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Archived News 2020 - COVID Specials
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Spreading the Word Survey
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Latest coronavirus information in Surrey
Please continue to visit the central coronavirus web pages which have Surrey related information, including how to get help, advice and support, information on council services available, schools, testing, mental health and wellbeing, how businesses can get involved and much more.

Coronavirus - Stay Alert to Stay Safe
Surrey County Council is supporting the ‘Stay Alert’ to Stay Safe message; #stayalert #staysafe

Some of the major changes from today include:

  • Non-essential retailers allowed to open
  • Face coverings now required to be worn on public transport.

The messages include the two metres apart guidance when in public, staying home as much as possible, only travelling when necessary and washing your hands regularly.

Update from Surrey Welfare Rights Unit
Surrey Welfare Rights Unit is seeing a rise in redundancy enquiries across the advice sector.  In response they have written a series of articles explaining the impact of redundancy payments and other end of employment income impacts on current and future welfare benefit claims.

They have also updated the information on furlough, the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, and information for carers who have stopped paid work. 

IT support during COVID 19 - Tech to Community Connect and Surrey Libraries
Surrey Libraries have been working with Surrey Coalition of Disabled People on a project called Tech to Community Connect. The project provides technology, technical support and virtual support groups for people with care and support needs across Surrey using ‘Tech Angels’.

Clients should be over 18 who are struggling to attend activities, groups or meetings in person because they have a health condition, are disabled or have a caring responsibility or another significant barrier that stops them being able to get out and about. Due to the Covid-19 restrictions this is currently operating as a text and telephone service only.

Clients are referred to the scheme by statutory and partner agencies and their contact details are then passed to library staff who link them with a DBS-checked volunteer (the Tech Angel) to help them with their IT issue. If a client does not have their own equipment, then they are provided with a phablet for six months. Please see the service web page or contact Pete Dommett on 07471 518998 for more information.

Additionally, Surrey Libraries have set up a support line for its own library users If you need support using computers and tablets and smartphones.

  • Phone: Surrey County Council's Community helpline, 0300 200 1008
  • email: libraries@surreycc.gov.uk and ask for a member of library staff to contact you.

Examples of queries they are able to support with:

  • I want to buy groceries online but need help to know what to do.
  • How do I save a photo or add somebody to my contact list or forward an email?
  • How do I order my prescription online?
  • I'd like to download library books, magazines and audiobooks.
  • My computer keeps telling me it's not protected. What do I do?
  • I want to keep in touch with my relatives online, and they're using WhatsApp, or Skype, or Facetime, or Zoom.

The service is free, confidential and safe and if a user is a complete beginner then library staff will help them to develop their digital skills.

British Red Cross offers shopping service to shielded/self-isolating residents
The British Red Cross is offering shopping services to anyone self-isolating or shielding. Essentially, the beneficiary can write their shopping list, load money onto a voucher and then it will be sent to a volunteer who will complete the shopping and deliver it to their door.  

More details can be found on www.huggg.me/shoppingservice/ or contact their national helpline on 0808 196 3651 (10am – 6pm Mon-Sun)

Alzheimer’s Society Services during pandemic
Alzheimer’s Society in Surrey is still supporting people affected by dementia and you can find details below of the services they are currently providing:

  • Dementia Navigator one-to-one phone support

While unable to conduct their face to face services during the coronavirus outbreak, they will continue to support people affected by dementia with phone support. Referrals can be made using the referral form and emailing to

surrey@alzheimers.org.uk or surrey.alzheimers@nhs.net The referral form can be sent to you independently upon request.

  • Welfare calls

Welfare calls, providing ongoing support can be arranged by the Dementia Navigator. This could be weekly, fortnightly or monthly dependent on need and risk of the person affected by dementia.

  • Dementia Connect Support line 0333 150 3456

Dementia Advisers will listen and give the support and advice needed, including coronavirus advice, connecting people affected by dementia to the help they need and referring to the Dementia Navigator service if required. 

  • Talking Point

Dementia Talking Point is a helpful online community where anyone who is affected by dementia can receive valuable support. It's free, open day or night, and can be accessed online.

