Adam Boyden

Mendip District Councillor for Frome College ward and Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for Somerton & Frome Learn more

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Coronavirus advice – updated 26th March

by adamboyden on 15 March, 2020

We know this is going to be a difficult time for many people. It is vital to follow medical advice and take the necessary precautions to protect ourselves, our families and our community, and help prevent the spread of the coronavirus – please see:

  • UK Government – see here: On 23rd March Government issued new instructions – Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives:
    Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home). Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people. Wash your hands as soon as you get home. See here.
    The Government is closing non-essential shops and community spaces, and stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public. The relevant authorities, including the police, will be given the powers to enforce these measures. The Government will look again at these measures in three weeks, and relax them if the evidence shows this is possible.
  • NHShere
  • Frome Medical Practicehere
  • How to avoid catching and spreading coronavirus – see here

If you need help: please see:

  • Frome Town Council – see answers to Frequently Asked Questions here or call 01373 465757.
  • Mendip District Council – see here for services and advice, or call 0300 303 8588.
  • Citizens Advice services – here or call 03444 889623
  • Fair Frome foodbankhere, call 01373 488578 or info@fairfrome.org
  • Active & In Touchhere, call 07539795261 or enquiries@activeandintouch.org
  • Lists of local food delivery services and other local links – http://fromecommunity.co.uk/
  • Health Connections Mendip here has a large directory of local community and health support groups.
  • Mindline emotional support helpline – here
  • Beware of scams – here
  • Somerset County Council services here

“Look out for each other”
It is also really important that people support each other, and that our community supports people in need. Frome Town Council, Mendip Health Connections and other community groups are working together to ensure that strategic co-ordination is in place to help the most vulnerable. Anyone who would like to help should join the Frome volunteer register at www.bit.ly/Frome-Covid-Help and await requests for support. An informative leaflet with numbers for people to call has been produced and is being delivered to houses in Frome by these volunteers, and is available in local shops.

The Mayor of Frome is calling for people who are healthy and able to contact their 5 nearest neighbours to see if they need any help. Above is a version of the community help form which you can download and print, and use to let neighbours know who can help them.

Local support groups are also being formed to provide support for neighbours who are self-isolating, including to buy or collect food and other essentials safely. Locally, the Packsaddle Community Group is organising a support network in its area. If you are able to help this group or help form a support group in your street, please let us know. Groups are also organising on the Nextdoor app, on Facebook and at https://fromefuture.wordpress.com/. A national list of mutual support groups is growing at https://covidmutualaid.org/. Frome Town Council’s message on keeping people connected is here.

Frome Town Council have answers to Frequently Asked Questions here, and have advice and support for families here. If you have a query or need help please email info@frometowncouncil.gov.uk or call 01373 465757. Frome Town Council news can be found here. An advice leaflet was delivered to the town this week (see here) – well done Frome! The Town Hall is currently closed to the public (see here).

The Frome Times newspaper cannot be delivered to homes now but it is continuing online – please see here for articles and here for the online edition, which includes vital updates on everything Frome.

The Frome Community website here also signposts to local services, including local food delivery services.

Fair Frome (who provide the food bank, see here) is asking for food donations and funds to buy food as the need to support people is increasing – a fundraising page has been set up here. For up to date information please visit the Fair Frome website, call 01373 488578 or email info@fairfrome.org.

Active and In Touch continue to help people who are isolated and lonely, and are calling for more volunteers who have been DBS checked to help with phone calls to elderly members who are having to self isolate. They are happy to help elderly people who are now more isolated – please see here, call 07539795261 or email enquiries@activeandintouch.org.

Purple Elephant (the organisers of Frome Toy Library, Frome Children’s Festival/Gen-Z, the Sports Festival and Family Holiday Fun) will be supporting those local families who are most in need. “We’ll be working together with Fair Frome and local schools to get resources to families such as activity packs, toys and books. Many families are going to be facing a long period of time in isolation or unexpectedly at home, and will struggle to find positive things to do – our aim will be to give them creative, healthy, fun activities to help keep vulnerable families occupied and avoid spiralling into crisis. If you are in a position to donate to help our emergency support we’d be very grateful. You can give via our website or Local Giving.”

Mendip District Council offices are also now closed, so people should visit the website or call 0300 303 8588. All Council meetings have been cancelled. MDC’s information is here, including:

  • Information on how services have been affectedhere
  • Advice for businesses here.
  • NEW Mendip’s markets are now closed – see here.
  • Council Tax, benefits, rent and other financial concernshere
  • Citizens Advice services – here
  • Mindline emotional support helpline – here
  • Spark Somerset guidance for the voluntary sector here
  • Get an isolation note – see here
  • Homelessnesshere
  • Beware of scams

Somerset Waste Partnership has suspended collections of garden waste and bulky waste, and all of Somerset’s Recycling Centres have been closed. For the latest on waste disposal and collection services please see here.

Somerset County Council‘s affected services are here and their most recent update includes: ‘How communities can help: Somerset County Council is working hard to ensure those self-isolating and/or vulnerable adults and their children receive appropriate food, sanitary products and medication. We’d like to urge everyone to continue to look out for friends, family, neighbours and the community, but most of all yourself.  It’s important you stay safe, so you can continue to help others.

A wave of community groups have been set up across Somerset to assist those in need, which is truly humbling to see. Please visit www.sparksomerset.org.uk/ in the first instance for the latest information and guidance on local community support.

  • Somerset Community Foundation has launched the Somerset Coronavirus appeal to get vital funding to local charities and community organisations that helping the most vulnerable people during the outbreak.
  • Money saving expert, Martin Lewis, has launched the Coronavirus Poverty Relief Fund where £1m is available to fund urgent small charity COVID-19 poverty relief. Applications close at 11:59 on Wednesday 25th March.
  • Spark has launched ‘Corona Helpers’, a free online platform on which COVID-19 support groups can recruit and manage volunteers and individuals can pledge their support.
  • The Community Council for Somerset (community / village agents) are already working in communities with different groups and individuals to make sure the vulnerable are identified and supported. Local village agent details can be found at https://somersetagents.org/somerset-village-agents/

Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK is compiling a list of local groups set up on social media in an effort to share learning, resources and support.  To find out what groups may be in your area, or to register a group, go to: https://covidmutualaid.org/local-groups/

Many people will naturally be worried about their health and livelihoods. Nationally the Liberal Democrats are calling for the Government to provide the maximum level of support for businesses, employees and public sector workers, the self-employed and those in the least protected positions in society, including people who rent (see here). Acting Leader Ed Davey MP has called on the Government to subsidise salaries for workers, guarantee incomes for the self-employed and boost sick pay. The party’s national advice is found here and the party has launched a national community Taskforce to coordinate our members who want to help those most in need.

Please get in touch if you have any concerns or questions.

I will update this regularly when I receive further advice as a councillor. Stay safe, look after yourselves, and each other.

Best wishes,
cllr Adam Boyden
Mendip District Councillor for Frome College ward
07809284817
Email adam4somertonandfrome@gmail.com, Cllr.Boyden@mendip.gov.uk
https://adamboyden.mycouncillor.org.uk/
https://www.somertonandfromelibdems.org.uk/

With Councillor Drew Gardner, Frome College ward, email Cllr.Gardner@mendip.gov.uk

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