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Navigating Self-Isolation in North Tyneside

If you are asked to self-isolate, it is important that you follow the advice which is there to help keep you, your loved ones, and your community safe.

We know that, for many people, self-isolation is not easy. Not being able to go to school or work and missing out on seeing friends and family can be really challenging for our physical and mental health.

It can be hard work understanding and abiding by every rule, especially when things seem to change so often. However, it is now a legal requirement and you can be fined if you do not self-isolate when you are asked to.

We hope that this guide, Navigating self-isolation in North Tyneside, which has been created by VODA – in collaboration with North Tyneside Council – provides you with some useful information to help you stay safe whilst self-isolating. We want to thank you for everything you are doing to help reduce the spread of Coronavirus in your community.

Printed copies of this magazine will be available at the new Riverside community testing hub. Feel free to share and download the online version with anyone you feel would benefit.  We will beat this together.

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Five secret perks of social distancing

🤣 Of these 5 secret perks of social distancing Tip #2 is wat I need in my life!
🦠Check out this Covid-19 health update brought to you by your local Community Health Champions in North Tyneside, bringing you vital trusted information and tips.
📣 Please share this video with people you know and care about in North Tyneside.
👉 To become a Champion and receive these updates directly click here

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GOV.UK COVID-19 guidance for voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations

The government has created a new webpage which pulls together all information and advice for VCSE organisations on funding, fundraising and volunteer guidance.

The voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector plays a key role across the country, positively impacting the life of many.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the sector has been mobilising across the UK providing practical and emotional support to vulnerable groups. Understandably, the financial implications to mobilising and supporting volunteers and the increased demand in services has placed pressure on the sector.

The page contains information and advice on how the VCSE sector can safely and effectively support the country through the coronavirus pandemic.

Areas covered include:

  1. Guidance for those working in these sectors
  2. Guidance about funding and fundraising
  3. The role of volunteers

Read more and access the page here.

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New report – vulnerable young people and the impact of COVID-19

A major new report – Out of Sight – has been launched by the National Youth Agency calling for a clear exit strategy for young people who are likely to be included in the early stages of release from lockdown measures. Download the report here.

At home and out of sight of formal services, the new report highlights the scale of young people’s needs which have increased and, in many instances, are caused by the pandemic. A clear exit strategy from lockdown is needed for young people, more than simply schools being open. Youth services have been overlooked and, all too often, youth workers have been furloughed or redeployed.

The top-three concerns are:

  • ‘Increased mental health problems’: Over a million young people have self-reported mental health issues. There is a spike in calls to Help Lines, with 84% reporting worse mental health following school closures or being no longer able to access mental health support
  • ‘Missing from education’: With schools only partially open and youth centres closed, as few as 5% of young people are currently engaged in school and have limited or no access to youth work. Even when schools re-open there are 700,000 young people persistently absent or NEET (not in education, employment or training)
  • ‘At risk, at home’: Over a million young people are at risk from any of the so-called ‘toxic trio’ of addiction, mental health, and domestic abuse. Despite this, child protection referrals have plummeted by 50% in some areas

The report identifies homelessness, self-harm and suicide, poverty and a range of other vulnerabilities and risky behaviours in potentially unsafe environments.

Read more here.

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Public urged to flag coronavirus related email scams as online security campaign launches

Cyber experts have launched measures to protect the UK from online harm as the country continues to rely more on technology while staying at home to protect the NHS and save lives.

  • The National Cyber Security Centre, a part of GCHQ, has;
    • Launched ‘Cyber Aware’ campaign promoting behaviours to mitigate threats
    • Created a world-leading  ‘Suspicious Email Reporting Service’, which will make it easy for people to forward suspicious emails to the NCSC – including those claiming to offer services related to coronavirus.
    • Revealed they have already taken down 2,000 scams – including 471 fake online shops – trying to trick people looking for coronavirus-related services
    • Published new advice for individuals and organisations hosting online video conferences

The NCSC’s new guidance on the secure use of video conferencing services builds on a raft of advice published on www.ncsc.gov.uk since the coronavirus outbreak started.

With many people in the UK trying video conferencing for the first time, the advice includes top tips on securely installing the app, creating a strong password and tracking who is joining the chat.

The NCSC also recommends that you do not make meetings public, connect only to people through your contacts or address book – and to never post the link or password publicly.

Read more here.

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North Tyneside support hub launched for those most at risk

A service has been launched in North Tyneside to help those affected by coronavirus – and has already been helping those most in need.

North Tyneside Council has set up a dedicated helpline for those in need of immediate help and support and who can’t call on family, friends, neighbours or carers.

It’s part of the local authority’s plan to shield its most vulnerable residents who are living in their home without support from others, by providing non-clinical help.

The opening hours for the COVID-19 support hub are Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm, and is available via TEL: 0345 2000 101 or emailing contact.us@northtyneside.gov.uk.

While it is available to anyone in urgent need of non-clinical help in the borough, priority will be given to those identified by the NHS as critically vulnerable due to health conditions.

Support will be tailored for individual needs, including help with essential food and medicine deliveries.

Already this week, as part of the service, essential food parcels have been provided to those who have been asked to shield themselves during the outbreak and who do not have any other means of support. This has been provided by the council until a regular supply of weekly food and essential parcels is provided directly by the government to these residents.  The council will continue to provide support to those people who need it.

