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The Queen’s Address to the Nation [Full Video]

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For Agencies For Volunteers and Agencies Housekeeping Information

Charitable Status

The Trustees of the Support Redditch Emergency Network (SREN / Support Redditch) are delighted to announce we have been granted charitable status as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) in England by the Charity Commission.

Our registration number is 1188889 and will appear in the Register of Charities over the coming days.

Cllr Mike Rouse, Chair of Trustees said:

“In achieving this significant milestone for our operation I really have to pay tribute to my fellow Trustees for their rapid responses to questions and requests for information, which was also met by an urgent processing of our application by the Charity Commission who I also have to thank – they demonstrated the best of our British institutions at this time of crisis.”

The Support Redditch Emergency Network has moved quickly from an idea on Saturday 21st March to full CIO status with a board of 4 high-calibre Trustees by Friday 3rd April 2020 – an incredible achievement in just 13 days.

The founding Trustees are:

  • Mike Rouse – also known as a member of Redditch Borough Council’s Executive Committee and Portfolio Holder for Leisure & Cultural Services;
  • Liz Williams – also known for her work at Reach CIC based in Winyates Centre;
  • Alex Powell – also known for setting up the Disability Support Project;
  • Nikki Farnes – also known for her work with a number of charities including Carers Careline.

As a charitable organisation we cover the geographic area defined by Parliamentary boundaries, meaning we cover Redditch, Inkberrow, Hanbury, Cookhill and The Lenches.

All charities are defined by their ‘charitable objects’ and can only carry out operations within these objects. The object for SREN is:

To relieve people within the Parliamentary constituency of Redditch County who are in need, by reason of their age, ill-health, disability, financial hardship or social circumstances in such ways as the trustees shall think fit, with particular focus on providing assistance to those affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19) or who are affected by or victim of other disaster, trouble, catastrophe or war.

Being a charitable organisation means your donations are going to a recognised good cause that is delivering a clear set of objectives to the people we serve.

Our constitution also allows for the Local Authorities in our area to appoint as Trustees. Once the current Coronavirus crisis has passed we will write to each council below and invite them to take their place, subject to them carrying out their usual procedures for making such appointments (if they wish):

  • Worcestershire County Council
  • Redditch Borough Council
  • Wychavon District Council

Once these appointments are completed there will be room for two more trustees to join the charity, and we will begin a recruitment process to appoint these positions in due course.

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Food Information Recipies

My Essential Shopping List by Liz Castledene

On opening the cupboard I immediately spotted the first problem issue with the old panic buying thing. 40 bags of flour, 40 cartons of UHT milk, 3 boxes of 36 bottles of hand sanitiser and 30 x 18 roll packs of toilet roll. To this I can add more tins of chopped tomatoes than you can shake a stick at, 35 packets of instant yeast and quite a few slightly green loaves of bread. The fridge is full of milk, to the extent I can’t get anything else in there. Second problem I was doing my panic buying 3 weeks ago along with many others. The most serious consequence being everything has the same sell buy date on it! Well, I hear you say, you were warned not to panic buy, you were told stockpiling things was a bad idea, so you’ve only got yourself to blame, haven’t you.

My answer to you is, “hindsight is a wonderful thing, and normally I am the one who knows best, hands up I got it wrong, shoot me!” 

Now I’m at the kitchen table, well I say that, actually I am sat in front of the tiny square left that I can put my coffee cup on. I’m reluctant to admit that the rest is covered in boxes of tissues and bottles of disinfectant. Thinking about it all now the whole thing was not really my finest hour.

No good crying over spilt milk, although off milk is quite hard to spill, need to find a way of using all this stuff and hopefully come out the other end.

