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Surrey partners come together to remember Covid victims
Frontline staff, public services and volunteers from across Surrey who have managed the Covid-19 response will come together on Tuesday, 23rd March to remember and pay tribute to those who have died from coronavirus over the last 12 months.

On the first anniversary of the country being placed into lockdown, organisations that make up Surrey’s Local Resilience Forum – including the emergency services, health trusts and hospitals, the county council, district and borough councils – will come together at midday and stand in solidarity in a one-minute silence to remember all those who have died.

Steve Owen-Hughes, the Chief Fire Officer and Chair of Surrey’s Local Resilience Forum said: Surrey’s LRF declared a major incident to deal with the pandemic and to coordinate the efforts of frontline staff, public services and volunteers from across the county on the 19th March last year.

There is no doubt that since that time by working together we have saved hundreds of lives. However, sadly we have also seen thousands of lives lost across Surrey and the whole country to the Covid-19 Pandemic.

It is only right that on the first anniversary of lockdown that we take a moment to pause, reflect and remember all those who have tragically lost their lives and their families and friends who continue to grieve.

Due to current restrictions, we are unable to come together physically, but we are encouraging staff from across the partnership to stop what they are doing at midday and join the nation to remember.”

Surrey’s Local Resilience Forum is a multi-agency partnership made up of representatives from first responders and local public services. It brings together all agencies with a significant role to play in responding to and recovery from the effects of emergencies and disasters.

Unpaid carers and those over 50 can now book COVID Vaccine
The vaccination programme in Surrey continues to go well. Those over 50 are now being called for their COVID vaccinations and unpaid carers are now part of the groups eligible.

Residents are reminded that they need to wait to be contacted. When you are contacted by the NHS about your vaccine, book an appointment as soon as possible. This will either be at a vaccination site in your local community supported by your GP practice, or at a large vaccination centre. More details about the vaccination programme in Surrey can be found by visiting Surrey Heartlands.

Peer-led SUN groups launched to support adults with complex emotional needs
People experiencing difficulties with complex emotions that affect how they feel, cope with life and manage relationships can now easily access support in the community with the launch of SUN (Service User Network). SUN groups are for people with complex emotional needs that are often associated with personality disorder or aspects of this condition. It is estimated that, at any given time, about one in twenty people will have a personality disorder.

SUN is based on an established model of care that offers adults weekly peer support groups where they can share experiences and provide each other with help and advice. The service is provided by Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with third sector provider, Community Connections Surrey.

SUN groups are facilitated by a clinician and peer support worker. They can be attended by anyone aged 18 and over who is registered with a GP in Surrey or NE Hampshire (Rushmoor and Hart boroughs). A person can refer themselves to SUN by contacting and asking for a SUN membership form. They do not need a diagnosis of personality disorder to join SUN groups.

There are several SUN groups each week, all of which are currently offered virtually due to Coronavirus restrictions.

For further information and support, please visit Surrey and Borders Partnership.

Free app to support our armed forces community
Forces Connect is a free mobile app that signposts veterans, armed forces personnel, reservists and their families to support and advice in their local area.

The Forces Connect app is designed to link users to organisations offering help and support across a wide range of services. The app is newly sponsored by The Shots Foundation (charity arm of Aldershot Town Football Club) who work with community groups and others to make a difference to local areas.

To download the app, search Forces Connect” in your app store.

Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care System (ICS) secures £500,000 for nature-based wellbeing support
Surrey Heartlands ICS has secured £500,000 to help connect more people with nature to improve their mental and physical health.

People who live and work in Surrey are being invited to fill in an interactive online map to highlight the opportunities already available and help shape provision in future. People are being asked to map the activities and places where they experience nature – everything from green spaces, local parks, waterways and community allotments to walking, cycling and outdoor sports. The pins and comments on the map will feed into a project aimed at providing more opportunities for communities to get involved in their natural environment, in line with any Covid-19 restrictions in place at the time.

The ICS is among seven partnerships in England to have been awarded government funding for the initiative as a test and learn” site. It’s part of an initiative known as green social prescribing, which involves supporting people to take part in nature-based activities to enhance their wellbeing.