Speaking about the service, North Tyneside’s Elected Mayor, Norma Redfearn CBE said: “We are absolutely committed to protecting those most vulnerable in our communities, especially right now, which is why I am extremely pleased we have this service up and running. It will be a lifeline for some of our residents.

“We have also been inundated with offers of help from residents, businesses and community organisations in the borough and I’d like to this opportunity to thank each and every one of you. I have been overwhelmed by the generosity, the offers of support and the unity shown by our communities.

“I must also thank VODA for all of their help in mobilising an army of volunteers and I encourage residents who wish to help to contact them.

“Life is changing in ways people could never have imagined but by working together we will steer through this.”

The package delivered this week contained essentials such as fruit, tinned goods, pasta and toilet paper, and are being directed to medically vulnerable residents who are unable to call on support from friends or family.

In an effort to boost morale and send out messages of hope, children from across North Tyneside also drew and painted pictures to be included in the deliveries.

Mayor Redfearn added: “In such challenging times, it’s truly heart-warming to hear about all of the kind gestures taking place right across our borough to help combat loneliness and raise the spirits of others. I would like to thank all the children who have taken the time to do this.”

The support hub will be a partnership provided through the council and North Tyneside-based charity VODA which has mobilised a network of volunteers across the community.

Chief Executive of VODA, Robin Fry said: “We have been working closely with North Tyneside Council and local support groups to scale up our Good Neighbours volunteering project.

“Our volunteers are providing a free shopping service for almost 100 local people who require support whilst they are self-isolating due to infection or as a precautionary measure. We expect demand to rise over the coming weeks.

“We are also working with local pharmacies to explore volunteers supporting the delivery of prescriptions across the borough.

“The current situation has required us to adapt our ways of working to meet demand whilst reducing any risk of infection. As such our volunteers are operating a ‘knock and drop’ service when delivering shopping and are not entering residents’ homes.

“Our team are working flat-out to co-ordinate this service and have been overwhelmed by the kind offers of support from local residents. Anyone wishing to offer their support should visit www.voda.org.uk.”

Volunteers can register now, and they will be added to the list and matched with a person or task when needed.

Volunteers going into the homes of others will need to hold a current DBS certificate, however those without will be able to drop off food parcels on doorsteps and other tasks – helping to provide a vital service to those in need.

North Tyneside Business Forum will be collecting a list of businesses and essential services which are supporting the project and will be working with VODA to keep these lists up to date. Businesses can contact them by emailing business.forum@northtyneside.gov.uk or calling (0191) 643 6000.

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Diabetes UK coronavirus update

Diabetes UK recognises that this is a very worrying and busy time for everyone.  They are working hard to adapt and provide the best possible support to people living with diabetes and healthcare professionals during these times.

They have created a series of new webpages;

These pages are based on the most recent guidance available and also signpost to other relevant sources of support and information. They will continue to update these pages as new guidance is released.

There is also helpful information to help people staying at home and managing their diabetes and to help people cope with stress and other emotions. There is also a useful coronavirus thread on their online forum, where members are sharing information and experiences.

People can follow and keep up to date with us and our advice and support on our Diabetes UK Facebook and Twitter feeds. For anyone not able to access face to face diabetes education or support during this time our Leaning Zone is a good place to access simple information from our Diabetes UK clinical team, and sensible advice from people living with diabetes.

In addition to their own resources, Partha Kar and a group of healthcare professionals are also providing ongoing interaction and signposting to trusted sources of information through Diabetes 101 on twitter.

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VCSE Supporting Response to COVID-19

VODA is working closely with North Tyneside Council and Health Services to provide a coordinated response to the current situation.

As part of this we are working with North Tyneside Council and North Tyneside CCG to encourage them to provide reassurance that they will continue to fund VCS organisations even if normal services are on pause.

The Local Authority has set up a Coronavirus helpline – 0345 2000 101 – and we are looking to assess current levels of provision across the VCSE to enable us to provide a cross sector response.

We are aware that many services are currently closed or closing or have altered the way they work. Please help us to keep abreast of what levels of services are currently operating. You can send updates via our website contact page. We will then update our COVID-19 pages and inform the Council and Health Services.

If you have any problems please email our Information & Communications Officer Victoria logan-coulsey@voda.org.uk

Please give us as much detail as possible to help us understand potential provision across the borough, to identify gaps and help support your needs. If you have already provided this detail to our Chief Executive Robin Fry this week then you do not need to do this again.

New online resources

We have updated our website to see a series of animated videos covering essential information for volunteers around safeguarding, volunteering advice, supporting volunteers and telephone befriending. Look out for the latest animation about staying safe when shopping.

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Volunteer telephone call handlers wanted for COVID-19 support

Dreamshine Community Interest Company is looking for volunteers for their COVID-19 telephone helpline.

The helpline (0300 3658554) covers all of North Tyneside and is for anyone feeling overwhelmed, lonely, anxious, nervous or just needing a good old chat.

The team will be available between 10am and 2pm, 7 days per week, with the potential for the hours to increase if there is demand and volunteers to support it.

You can also register your interest in taking calls by emailing dreamshineresponse@gmail.com or going on their website and completing the contact form.

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Charity Commission publishes Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance

The Charity Commission has published new guidance to help with running your charity during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Understandably, charities are concerned about what to do during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, so the Charity Commission has set out their response to the most commonly asked questions.

  • Can I cancel or postpone my charity’s AGM or other key meetings?
  • Can I use video, teleconferencing and the internet in place of face-to-face meetings?
  • What do I need to report to the Charity Commission?

Read the full guidance here.

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