18 pints of milk past their sell by date, a tad more than a little bit, I remember making cottage cheese at school but 18 pints, That’s more than 2 gallons!  Been on the net and watched the how to video for making my own proper cheese. Need to add rennet and muslin to my essentials shopping list. Check. Oh yes, and a large, make that very large, deep container to separate the curds and whey. Added. Copper nails, if I get copper nails I can make blue cheese, going to call it Church Hill Blue, the added benefit is that I can bang a few into next doors conifers, double result. 

Next – tinned tomatoes, got to admit they’re a bit boring on their own but are one of my five a days. Can blitz some to make tomato juice, nice and healthy so need to add blitzer , Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice to the essential shopping list. Tick.

Done a quick stock check of the very bottom of the freezer, success – 2 sausages, a beef burger, at least I think it’s a beef burger, fancy Christmas prawns and peas. Granted I had to pick the peas up one by one and use a knife to release some from the ice, but got 17. So if I shred the “burger” mix it with peas and tomatoes add a spag bol mix that will be good. Put mix on list. Done.

Took most of the green off the bread, looks a bit like Swiss cheese, but toast is a wonderful thing. The bits of green left on are, I think, penicillin which is a good thing, isn’t it? Just need jam now, perhaps marmalade- tastes stronger- write them on the list.

Finally, back to the net, dawned on me I don’t know how to actually use my flour and yeast to make bread. OK, need loaf tins, baking sheet, tea towels and a mixing bowl. No problem onto the list they go. A baking tray means that I can actually cook the fancy Christmas prawns. I tried earlier, all this list writing has made me hungry, but they weren’t long enough to balance across the bars on the oven shelf. Hooked the trial ones from the flames at the back, do you know how hot it inside the oven? Now have a burn on my wrist after it got caught on the shelf. Oven gloves and plasters duly added to the list.

Right! I’ve got my list so I can go to the shops to get my essential items. Have to follow the instructions on going out only once, buying essentials only and keeping 2 metres away from anyone I meet. Tape measure added to list, you can’t be too careful you know.

My essential shopping list:

  • Rennet – home baking or chilled aisles- not quite sure how it comes.
  • Muslin – baby aisle, my supermarket doesn’t do haberdashery.
  • Very large container – 3 gallon capacity.
  • Copper nails – home baking or DIY aisles.
  • Blitzer- looks like a propeller on a stick in the video – Home aisle.
  • Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice
  • Spag Bol mix
  • Jam –  ginger or marmalade if no strong tasting jam.
  • Loaf tins, baking sheet, tea towels, mixing bowl. –  Home aisle.
  • Oven Gloves.
  • Plasters and probably some burn relief stuff.
  • Tape Measure –  must be more than 2 metres long.

Got my eco shopping bags, and I’m off, wrapping scarf in a dashing way across my face as I go.

Just popped back, forgot hand sanitiser!

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Information Money

You can apply for a mortgage holiday with Santander online

From the Santander website:

What is a mortgage payment holiday?

If you’re adversely affected by coronavirus, the Government has confirmed that you may look to take a mortgage payment holiday on your residential or Buy to Let mortgage for up to three months to help your financial situation.
 
If you take a mortgage payment holiday, this means that you wouldn’t make mortgage payments for up to three months and we’ll add these payments onto your mortgage balance. As a result, your mortgage balance will increase and your monthly payment will be recalculated over your remaining mortgage term. Your monthly payment and the amount of interest you pay will increase for the remaining term of your mortgage. There is no fee for taking a mortgage payment holiday.
 
If your mortgage is not in arrears, the mortgage payment holiday will not impact your credit rating, and you will not go into arrears on your mortgage.
 
If your mortgage is already in arrears, please speak to us about the options available to you.
 
If you decide to take a mortgage payment holiday, you’ll receive a letter after each monthly payment is added to your mortgage balance confirming the exact amount of your new monthly payment.
 
Please be aware that if you pay by Direct Debit and your mortgage payment is due within the next 10 days, we will not be able to arrange the mortgage payment holiday for your next monthly payment. It will take effect from the following month.

