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13th April 2020

COVID-19 update from Wiltshire Council

COVID-19 UPDATE – Sunday 12 April 2020

I hope this briefing finds you well this Easter Sunday and that you are enjoying a safe and happy Easter.

Whilst an Easter bank holiday weekend is traditionally a time for people to spend with their families and friends at home and outside in our beautiful Wiltshire countryside, we appreciate that everyone in our community is having to adapt their usual activities this year to keep themselves safe and protected.

The council and our partners are working throughout the weekend to deliver the services our communities need during this period - from supporting the vulnerable to providing key services for businesses. Here is a brief update on what we’re doing.


The Wiltshire Wellbeing Hub
The council’s ‘virtual’ wellbeing hub remains across the Easter Bank Holiday ready to assist anyone who is struggling during this difficult time.
Our staff can:
• Arrange for the delivery of emergency food parcels where needed
• Connect residents with local community groups who can assist them with support needs
• Resolve any issues with the delivery of medication from a pharmacy
• Give ideas for staying physically and mentally well
• Signpost to other specialist services

The Hub is open today, Easter Sunday. from 10am - 4pm and tomorrow (Bank Holiday Monday) from 8am - 8pm. by contacting 0300 003 4576 or emailing wellbeinghub@wiltshire.gov.uk

Business support at Easter
The council is providing support for local businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak throughout the Easter weekend through its contact centre which is open seven days a week. The contact centre can be contacted at Covid-19BusinessSupport@wiltshire.gov.uk.
Our team has also been working across the weekend to verify and assess the grant forms being submitted by local businesses for vital funding to ensure they are processed as quickly as possible.
So far we’ve transferred £25 million to over 2,000 local businesses. All local authorities are unable to make bank transfers over the weekend or on bank holidays but we’re hoping to make a large number of grants payments on Tuesday.

Council support for people to stay active and connected over Easter and beyond
To help our communities be as active as possible while people have to stay at home, the council has been working to develop a wide range of online services that are now available on Wiltshire Council’s Active Communities resource page at www.wiltshire.gov.uk/leisure-active-communities.
The resource page covers a variety of topics, including the various library services available online – rhyme times, story times, e-books/magazines, resources on getting creative through mediums like song, dance, art and literature and opportunities to explore Wiltshire’s history.
The council’s leisure teams are promoting fitness challenges and videos that will include activities for all abilities and signposting to national resources to keep people moving at home, as well as providing activity packs to download and bringing existing participants together for regular online group chats. There is also information on ways to support people’s mental health and general wellbeing.
Waste collections over Easter

Our waste and recycling crews have been busy on their rounds over the Easter period and will be collecting as normal tomorrow, Easter Monday, so residents should leave their bins out as usual if this is their usual collection day.

Request to Wiltshire communities

Finally, with warm sunny weather forecast over the Easter bank holiday weekend the council and our partners in the Wiltshire and Swindon Local Resilience Forum (LRF) are repeating their message sent out earlier in the week to stay at home and avoid non-essential journeys.

We’re asking people to fight the temptation to pop out for a picnic, or arrange to meet a friend for a long walk and stay at home to support our NHS and help keep themselves and their families safe. Please continue to spread this message and thank you to our communities for supporting this.


Regards

Cllr Philip Whitehead

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