Residents are being invited to tell the project via the Commonplace website about outdoor activities or spaces they know about and how they feel about them – including the local park, feeding the ducks, walking groups, litter-picking groups, outdoor sports or any other opportunity. The website also has more information about the project and accessibility details.

Community groups – whether resident associations, charities, friends of local parks, Scout or Guide groups or any other group which draws together local people – are being invited to get involved in designing and producing the project. Groups which are interested can visit the Surrey Says survey.

Workshops to develop the new Disability and Impairment Strategy
Surrey County Council is engaging with different user forums and groups to develop the new Disability and Impairment Strategy and want to ensure the views of people with a physical disability and/or sensory impairment are at the centre of this.

The aim is for the new strategy to be based on a thorough understanding of local need, and a more personalised approach, driving both commissioning and providers to improve outcomes, ensuring services and support meet the changing needs of people with a physical disability and/or sensory impairment over the course of their lifetime.

Between March and May 2021 there will be a number of workshop events where people can have their say on:

The dates for the workshops are;

A final workshop will be hosted at the end of May, date to be confirmed.

If you have any views you would like to share or if you would like to join the workshop please contact Yasmin.broome@surreycoalition or alternatively you can send your views to

Surrey Care Services Directory published
The new 2021/2022 edition of the Surrey Care Services Directory is now available online and the print edition will shortly be distributed to key agencies and social care teams.

This year the directory has been produced independently of Surrey County Council. The publisher, Care Choices Ltd has developed the publication with Surrey Care Association to provide a useful guide for local residents on care options in Surrey with up-to-date information on home care agencies and residential and nursing care accommodation. You may note changes to the editorial which has a more generic content.

To access the online version please visit Care Choices Limited.

Action for Carers’ programme of events online continues
Action for Carers Surrey helps local unpaid carers of all ages, with free information, practical help, emotional support, events, advice and more.

Free events are available to give carers a chance to relax or to get vital information. Most sessions are now on Zoom, and events include mindfulness, flower arranging, yoga and craft activities, plus practical sessions on topics like autism, carers rights, and emergency planning. Carers might like to join a support group and meet other carers in a similar situation, such as looking after someone with dementia or a child with a disability.

For further information or to access support, please visit Action for Carers.

Digital attitudes survey launched
Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust would like to hear the views of people in Surrey on the use of digital technology in healthcare. The survey results will enable the trust to design and shape new services.

To complete the survey please visit Digital Technology in Healthcare.

Surrey Lieutenancy Charity Support 
The Surrey Lieutenancy would like to invite charity organisations to respond to a very short questionnaire in order to gain a better understanding of the charities operating in Surrey and the kind of support you would like to receive. In order to best be able to complete this questionnaire, you would be a volunteer or a paid worker for a Surrey-based charity.

Their questionnaire should only take five minutes to complete, and the information you provide will help the Surrey Lieutenancy to better support and better connect with organisations and the wider charity sector in Surrey in the future.

If you would prefer to complete a paper form, or dictate your answers to someone over the phone, then this can be arranged. Please contact Nick Bragger at Surrey Community Action on 01483 566072.

Woking’s Safe Haven 24-hour pilot
The Woking Safe Haven is piloting extended opening hours until 31 March 2021, to increase support for adults in crisis across Surrey. This is an important alternative to A&E for people requiring mental health support who do not need immediate help for physical health concerns.

People can visit the Woking Safe Haven in person to access help 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from one of our mental health practitioners as well as two trained Safe Haven workers, who can provide a mental health assessment, if needed, and support. Woking Safe Haven is based at York Road Project.

A review of the extended hours being offered at Woking will be conducted following the pilot to see if a 24-hour service should be offered in Woking and at the other four Safe Havens going forward. These are based in Guildford, Epsom, Redhill and Aldershot and continue to remain open daily from 6-11pm, with Aldershot open for longer at weekends, from 12.30pm.

To increase support for people during the Coronavirus outbreak, all five Safe Havens, including Woking, are offering a daily virtual service from 6pm-11pm so people facing a mental health crisis can receive expert help without leaving home.

For more information, please visit Safe Havens.

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