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Information

Going to work guidance – rolling blog

We’ll update this blog with fresh guidance as we get it. Hit F5 or refresh your browser – updates are not yet in real time.

NHS Workers & Car Parking

From GOV.UK

Click for Source

As set out in the section on staying at home, people can travel to and from work, but only where the work they do absolutely cannot be done from home.

With the exception of the organisations covered above in the section on closing non-essential shops and public spaces, the Government has not required any other businesses to close – indeed it is important for business to carry on.

Employers and employees should discuss their working arrangements, and employers should take every possible step to facilitate their employees working from home, including providing suitable IT and equipment to enable remote working.

Sometimes this will not be possible, as not everyone can work from home. Certain jobs require people to travel to their place of work – for instance if they operate machinery, work in construction or manufacturing, or are delivering front line services.

If you cannot work from home then you can still travel to work, provided you are well and neither you nor any of your household are self-isolating. This is consistent with advice from the Chief Medical Officer.

Employers who have people in their offices or onsite should ensure that employees are able to follow Public Health England guidelines including, where possible, maintaining a 2 metre distance from others, and washing their hands with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds (or using hand sanitiser gel if soap and water is not available).

Work carried out in people’s homes, for example by tradespeople carrying out repairs and maintenance, can continue, provided that the tradesperson is well and has no symptoms. Again, it will be important to ensure that Public Health England guidelines, including maintaining a 2 metre distance from any household occupants, are followed to ensure everyone’s safety.

No work should be carried out in any household which is isolating or where an individual is being shielded, unless it is to remedy a direct risk to the safety of the household, such as emergency plumbing or repairs, and where the tradesperson is willing to do so. In such cases, Public Health England can provide advice to tradespeople and households.

No work should be carried out by a tradesperson who has coronavirus symptoms, however mild.

As set out in the section on closing non-essential shops and public spaces, the Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close. The Government has set out guidance on which organisations this requirement covers. Advice for employees of these organisations on employment and financial support is available at gov.uk/coronavirus.

At all times, workers should follow the guidance on self-isolation if they or anyone in their household shows symptoms.

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Information

Haven’t seen your post in a while? Here’s why…

Royal Mail has released a statement today, 24th March 2020

We are actively monitoring the rapidly evolving Coronavirus situation. The postal service is a key part of the UK’s infrastructure. The delivery of parcels and letters is a key way of keeping the country together and helping many people who may not have the option to leave their homes.

We will continue providing the best delivery service we can and protect the health of our people, and our customers. We have already made a series of adjustments to our parcel handling procedures. We are keeping our ways of working under review. There may be more changes in the coming days and weeks. We will keep you informed.

Please sign up to receive our service alert emails on our service updates page.

On delivering to people in isolation where the item doesn’t go through a letterbox they add:

We have also changed the way we deliver items that won’t fit through the letterbox. For all customers (including those who are self-isolating) where we need to deliver any parcel that won’t fit through your letterbox, we will place the item at the door. Having knocked on the door, we will then step aside to a safe distance while the customer retrieves the item. This will ensure the item is delivered securely rather than being left outside. 

https://www.royalmail.com/coronavirus

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Information Press & Media Rumour Busting

Beware of the Daily Mail and Donald Trump claims about Anti-malarial drug use for COVID-19

Use of Chloroquine, Hydroxychloroquine, Mefloquine, Quinine, and Related Quinoline Drugs Risks Sudden and Lasting Neuropsychiatric Effects from Idiosyncratic Neurotoxicity

The Quinism Foundation has warned of a risk of sudden and lasting neuropsychiatric effects from the use of antimalarial quinolines against COVID‑19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, and has urged policy makers, physicians, and members of the public to be alert to such effects.

“The same endosomotropic properties that likely underlie the effectiveness of quinoline antimalarial drugs such as chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine against the virus may also underlie their dangers, ” said Dr. Remington Nevin, MD, MPH, DrPH, a Johns-Hopkins trained psychiatric epidemiologist and drug safety expert and former U.S. Army public health physician, who now serves as Executive Director of The Quinism Foundation. “These are not safe drugs.”

