpline open from 10am - 4pm Monday-Friday; call 0117 925 0680, Next Link's live webchat service will also run during these hours. Safe Link, its sister organisation for abuse survivors in Avon and Somerset, has a helpline with the same opening hours; call 0333 323 1543.
- 24 March 2020: Women's Aid has a COVID-19 resource hub and safety advice for survivors of domestic abuse. This includes information on leaving an abuser, and on child contact.
- 23 March 2020: Somerset & Avon Rape & Sexual Abuse Support (SARSAS) has merged its two helplines. You can call 0808 801 0456 or 0808 801 0464. Lines are open to everyone from 11am-2pm on Monday and Friday, and 12pm-2pm then 6pm-8pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Alternatively, email email@example.com.
- 29 July 2020: Black South West Network and the University of Bristol are working together to learn about the health impact of COVID-19 on BAME people living in the South West. You can take their short survey by clicking here. To take part in a focus group or interview about your experiences, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 20 May 2020: Black South West Network has published a report about the impact of COVID-19 on BAME-led businesses, organisations and communities. You can read the full report here.
- 19 May 2020: Poku Osei, founder and CEO of Babbasa, has written a guest post for the Mayor's blog, on an inclusive city recovery from coronavirus.
- 29 April 2020: Traveller Movement has created a page of useful coronavirus information and links for the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) community.
- 27 April 2020: Bristol Somali Voice has published the latest in a series of dual-language Facebook videos for the Somali community, explaining the need to follow government guidelines and stay indoors when not going for daily exercise, essential work or to collect provisions and medicine. Bristol Somali Voice also urges people in the community who are vulnerable or on a zero-hours contract to get in touch with them for support.
- 22 April 2020: Ramadan will take place from 23/24 April until 23/24 May 2020 (subject to new moon sightings). As per the lockdown rules issued by the government, Bristol City Council and the local Muslim community have requested that there are no congregational acts of worship outside the home. Bristol Central Mosque has issued a timetable for Ramadan prayers, to be performed at home.
- 15 April 2020: Bristol Muslim Cultural Society is holding a webinar on Saturday 18 April at 5pm, via its Facebook page, about Muslim burial rites and funeral procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic. There will also be a Q&A session.
- 14 April 2020: Bristol Women's Commission has released its Easter newsletter, which covers domestic abuse, women's mental health, mentoring and more.
- 6 April 2020: Passover (Pesach), celebrated by the Jewish community, takes place from the evening of 8 April to 16 April 2020. As per the lockdown rules issued by the government, the Chief Rabbi and the local Jewish community have requested that families do not break lockdown and must only congregate with people living in the same household. Jewish organisation Chabad has provided 'Seder to go' kits, as a communal Seder cannot take place.
- 19 March 2020: If you witness any discrimination or hate incidents related to coronavirus, please report them to SARI via their website or call 0800 171 2272.
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