Covid-19 Community Response Update

Please find below some updates and information that Harrogate Borough Council (HBC) would like to share with you.

There will be lots of changes over the next few weeks as restrictions are eased and we continue to plan for how we will support those who are the most vulnerable within our communities. We are developing a community recovery plan and would welcome your insights into what you think the key issues are for the residents living within your area so that these concerns can be considered as part of the recovery process.

What do you think are the key issues for residents in your community? Please complete this short survey and submit by 10th July 2020.

Changes afoot for those who are shielding across our district

As you may be aware there have been further announcements from the Government on changes to the guidance for those who have been identified as clinically extremely vulnerable. The details below explain the changes that will take affect over the next few weeks and the potential impact on those currently shielding. We are looking at what support will be provided locally to assist those who still feel that they need help and will be in touch with these concerned residents in advance of the changes taking affect.

From 6 July:

  • you may, if you wish, meet in a group of up to 6 people outdoors, including people from different households, while maintaining strict social distancing;
  • you no longer need to observe social distancing with other members of your household;
  • in line with the wider guidance for single adult households (either an adult living alone or with dependent children under 18) in the general population, you may from this date, if you wish, also form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household. All those in a support bubble will be able to spend time together inside each other’s homes, including overnight, without needing to socially distance. This is a small advisory change that brings those affected a step nearer others in their communities. However, all the other current shielding advice will remain unchanged at this time.

From 1 August:

the advice to ‘shield’ will be paused. From this date, the Government is advising you to adopt strict social distancing rather than full shielding measures. Strict social distancing means you may wish to go out to more places and see more people but you should take particular care to minimise contact with others outside your household or support bubble. In practice, this means from 1 August you are advised that you no longer need to shield and:

  • you can go to work, if you cannot work from home, as long as the business is COVID-safe;
  • children who are clinically extremely vulnerable can return to their education settings if they are eligible and in line with their peers. Where possible children should practise frequent hand washing and social distancing;
  • you can go outside to buy food, to places of worship and for exercise but you should maintain strict social distancing; and
  • you should remain cautious as you are still at risk of severe illness if you catch Coronavirus, so the advice is to stay at home where possible and, if you do go out, follow strict social distancing.

Support is still there for those who need it

For anyone who is self-isolating or still requires assistance the six community support hubs will continue to provide help for things like shopping, collecting prescriptions, looking after pets or simply keeping in touch with others. The key message remains that if you can, please contact family, friends or neighbours and ask for their support in the first instance. If you do need help, contact one of the six community support hubs across the district:

Financial and wellbeing support

We have published a new information leaflet to signpost people to where they can get advice and support for financial and health & wellbeing services (see attached) or access at www.harrogate.gov.uk/covid19 and click on the residents advice area.

We are aware that financial and health & wellbeing issues are becoming more prevalent on a daily basis. In the first instance we have asked volunteers in the community and community food providers to circulate this information as they know the circumstances of the individuals that they are assisting are potentially more vulnerable. Please circulate this information to your residents. If you require any hard copies please contact either Ann Byrne (ann.byrne@harrogate.gov.uk) or Fiona Friday (Fiona.Friday@harrogate.gov.uk).

Knaresborough Foodbank

The Knaresborough foodbank sessions are back open again on Mondays 10.30-12.30 at Holy Trinity Church Hall for people who need food, have a voucher from a referral agency and can collect from this location.

Food donations can be dropped off at Waitrose in Harrogate at any time or can be dropped off when the foodbank is open, Monday 10.30-12.30 at Holy Trinity Church Hall Knaresborough; 10.30-12.30 Tuesday or Friday at Mowbray Community Church in Harrogate. Items needed are posted on the Foodbank facebook page.

Harrogate Clothes Bank

Whilst the Clothes Bank remains closed to visitors and donations, essential clothing requests can be made and the team will do their best to help. Anyone in need of clothes can contact harrogateclothes@gmail.com to request items. You can check the Harrogate Clothes Bank facebook page for items that are needed.

Safeguarding Week 22-26 June

This week is national Safeguarding week and a virtual awareness raising campaign has been in place to remind people that “Safeguarding is everybody’s business” and that concerns about abuse or neglect should continue to be reported to the Local Authority as normal during the Covid -19 pandemic. 

The North Yorkshire Safeguarding Children’s Partnership are asking members of the public to report any safeguarding concerns they have about children and young people.- see press release.

Transport to Medical appointments

If any residents aren’t able to access transport to a medical appointments independently or via a person in the household and aren’t eligible for Patient Transport Services please contact the local Community Support Organisation or North Yorkshire County Council directly on 01609 780780, they will be able to arrange transport for you. This takes a few days to arrange so please contact them as soon as possible.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service Patient Transport Service is back operating, please contact them directly if you are eligible for Patient Transport.

Digital assistance

Social Media for Beginners FREE 2 hour online course.
Tuesday 30 June 13:00 – 15:00
This course is suitable for those who have not used social media before.
You will learn:

  • about different social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
  • how to connect with people and share pictures, videos and messages online.
  • how to stay safe online and how to protect yourself when using social media.

To enrol and for more information on the 2 courses above please call 01609 532536 or email: north.adultlearning@northyorks.gov.uk.

The GIGABIT broadband voucher scheme

Homes and businesses with broadband speeds of less than 100Mbps can use vouchers to support the cost of installing new gigabit-capable connections when part of a group scheme.  Group projects are when two or more residents and/or SMEs get together to combine their vouchers towards the shared cost of installation. Single connections are not eligible for additional funding.

New connections should double your current speed but must be at least 30Mbps. For more information go to: https://gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk/.

Grant funding for the voluntary and community sector

Just a reminder about the two funds that are available to community groups and charities.

Coronavirus Community Fund

  • Small grants up to £2,000 available to support community groups with a small amount of emergency funding to respond to their immediate needs and those of the communities they work with.
  • Larger grants of up to £10,000 and partnership bids are also welcomed from groups that are seeking to come together to provide a strategic solution to a particular issue. For example food provision in a particular geographical area or support for people affected by homelessness. For organisations seeking to develop a partnership bid, please contact Jackie McCafferty by email to discuss your proposal.
  • The needs of key community organisations that have a wide reach and a strong track record of supporting communities will be prioritised to continue to deliver a crisis response and/or to maintain their existing services. Work that meets the needs of the most marginalised and underrepresented groups in our community will be also prioritised.

Applications to this fund will be assessed by Two Ridings Community Foundation on an ongoing basis subject to available funds.

The National Lottery Community Fund

https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/news/press-releases/2020-05-20/statement-about-the-coronavirus-community-support-fund

This new funding stream makes available £200m in Government funding that will be aimed primarily at small to medium organisations in England. The Fund has two key objectives:

  1. To increase community support to vulnerable people affected by the COVID-19 crisis, through the work of civil society organisations.
  1. To reduce temporary closures of essential charities and social enterprises, ensuring services for vulnerable people impacted by COVID-19 have the financial resources to operate, and so reduce the burden on public services.

Grants will allow organisations to meet service costs, where they are experiencing increased demand and/or short-term income disruption. Grants will also allow organisations to refocus services to address more immediate beneficiary needs in light of COVID-19.

Please contact Fiona Friday fiona.friday@harrogate.gov.uk or Ann Byrne  ann.byrne@harrogate.gov.uk  if you have any queries around the above or require any assistance.