“In susceptible individuals, these drugs act as idiosyncratic neurotoxicants, potentially causing irreversible brain and brainstem dysfunction, even when used at relatively low doses,” said Dr. Nevin. “This drug-induced dysfunction causes a disease of the brain and brainstem called quinoline encephalopathy, or quinism, which can be marked acutely by psychosis, confusion, and risk of suicide, and by lasting psychiatric and neurological symptoms.”

“Symptoms of chronic quinoline encephalopathy include tinnitus, dizziness, vertigo, paresthesias, visual disturbances, nightmares, insomnia, anxiety, agoraphobia, paranoia, cognitive dysfunction, depression, personality change, and suicidal thoughts, among others, ” said Dr. Nevin.

“Particularly among military veterans, in whom these drugs have been widely used for decades as prophylactic antimalarials, these symptoms can mimic and be mistaken for those of post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.”

Dr Nevin

Dr. Nevin noted a recent report by an ad-hoc committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine identified a critical need for additional research on the long-term effects of antimalarial quinolines. Dr. Nevin also emphasized that the Quinism Foundation has recently called on Congress to fund research into chronic quinoline encephalopathy [1].

Dr. Nevin noted that antimalarial drugs of the quinoline class are amphiphilic weak bases, which lead to their accumulation in acidic cellular endosomes. Dr. Nevin noted that during World War II-era studies, when many antimalarial drugs of the quinoline class were first synthesized, clinical researchers found that many caused a syndrome marked by psychosis, confusion, dizziness, and other psychiatric, cognitive, and neurologic adverse effects [2]. Dr. Nevin noted that other researchers studying the drugs’ toxicity in animals noted they caused widespread and irreversible neurotoxic injury to neurons throughout the brainstem and limbic system [3].

“Although antimalarial quinolines have been commonly prescribed and used by millions of people for prevention of malaria, and more recently, in the treatment of autoimmune diseases, a substantial minority will need to discontinue the drugs early during use owing to the development of prodromal neuropsychiatric symptoms,” said Dr. Nevin.

Dr. Nevin noted that mefloquine (previously marketed as Lariam) now contains a boxed warning, cautioning of the need to immediately discontinue the drug at the onset of even seemingly mild symptoms such as abnormal dreams, nightmares, insomnia, anxiety, depression, restlessness, or confusion, as these may be considered “prodromal to a more serious event”. “What could be more serious than anxiety, depression, restlessness, or confusion?” asked Dr. Nevin. “The answer is the risk of permanent neuropsychiatric disability and suicide noted by the drug’s manufacturer and by drug regulators.”

Dr. Nevin said that he was troubled by rising interest among members of the public in obtaining chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, and mefloquine without a doctor’s prescription or public health oversight. “Lax regulation and unethical business practices have resulted in these drugs being widely available for purchase online without proper oversight,” said Dr. Nevin.

Dr. Nevin noted his concern that members of the public may even attempt to obtain therapeutic quantities of quinine through questionable channels. “Tonic water, whose bitter taste is produced by the addition of quinine or related naturally-occurring quinolines, is limited by U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations to 83 mg per liter of quinine and related cinchona alkaloids,” said Dr. Nevin. “However, drinking several bottles of tonic water will result in consuming pharmaceutical quantities, and therefore potentially harmful, amounts of these drugs”, said Dr. Nevin. “Tonic water is a prescription medication masquerading as a cocktail mixer.”

Dr. Nevin emphasized the importance of recognizing and properly reporting adverse effects from these medications to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “While it may be tempting to attribute anxiety, depression, paranoia, or other mental health symptoms to the psychological effects of the COVID‑19 pandemic, ” said Dr. Nevin, “these symptoms may be an early warning sign of idiosyncratic neurotoxicity, and must be taken seriously.”

