Herts Rural Support Networks Covid-19 Information Update Issue 4

Please share this throughout your community

Update – Hertfordshire is in a national lockdown along with the rest of England, with residents being told that we must stay at home. The vaccine offers us hope and a clear way out, but we are not there yet and residents must continue to play their part and follow the rules.

For more information about the lockdown rules Click Here

Keep on doing the basics:

  • make sure we wash our hands regularly and thoroughly
  • keep our distance from others
  • wear a face-covering when required
  • self-isolate when told to do so

COVID vaccinations – If you are aged 70 and over and haven’t yet had your first COVID-19 vaccination, you are now encouraged to book at nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or by calling 119 free, between 7am-11pm if you cannot book online. If you can’t find a suitable slot, contact your GP practice.

Until now the NHS has asked people to wait until they are contacted to help ensure that those who are most vulnerable are protected first – and that remains the case for most people. However, to ensure absolutely everyone is offered the vaccine, people aged 70 and over can now contact the NHS so they can be vaccinated by the middle of this month. 

If you received a letter in 2021 asking you to shield, you should also receive an invitation from your local family doctor as well as an invitation from the national booking service inviting you for a jab. The order in which people are offered the vaccine is set by the government and based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). Vaccination centres in Hertfordshire are working to vaccinate the top 4 priority groups. For more information about vaccinations in Hertfordshire Click Here 

Even after a second dose of the vaccination, in order to protect yourself, your family, friends and colleagues, you must still follow public health advice at work, at home and when you are out and about: practice social distancing, wear a face-covering, wash your hands carefully and frequently and follow the current guidance www.gov.uk/coronavirus 

Hertfordshire’s Director of Public Health is aware of concerns about the South African Variant and vaccines and confirms the vaccine still works well at preventing severe disease and against the predominant variants circulating in the UK. A booster designed specifically to address the South African Variant is being readied. So please, take the vaccine. Whichever vaccine you are offered is better than severe disease. “I know when my turn comes, I will take whichever vaccine I am offered.”

Rapid COVID testing for key and essential workers in Hertfordshire – Free rapid testing for anyone without coronavirus symptoms is now available across Hertfordshire and all key and essential workers who cannot work from home are encouraged to book a rapid test every few days to help ensure that essential services are as safe as possible. To book a test, please visit Click Here Results in 45 minutes. If you have symptoms of coronavirus you cannot have a rapid test – instead please book a standard PCR test Click Here

To get support if you’re affected by coronavirus please contact HertsHelp for:

  • help to get food, household essentials and medication
  • financial support and advice
  • services that can support you if you are feeling lonely or down
  • ways to improve your health and wellbeing 

Visit www.hertshelp.net – email or call 0300 123 4044

For more information and guidance for residents and businesses during the pandemic Click Here

Image United Nations on unsplash.com

Survey deadline fast approaching.

Add your voice

Edit: We’re extending the deadline so more people will learn of it once our News Magazine is delivered. The PSRA survey is ending 15 February. There’s still time to make your feelings known, for a better, more inclusive PSRA. Let us know which areas you’d like to see more focused, which issues you think are most important to our community, tell us what we’re doing right, and tell us what we’re missing!

Photo by Jason Hafso on Unsplash, because life’s always better when there’s an otter to make your point

Laptops for Lockdown

As of yesterday, we anticipate schools across the UK remaining in lockdown until early March. Because of this, the need for laptops or tablets is acute! Many households may still lack adequate devices for distance learning, or may be struggling with one device for the whole family.

Perhaps you’ve recently upgraded your laptop and still have your last one set aside for emergencies. If so, it can help a family whilst we’re in lockdown.

Here’s a decent list of organisations from the BBC, and a couple places in our vicinity:

Have you already donated? Please share with us in the comments, or on our Facebook page.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Sopwell Community Trust: #WeAreInThisTogether

Several weeks ago we noticed posts from a local charity, Sopwell Community Trust on one of our favourite Facebook groups:

We have been working hard to rescue as much food destined for landfill as possible and local suppliers, to make your kind donations go even further and help support even more people in our city. Fresh fruit and vegetable boxes can be collected from our temporary base or delivered to your doorstep (contactless). We do not believe in demonising those facing hardship, if you extend your hand for help we will reach out with kindness and compassion. Pls contact us here to help and for help. #WeAreInThisTogether

Sopwell Community Trust, Facebook 19 January 2021
Sopwell Community Trust

Naturally this piqued our interest, since we’ve been doing food parcels for some of our neighbours throughout the pandemic, so we’re always interested in things we can do to enhance our weekly parcels. Our President Dee had also spotted the post, and sprang into action and contacted the charity to get the ball rolling, as did one of the mums in our weekly rounds who’s been keen to do her part.

As a result, our families are now receiving fresh food and other essentials alongside our weekly parcels, which will allow us to stretch our budget for even longer! One lovely mum among our families is now picking up 4 large boxes of delicious food each week and allocates the food to the other families, which has been really helpful to us, as Joy was running out of space. (See our featured photo above for one of the boxes.)

We’re also very happy the Trust is gaining some positive press for their charitable organisation, which will encourage more giving during these difficult times.

Link: Campaign aims to provide food for disadvantaged during lockdown

Please do what you can to help during these difficult times by donating food, supplies, money or time to our Food Bank fund, and to Sopwell Community Trust.

And thank you, once again, to the Sopwell Community Trust!