Coronavirus update 25th June 2020

 

Support 

Newcastle Central Constituency Team continues to be available to help constituents by email at chi.onwurah.mp@parliament.uk or by phone on 01912325838. My surgeries have moved online in light of government advice to limit all non-essential contact. I will personally be available by phone or video every Friday 1pm – 2pm so please do get in touch.

 

Newcastle City Council’s Citylife Line  scheme is going well and you can volunteer or request support through them.

 

Mutual aid groups have sprung up around the country. Newcastle has a number of groups, which are very active, so click here to find your local group.

 

Shielding

The Government advises that those who are deemed clinically extremely vulnerable shield until 30 June 2020 and will review this regularly. The advice for those deemed clinically extremely vulnerable has changed to the following:

  1. If you wish to spend time outdoors (though not in other buildings, households, or enclosed spaces) you should take extra care to minimise contact with others by keeping 2 metres
  2. If you choose to spend time outdoors, this can be with members of your own household. If you live alone, you can spend time outdoors with one person from another household (ideally the same person each time).
  3. You should stay alert when leaving home: washing your hands regularly, maintaining social distance and avoiding gatherings of any size.
  4. You should not attend any gatherings, including gatherings of friends and families in private spaces, for example, parties, weddings and religious services.
  5. You should strictly avoid contact with anyone who is displaying symptoms of COVID-19 (a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss of, or change in, your sense of taste or smell).

If you need extra support because you are shielding e.g. delivery of food you should register online or call 0800 028 8327 with the NHS number printed on your letter to hand.

 

Social distancing

We have all done very well in following the Government’s advice despite the challenges. However, it is very important that we continue to do so and maintain social distancing to protect ourselves and our community as well as avoid any further restrictions:

 

  • You can spend time outdoors, including private gardens and other outdoor spaces, in groups of up to six people from different households, following social distancing by keeping two metres
  • You should go to work if you cannot work from home and your business has not been required to close by law
  • You can be tested as part of the test and trace programme, which will enable us to return to normal life as soon as possible, by helping to control transmission risks
  • You can now form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household if you live alone or are a single parent with dependent children – in other words, you are in a household where there is only one adult

 

 

Schools

Newcastle City Council have published a letter to parents regarding schools reopening and their website has further information. They have also confirmed that parents who do not feel able to send their children back to school, for whatever reason, will not be fined as a result.

 

Please contact the school your child attends if you have any further questions regarding whether they are open.

 

Health

The past few months have been challenging for so many of us for a range of reasons. GPs are still available to support us and many services are working hard to deliver services in new ways.

The Newcastle Gateshead CCG have put together a Covid-19 health guide which signposts lots of useful resources.

Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust have a guide to mental health services available locally too.

Tyneside and Northumberland Mind have suspended all face to face services but their phonelines are open between 10am – 4pm. They have also set up a Facebook group to provide support and have a page on coronavirus and your wellbeing.

Samaritans are available online or by phone 24/7 on 116 123

North East and North Cumbria Suicide Prevention Network

Talking Helps Newcastle have suspended in person contact but are still offering telephone appointments.

A dedicated helpline and text service has been set up for NHS staff providing support from bereavement care to mental health and welfare support.

Call: 0300 131 7000// Text FRONTLINE to 85258

 

Housing 

For those who need housing support or are at risk of homelessness please contact my team or Newcastle City Council who can provide support via email or by phone.

If you have a mortgage but have found the crisis has affected your income please contact your mortgage provider who may be able to provide a three month mortgage holiday. Landlords are also being asked to be compassionate towards tenants who may be struggling to make rent payments. The Government has suspended new proceedings for evictions of tenants through the courts until 23 August.

Newcastle City Council have set up an advice email for private landlords and renters  privaterentedservice@newcastle.gov.uk

Citizens Advice Newcastle are still very much open and able to support with a range of issues and are noticing a drop in numbers reaching out. Please do not be afraid to reach out to see if they can support you.

Citycab@newcastle.org.uk // 0300 330 9055

Acorn are also supporting those who are experiencing issues with paying their rent.

 

Foodbanks

We would all like to live in a version of Newcastle that did not require foodbanks but the continued hard work of all those who ensure that those those experiencing food insecurity is truly valued. They are still there to support anyone in the community who is in need of their services and below are some links to find up to date information on when and how they are operating.

For referral and delivery information:

Information Now’s List of Food Banks

Newcastle West End

Newcastle East 

Those of us who are able to donate are being asked to do so if possible as food banks are facing unprecedented demand for their services.

 

Public Transport

It is still advised that we try and avoid using public transport where possible. As of 15 June it is now a legal requirement  to wear a face covering on public transport and failure to do so may result in a £100 fine.

The Metro is back in full operation with limited services after 8pm but check here for the latest info. Arriva, Go North East and Stagecoach‘ s websites are being updated regularly so you can plan bus travel.

 

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