Dr. Nevin noted that adverse effects from chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, mefloquine, quinine, and even tonic water may be reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s MedWatch program, at https://www.fda.gov/safety/medwatch-fda-safety-information-and-adverse-event-reporting-program.

About The Quinism Foundation

The Quinism Foundation, founded in January 2018, in White River Junction, Vermont, promotes and supports education and research on quinism, the family of medical disorders caused by exposure to quinoline drugs, including mefloquine, tafenoquine, and chloroquine.

Dr. Nevin is a board-certified occupational medicine and preventive medicine physician and former U.S. Army medical officer and epidemiologist. He is author of more than 30 scientific publications on malaria and the quinoline antimalarials, including “Neuropsychiatric Quinism: Chronic Encephalopathy Caused by Poisoning by Mefloquine and Related Quinoline Drugs,” published in the Springer Nature book, “Veteran Psychiatry in the US.”
(https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-05384-0_20).

References

1. The Quinism Foundation. The Quinism Foundation and Veterans for Common Sense Call on Congress to Fund Research into Chronic Quinoline Encephalopathy. March 9, 2020. Available at: https://quinism.org/press-releases/congress-research-chronic-quinoline-encephalopathy/.

2. Nevin RL, Croft AM. Psychiatric effects of malaria and anti-malarial drugs: historical and modern perspectives. Malaria journal. 2016;15:332. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4918116/.

3. Nevin RL. Idiosyncratic quinoline central nervous system toxicity: Historical insights into the chronic neurological sequelae of mefloquine. International journal for parasitology Drugs and drug resistance. 2014;4(2):118-125. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4095041/.

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For Agencies Information

End of Day Update 24/03/2020

Today alone, redditchsupport.net has handled 94 requests for help, and since Saturday has enlisted 60 local volunteers using a screening form. So far, 87 messages of thanks have been sent to NHS staff working at the Alex.

This is not necessarily an update about the broader situation – for thatr you need to click here, it’s intended as a local update and probably of more interest to people helping to run the Support Redditch Emergency Network website at supportredditch.net. I am a strong believer in transparency and that in times like this sometimes a bit of ‘over communication’ is a good thing because it helps us to avoid gaps and miscommunications.

I would apologies for the length of the post, but we’re all on lockdown now so plenty of time to read longform material 😉

By the numbers

Requests Handled

94+

Tuesday 24 March 2020

Combining telephone calls with online requests for help we have handled around 94 requests and counting. Yesterday there were 0 online requests for help, today there has been 23. That gives you a flavour of how much things have ramped up.

We are focussing on the most vulnerable groups right now – the over 70s and those self-isolating for medical reasons. Examples of engagements include situations where elderly people used to get shopping for their neighbour and have now had to stop. Another one doesn’t need a prescription collecting for 4 weeks, but is desperate to ensure continuity of medication and is trying to put plans in place.

Of course, the overwhelming majority of requests are for food parcels. One 85 year resident was extremely low on bread, milk and loo roll. They had avoided the crowds at the supermarket having seen them on the TV and was waiting for things to quieten down.

As you can see, demand is up. Some say it shouldn’t be spiking this soon – that people should have at least a week’s worth of food in the house and that people are just trying to blag free food. That’s not our experience – and we do talk to the people in need. Our operators work with community groups dealing with people all the time. The needs are genuine, and they’re here right now.

Website Sessions

3,700+

Sat 21 Mar – Tue 24 Mar 2020 (4 days)

Over 3,700 people have visited the website since it was established on Saturday, generating just over 16,000 pageviews.

The two spikes in traffic were related to the site being mentioned on Facebook (which remains the main source of traffic) and then in the Redditch Advertiser who highlighted our hotspot map.

The map on the Support Redditch website was helpful – it drove volunteer registrations. Whenever it was reported about on various Facebook groups or in the press we’d see a subsequent spike in volunteers and messages of thanks to the staff at the Alex.