  • Website

A wealth of information to support people effected by dementia including fact sheets, research information, campaigns and online shop.

Age UK Surrey launches two new projects in response to Covid-19
Two new initiatives are now up and running.

Virtual Information and Advice sessions

Through the Surrey Virtual Wellbeing Hub, Age UK Surrey is providing free virtual Information and Advice sessions every Thursday at 2pm. Everyone over 50 years old and carers are welcome. For more information please visit:https://virtualwellbeing.healthysurrey.org.uk/ or to book directly email: enquiries@ageuksurrey.org.uk

Call of Friendship and Support for Veterans
This scheme combines their existing Emergency Shopping, Information and Advice, ‘Check in and Chat’ and Digital Help support but tailors them to support veterans. A virtual coffee morning for veterans is being explored. This project is being supported by the Armed Forces Covenant Trust.

New Facebook Page to Help Parents Meet Emotional Needs of their Children
During the pandemic there will be times when we all need support to meet the emotional needs of our families, and the new Surrey Wellbeing Facebook page provides a safe and supportive space to help parents in Surrey weather the current COVID-19 storm. The page has units which provide age related guidance for the various stages of development in children and tips and ideas on how to meet their emotional and developmental needs. Informative videos and information sheets make it easily accessible.

This resource has been developed by a group of voluntary sector organisations, collectively known as the Surrey Wellbeing Partnership, and Dr Kathryn Hollins, Consultant Parent, Child and Family Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist with Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Community Foundation for Surrey - Phase 2 Of the Coronavirus Response Grant now open
In March Community Foundation for Surrey launched the Coronavirus Response Fund set up to help organisations deliver emergency response and deal with the immediate and drastic changes they are facing as a result of the pandemic.

Grants of between £5,000 and £25,000 may be awarded to support the following:

  • Essential running costs to enable organisations to continue to deliver vital services to priority beneficiaries
  • Costs incurred to enable organisations to expand delivery of vital services to priority beneficiaries as demand increases.

Please read the fund’s eligibility criteria before applying. If you are part of a local charity, community group or social enterprise and are seeking funding, you can start your application by submitting an expression of interest form

New Headway Surrey Virtual Carers Group launches as part of national Carers Week last week
Headway Surrey is launching a new monthly virtual carers group for carers, families and friends of those who have suffered an acquired brain injury.

The group will be informal and will provide an opportunity to meet others and staff in the Headway Surrey team to share information and advice.  If you know of any carers who may benefit from this group, please feel free to forward this information to them.

The first group will be held via Zoom (videocall) on: Wednesday 24th June 15.00 – 16.00.  If you would like to join, please email chloe@headwaysurrey.org and you will be sent an email invitation with a simple clickable link. If you are unable to make the group on the 24th June but would like to join the next group or mailing list, then please email Chloe and let her know.

Healthwatch Surrey – Latest Intelligence Report published
One of the statutory duties of Healthwatch is to obtain the views of local people regarding their needs for, and experiences of, local care services and importantly to make these views known.

Recent feedback indicates that they are hearing more about the impact on other services than about Covid-19 itself. Before the pandemic, the most frequent concerns were about mental health services, getting GP appointments, hospital discharge and the standard of care in hospitals.

The pandemic has changed the conversation. There are concerns about delays and cancellations, but also some very positive stories about excellent care, fast treatment and new ways of working.

This briefing summarises key themes Healthwatch Surrey is hearing, and the report will be regularly updated.

Welcome Buddies is open for voluntary applications and referrals
Welcome Buddies is now open for new volunteer applications and referrals. Run by Voluntary Action South West Surrey, Welcome Buddies is part of the Welcome Project. It aims to help people with mental ill-health move on with their lives by supporting them to join in with mainstream activities.

The scheme helps identify activities that the person would like to try out, they are then matched with a volunteer buddy who will accompany them and support them until they are ready to go it alone.

Volunteers all receive training for the role and are DBS checked. Please note - social distancing guidelines are strictly followed.

For further details or to make a referral contact please contact; Denise Graves on 01483 504626, or via mobile on 07825 417204. Alternatively, you can email: d.graves@vasws.org.uk

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