Welcome to Your Essential West Hill Update: May 2020
Many in our community are key workers and are on the frontline during the Coronavirus Pandemic. Those in the NHS taking care of our health, those who work for TfL helping our key workers travel in safety, those who are lorry drivers who continue to make sure we have the products and food we need, and those who are our retail workers who help make our shopping experience safe and keep the shelves stocked with the groceries that we need.
We want to show our gratitude to all the refuse collectors, street cleaners, fly-tip removal crews and parks police, the men and women who play such an important part in keeping our borough clean and safe during the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Every week our dedicated waste crews keep 400km of our streets free from litter and collect rubbish and recycling from 146,000 homes, so we are showing our appreciation for our bin men and women by writing them personal messages which we are leaving out with our recycling, it would be great if you could join us with this.
To all of you who are helping others at this difficult time, thank you!
Stay safe and best wishes
Stay at Home – Protect the NHS – Save Lives
The expert advice is clear, we all need to stay at home and minimise our social interaction for the next few weeks in order to reduce the spread of the virus. The Government has said people 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.
Working laptops and tablets needed to tackle Digital Poverty
Wandsworth Council has announced it will issue emergency phone data top-up vouchers to school pupils thanks to a £10,000 partnership with Battersea Power Station Foundation. This will support local families who are struggling to stay digitally connected during the COVID-19 crisis.
Also aimed at tackling digital poverty which affects the ability of some families to continue their children’s education from home, the ‘Power to Connect’ campaign works with local community partners to improve access to computers or tablets. As part of the initiative, a new laptop and tablet collection scheme is helping local families without a computer at home.
Local residents and businesses across Wandsworth are asked to donate old laptops and tablets that are in full working order to be re-purposed by volunteers with IT experience who are giving some of their time and expertise to help.
A computer renovation hub has been set up with strict social distancing practices in place. It will be staffed by a minimal number of volunteers who will wipe the computers before turning them into Chromebooks. Each device will be thoroughly cleaned and delivered to community organisations that will distribute them to local families and patients at St George’s NHS Hospital.
If you would like to support the ‘Power to Connect’ campaign through computer donations, by volunteering your IT expertise or your time to collect and drop off the refurbished Chromebooks, or by making a donation to the data top-up voucher fund, further information on how to get involved can be found at www.powertoconnect.co.uk
Don’t forget, Donating Blood Save Lives
There are many ways in which we can contribute to the well-being of our local community. Particularly during these uncertain times, many residents have joined local charities, created food distribution networks, or helped take care of vulnerable neighbours to make sure they are well and have everything they need.
Some residents give blood to help our NHS at this difficult time. If you wish to help the NHS Give Blood campaign and give blood yourself to help others, visit www.blood.co.uk
Helping Vulnerable People
The Council has created a Community Hub for residents, particularly those people who are elderly and/or vulnerable without support networks, who need support to access medical/care services and food supplies. It is designed to help those most in need to stay safe and well while they self-isolate at home.
You can call our Community Hub on 020 8871 6555 or click here to e-mail our Community Hub.
You can see a short video of the Council’s work with Wandsworth's AgeUK to deliver food parcels across the borough here.
If you want to help
If you are an individual, business or organisation that is interested in helping, we would encourage you to visit our webpage and complete our online form in the ‘how your organisation can help’ section.
If you are an existing voluntary or community group in the borough, or one who has been formed in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, you can contact the Wandsworth Voluntary Sector Co-ordination Project (part of the Care Alliance) to liaise with the Council.
Helping Businesses, Employees, and the Self-Employed
In response to the economic impact of the virus, the Chancellor has announced an unprecedented package of financial measures. The measures include business rate relief, grants and loans to keep businesses and the economy going during these difficult times.
The Council has already paid out over £20 million of grants, helping hundreds of local businesses. So please do visit the website and see what your business can apply for.
Update on Council Services
The Council has had to reduce or change a number of services across the borough as part of the emergency response, here are some of services that are affected:
- All libraries and leisure centres are currently closed however online resources are available.
- Parks and green spaces remain open but signs have been placed on playgrounds and equipment reminding residents of the need to maintain social distancing measures.
- Rubbish and Recycling collections are running to schedule.
But we have had to postpone the collection of garden waste and we urge people not to dispose of bulky items at this time. The waste crews are doing a tremendous job keeping the service running with reduced staffing levels due to the virus. We have also had to close the tip at Smugglers Way for the time being.
Schools and Children
- School attendance in Wandsworth has been very low, which means local people are staying home to protect the NHS.
- We know it’s difficult having children unable to go out during these difficult times. The Council has put together a page with fun digital activities for young people, including yoga, audiobooks, boxing and cooking. There’s a section specifically on SEND, too: https://shar.es/aHhRZG
- Many Wandsworth schools are staying open for children of key workers and vulnerable children. A few have made alternative arrangements with nearby schools; you can contact your headteacher for details.
- Some key workers have been in touch because they need to work but their children’s private nurseries have closed. If you need help, please contact your ward councillors, who will try to help you find a place.
This will ensure you receive the latest information on combatting COVID-19 and any changes to Council services like waste and recycling, libraries, schools, and leisure centres as part of the emergency response.
We hope you find this e-bulletin useful. Please do feel free to share it with your friends, neighbourhood and community groups.
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