However, now that lock-down is in place it’s pointless to continue with it now.

It was there to help people take the situation seriously and realise they need to stay at home.

Now we are all being told to stay at home there’s no need to continue with a local map.

We will now focus resources into the enhancement of the Provider Directory, volunteer advice, and the various local exchange services we are working on.

This was always our position – that we would keep the map under constant review and respond to a fast-moving set of circumstances and the overall conditions of the day.

At the time of writing, over 300 people voted on whether or not the public should have access to localised information with around 90% in support. The debate over smart data being used to create localised lockdowns instead of nationwide ones is moot right now, but will come to the fore again once this current outbreak is over.

Volunteers

60+

Sat 21 Mar – Tue 24 Mar 2020 (4 days)

We’ve had over 60 volunteers come forward since launching on Saturday afternoon – that’s really not bad.

The Safest Possible Volunteer Experience

The community groups we are working with are listed in the Provider Directory with more being added every day. Some are new to the sector, and we welcome them, but some are very experienced in this field, especially around safeguarding, DBS checks and data protection. We’re part of a solid network of community groups who know how to get things done.

When people volunteer to become a community volunteer here in Redditch we ask them about DBS certificates, including asking them to provide a copy for inspection. We ask for an ID photo so we can generate cards. We ask for risk factors and we check if they have any needs/requirements/disabilities.

Data is stored securely in the cloud behind protected accounts and only shared with the people who need to see it to deliver services at this time of crisis.

Corporate Structure

At the moment, we are an unincorporated organisation. We’re drafting a constitution to keep us going until our CIO registration is complete in the coming weeks/months.

You can view our draft charitable objects here:

You can also donate to the cause – we’ve set up a PayPal account for now. Money donated is held here for now until our bank account is set up.

For now, the key committee members are:

  • Councillor Mike Rouse, Redditch Borough Council
  • Nikki Farnes, Emmanuel Church/Ecumenical Centre
  • Alex Powell, Disability Support Project
  • Gary Roskell, BARN
  • Liz Williams, Reach CIC
  • Ian Johnson, Church Hill Big Local
  • Sharon Harvey, Redditch Labour Party
  • Andy Thompson, Redditch Liberal Democrats
  • Emma Marshall, Redditch Conservatives

Please don’t forget this organisation was set up in a rush to respond to the breaking crisis as it became clear that no statutory bodies in the area were prepared for this situation, and they all lacked the resilience and agility to mobilise quickly. The community has stepped in to fill this gap, and will continue to do so until told otherwise by an order from a proper authority.

Personally, I’m delighted this is cross-party cross-community effort. A real coming together in a crisis. The road to these things can often be bumpy and this was no exception, but everyone involved with the project so far as left all the baggage at the door and I hope it stays there for a very long time. We’re working really well together and I’d love to see that continue long after this has blown over.

Working with Partners and Agencies

We are very keen to work with the Councils that cover Redditch. All of our data is held under a policy that enables us to share details with the councils who are supposed to be helping with the deployment of food parcels. As soon as they are ready to deploy, we are ready to help.

Why we don’t have a Facebook or Twitter account

c
35% traffic came from Facebook – the rest from other sources.

The view at the moment – and this may change as we’ve not really discussed it yet – is that we are an emergency committee, not a communications committee. Our job is to deliver aid and facilitate relief as detailed in our draft objectives. These and the position regarding comms infrastructure will be discussed soon – over video conference of course.

A key consideration is the fact that not everyone is on Facebook. Its algorithms mean our posts would not be seen quickly enough in an emergency unless we paid big money to push them into people’s feeds – money we are spending on food parcels right now.

The need is bigger than what is expressed on Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels. This website is for everyone as the most accessible medium for the delivery of tools and services.

Any questions?

