WSCC – Help the West Sussex Record Office document these unprecedented times

West Sussex Record Office has closed its doors for the first time in over 70 years because of coronavirus (COVID-19), but their great work continues, and they need residents’ help.

Their team is inviting residents across the county to record a diary that will be kept alongside other pandemic related records. These will then be catalogued, stored, and ultimately available to the public for research.

All residents need to do is document their experiences during the coronavirus pandemic, including how it is affecting them, their family and friends and the local community. It can also include new experiences, thoughts and feelings.

The diary can be recorded on paper or on a phone and be done as an individual, part of a family project within the same household, a creative outlet or simply as a daily record.

Screen Archive South East, who are already partnered with the Record Office and look after all the moving image archives for the region, will be supporting to archive the video diary footage.

Cabinet Member for Fire and Rescue and Communities, said: “The current situation is an extraordinary one and something the majority of us will never have experienced before. The West Sussex Record Office is in a privileged position to be able to document what is going on right now, but some of this can’t be done without help from West Sussex residents, who are in a unique position to provide personal insight at this difficult time.

“Please let the Record Office have your experiences of what it is like living under the new government guidance and let us know how it is affecting your day-to-day lives, what you are doing to cope and how your daily routine has adapted. We want people to be as open and honest as possible and record how they are feeling so that future generations have an insight into what happened at the start of this new decade.”

If people don’t want to participate in a diary, the Record Office would also like help in collecting other material that residents might come across such as:

  • Leaflets/flyers/posters from councils and other organisations about the pandemic
  • Material from local business relating to closures or changes to how they operate
  • Advice from local organisations about hygiene, social distancing and self-isolation
  • Information about community efforts to help vulnerable and isolated persons
  • Information from local schools regarding closures and home-schooling

If you’re interested in finding out how you can support this Record Office initiative, please visit www.westsussexrecordofficeblog.com/2020/03/31 and for the latest government advice on coronavirus and how it affects West Sussex, visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/coronavirus

WSCC – Online Community Hub launches in response to coronavirus

West Sussex County Council has been working closely with the district and borough councils in the county, the NHS and Public Health England to set-up community hubs to help support the most vulnerable residents in West Sussex.

Across West Sussex, hubs have been set up in response to the ongoing impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and will allow individuals to get in contact if they, or someone they know, need help, or if they want to volunteer their services in these difficult times.

Those who already have support networks in place – such as friends, family and neighbours – should continue using the support they have. This means that the community hubs can focus their efforts on those most in need.

West Sussex has a county-wide community hub which is available seven days a week and staff will be on hand to respond to enquiries from 8am-8pm. A dedicated telephone helpline is also available for residents who are unable to go online: 033 022 27980.

You can also find more information about support in your local community on your district or borough council website.

Cabinet Member for Fire and Rescue and Communities, said: “These are difficult times and helping the most vulnerable and those without a support network in our community to get food, medicine and help is our top priority.

“Not only have we already seen people come through to us needing our help, we have also had lots of interest from residents and businesses across the county who are keen to volunteer their services in these tough times. Our hubs are an essential way for our communities to link together to receive the support they need.

“The reaction we have had illustrates the real human spirit that runs through our county and makes us proud to be residents.”

The NHS has written to residents it has identified as at risk of severe illness if they catch coronavirus and those extremely vulnerable to coronavirus should register for support via the government’s website.

If you need support, wish to volunteer or would like to find out more about community hubs visit: www.westsussex.gov.uk/covid19communityhub.

WSCC – Plea to drivers during coronavirus outbreak: Roads are quieter – the speed limit is the same

Roads are quieter - the speed limit is the same”

Roads may be quieter, but the speed limit is the same – that’s the message from the county council’s road safety team.

With reduced traffic during the coronavirus outbreak, Sussex Police contacted the West Sussex Road Safety team to say some drivers had been tempted to drive too fast.

Roger Elkins, county council Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure, said: “As well as being against the law, speeding at any time involves unnecessary risks.

“During the coronavirus outbreak, emergency services and the NHS are facing immense pressure – being tempted to speed now risks additional strain on services if there’s an accident.

“We urge all road users to follow Government guidance during the outbreak and stay at home: only travel if absolutely necessary. But if you do have to travel, always drive, or ride, within the speed limit and at a speed appropriate to road conditions at the time.”

Anyone witnessing anti-social driving is asked to report it via: www.operationcrackdown.org

Call for volunteers to support the NHS

‘Your NHS Needs You’ – NHS call for volunteer army
24 March 2020
Volunteering
The NHS is “rallying the troops” for the war on coronavirus, with volunteers being called up to help vulnerable people stay safe and well at home.

The nation is looking for up to 250,000 volunteers to help up to 1.5 million people who have been asked to shield themselves from coronavirus because of underlying health conditions.

Members of the public can sign up quickly and easily at goodsamapp.org/NHS to become NHS Volunteer Responders, and can be called on to do simple but vital tasks such as:

delivering medicines from pharmacies;
driving patients to appointments;
bringing them home from hospital;
or making regular phone calls to check on people isolating at home.
NHS Volunteer Responders is not intended to replace local groups helping their vulnerable neighbours but is an additional service provided by the NHS.

GPs, doctors, pharmacists, nurses, midwives, NHS 111 advisers and social care staff will all be able to request help for their at-risk patients via a call centre run by the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS), who will match people who need help with volunteers who live near to them. Some charities will also be able to refer people to the service.

For more information please go to the NHS website https://www.england.nhs.uk/

The British Red Cross is also looking for volunteers. https://www.redcross.org.uk/

Age UK – Horsham District

Coronavirus Pandemic
Age UK Horsham District are still here for you

During this difficult time, Age UK has adapted the way they work, so they can continue to be there for you when you need them.

They are offering:

– Information and Advice: Including information on social care, housing and welfare benefits.

– Telephone befriending: A friendly chat if you’re feeling lonely or isolated.

– Doorstep Deliveries: We can deliver groceries (subject to availability) and essential medication to your doorstep, as well as knitting kits, CDs/DVDs, books and jigsaws to stave off boredom.

– Welfare and Safety Support. Helping the most vulnerable with tasks such as cleaning, shopping and laundry, as well as offering respite for carers.

– Wellbeing advice. They can share information on healthy living, nutrition, hydration and exercises that can take place in the home or garden.

If you’d like to access any of the services above, or you’re worried about an older friend or family member at this time, please call Age UK Horsham District on 01403 260 560 or email info@ageukhorshamdistrict.org.uk