Leave a comment under this post and we’ll get back to you. You can also email privately to info@supportredditch.net

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Information Press & Media

Statement from West Mercia Police

Chief Constable Anthony Bangham said: “Today, in the light of further developments at both a national and local level, and taking full account of the announcement yesterday evening by the Prime Minister, I wanted to reassure the communities of West Mercia that we will continue to work hard to keep you safe and support you through the coming weeks.

“We are working with our partners across local authorities, emergency services, health and local charities to ensure we provide, not only an effective policing service, but a range of other services and support mechanisms for our communities, particularly for the vulnerable and those most in need.

“This is a national emergency and we have now taken the decision, along with our partners, to declare this as a major incident across Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford.

“Like everyone, we as an organisation, are also feeling the impact of the COVID-19 virus. However, please be assured that we are taking effective steps to mitigate this impact to ensure essential activities and services are maintained.

“Following the Prime Minister’s announcement we are working with Government and policing colleagues at a national level to fully understand and see how best these new measures will be enforced should this be required. But I want to reassure our communities that any action will be carried out in a professional and proportionate manner.

“I understand that this might temporarily alter our relationship with the public and our communities, and therefore I implore each and every one of you to adhere to the instructions given by Government as it would be preferable not to have to take any enforcement action. However should it be required, we will take the necessary action as we must always make the safety of the vulnerable our priority. Please work with us, our partners, your neighbours and wider communities to overcome the challenges we all face during the next few weeks with patience, compassion and understanding.

“We are here 24/7 and will respond to you as and when you need us but we have today moved to a more critical level of policing in our force and some functions will have to reduce in order for us to reprioritise our emergency response. We understand that these new restrictions will also place added pressure and strain on families and individuals but there is support for you. If you feel threatened or in danger, or you need the police for any reason we are on the end of the phone. We do want to ensure we are keeping our emergency 999 number and our emergency responders free and available for those in need, so if you need to report non-urgent crime or information, please use our website and report online.

“Thank you to all our communities for your patience, understanding and the wonderful neighbourhood spirit that we are seeing demonstrated across West Mercia. Keep looking after each other and together we will be successful through this difficult time.”

Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion adds: “We all have our part to play in easing this situation and reducing the burden on the police. I have confidence that West Mercia Police will do what is necessary, but change in behaviour is what will get us through. People will start to see more uniformed officers out on the streets playing a key role in keeping communities safe. I urge people to heed the advice given by the Government and police to reduce the pressure on the emergency services where possible.

“I am reassured by the steps being taken by the force during these uncertain times, and will continue to work closely with them and ensure they have the resources they need to support our community as we beat this virus together.”

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Information Local & National Government Member of Parliament Parks & Open Spaces Schools and education Things to Do Travel & Transport

Lock-down for the Layperson

Here’s what you need to know, based on our best interpretation of the official guidance and what we’ve seen from other reputable news sources who are quoting government officials.

Read with Care

If we’ve got something wrong please email info@supportredditch.net or log in as a community editor and put it right.

Going to Work (or not)

The official requirements are:

You should only leave the house for one of four reasons:

  • Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
  • One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household.
  • Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
  • Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.

These four reasons are exceptions – even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household.

These measures must be followed by everyone. Separate advice is available for individuals or households who are isolating, and for the most vulnerable who need to be shielded.

If you work in a critical sector outlined in this guidance, or your child has been identified as vulnerable, you can continue to take your children to school.

But what does this actually mean?

If I don’t work in a ‘critical’ job should I still go to work?

Short answer: yes

Long answer: Challenge your employer if necessary over whether or not you can work from home. Now might be a good time to consider trade union representation if needed. Can’t be done? Go to work – but don’t mix and mingle.


Housing, Construction & Building Maintenance Industries

This would suggest that the trades can continue to function but not in groups it seems.

Takeaways and Deliveries

Therefore, the Arrow Valley Countryside Centre and Pitcheroak’s Cafe in Redditch is now fully closed as a telephone and delivery service cannot be provided.