See below for valuable information published in the East Suffolk Council bulletin and about their services including important updates regarding housing rent and recycling centres. For up to date information re Garden Waste services, please see under the NEWS tab for the latest information May 2020. Please familiarise yourself with the content.
There is a lot of new funding to support community organisations/centres at risk. Please see the following link.
East Suffolk has also recently launched a new programme called The Hidden Needs Programme. Please follow the link - you will be taken to updated maps, guidance notes and application form. The closing date for the first round is 17th July and the second round closes at the end of September.
- The Church of England are offering phone support for NHS staff who would like to speak to someone outside the service. This is open to people of any or no religion. The information is available on their poster viewable here.
- Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) has set up a 24/7 helpline offering immediate support for mental health difficulties during the coronavirus pandemic. Staffed by mental health professionals from the Trust, it will provide reassurance, self-help advice, support and signposting. ‘First Response’ is available on 0808 196 3494.
- East Suffolk Council continue to invite bids from community groups to their Hardship Fund. Further details can be found at https://www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/news/new-community-fund-launched-to-help-those-in-need/
- Healthy Suffolk have a dedicated website for supporting people during the outbreak. It includes tips to maintain physical and mental health during this time at www.healthysuffolk.org.uk
- Public Health England are promoting their ‘Act like you have it’ campaign including free downloadable images and posters for distribution. Using these helps promote a clear and consistent message across our communities. Downloads are available at https://coronavirusresources.phe.gov.uk/anyone-can-get-it/resources/
Local councils are facing a massive logistical challenge to ensure that essential supplies such as food and medicines continue to get through to our most vulnerable residents and those who are shielding or self-isolating at home and have no immediate support from family or friends.
Nicole Rickard is leading on a county-wide working group for East Suffolk which has been tasked with setting up a Suffolk Community Hub which will match requests for help with volunteers who can assist.
To help with that volunteering effort we have drawn up a list of council staff who are not directly involved in delivering essential council services and who have said that they want to help in the community. Volunteering will take many forms from helping with the delivery of essential supplies to keeping in regular contact by telephone or email with those who are on their own, feeling isolated and would welcome a friendly voice on the end of the telephone.
If you would like to be added to the list of our volunteers please email firstname.lastname@example.org and let him know how you would like to help.
Home But Not Alone
Suffolk County Council have launched the ‘Home, but not alone’ service to help connect people who want to volunteer in their communities with neighbours who are most in need. Volunteers can download the free app, called Tribe Volunteer from Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Meanwhile, the telephone number for those in genuine need of help (and which will be managed by our staff for East Suffolk enquiries) is freephone 0800 876 6926
NHS call for volunteers
The Government and NHS have had a massive response of over 400,000 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 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
• making regular phone calls to check on people isolating at home.
Members of the public can sign up to become an NHS Volunteer Responder here: https://www.goodsamapp.org/NHS
NHS Volunteer Responders is not intended to replace local groups helping their vulnerable neighbours but is an additional service provided by the NHS.
A summary of East Suffolk Council teams
East Suffolk Council will continue to deliver essential services to those who need us most and I would like to pay tribute to the hard work of our staff and partners who are putting the needs of other people first during this emergency.
The Council’s Customer Services team is responding to urgent enquiries, however customers are encouraged wherever possible to seek information about services on www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk. If anyone has an enquiry which cannot be resolved online, they should email us at email@example.com. Customers can also call us on 03330 162 000 but please do bear in mind that our phone lines are likely to be very busy and calls should only be made if absolutely necessary.
Meanwhile, the Revenues & Benefits team and ARP Partnership are continuing to react to customer enquiries, processing work across the five partner councils.
Otherwise, the majority of East Suffolk’s office-based staff are now working from home and are undertaking no face-to-face meetings. However teams which retain a public health & safety responsibility remain operational, albeit with a reduced capacity.
The Housing Team continues to manage a homelessness function and will carry out emergency repairs on council properties if the issue is urgent. Full social distancing procedures are being followed throughout. We are also working closely with residents in our sheltered housing schemes to ensure they have everything they need.
East Suffolk’s Environmental Protection and Food & Safety teams will only respond to emergencies for the foreseeable future and our Building Control team will also deal with structural emergencies only where this is a safety risk to the public.
Payment of housing rent during COVID-19 emergency
Due to the impact of the COVID-19 virus we understand that some tenants may face financial difficulties. Tenants with specific worries should contact the council as soon as possible and our teams will discuss the options that are available.
However, we would ask, where possible, that tenants with rent concerns please email firstname.lastname@example.org rather than call, to help keep our phone lines free for urgent repair enquiries.
Private tenants, those with another social landlord, or homeowners who would like advice about financial concerns, should contact their landlord/mortgage provider directly or go to the advice pages on www.shelter.org.uk for further information.
In the interests of crew safety and to ensure that waste and recycling collections are prioritised, East Suffolk Council and East Suffolk Norse have taken the decision to temporarily suspend the collection of household garden waste.
The final round of garden waste collections will take place today, Friday 27 March. The Council is also temporarily suspending its food waste collection services which is ordinarily provided in parts of Lowestoft. Residents who have a separate food collection are advised to place this waste in the black bin for the time being.
When garden waste collections recommence, subscriptions will be ‘rolled forward’, which means that a new annual payment will only be required once each subscriber has received their full quota of 12 monthly collections.
Fewer collections ensure that our crews will spend less time in close proximity to each other, which then reduces the risk of spreading the virus and creating further disruption to our teams.
Guidance on disposing of waste is available for people with coronavirus symptoms who must remain at home until they are well, and for those living in households with someone who shows symptoms: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection#cleaning-and-disposal-of-waste
Public to access Suffolk’s Recycling Centres from Thursday by appointment only
A new online booking system will be in place when Suffolk’s Recycling Centres re-open on Thursday May 14th 2020. This appointment-only system is necessary to help reduce traffic disruption and queueing on roads around the sites and help manage additional demand on the waste sites. There are also new temporary restrictions and guidelines in place at all sites to support the safety of staff and members of the public.
Suffolk County Council has been working with its contractor FCC Environment to put plans in place to re-open all eleven sites to make sure that visits to the Recycling Centres are as safe as possible for residents and staff. In order to reopen the sites safely, people will need to book a time online when they can arrive and dispose of their waste. Through the online booking process, the council wants to limit the length of queuing on roads outside the Recycling Centres, which have occurred elsewhere in the country when sites have reopened. If you do not have an appointment, you will be denied access and turned away from the site. click here to read furthe
We know that businesses, large and small, will be affected by the current situation. East Suffolk’s Economic Development Team are providing a range of useful information for businesses during the COVID-10 outbreak including details of how to claim support and additional funding.
They keep this information up to date and relevant on the ‘East Suffolk Means Business’ website: https://www.eastsuffolkmeansbusiness.co.uk/business-support/resources/covid-19/.
Financial hardship fund
As advised earlier today, all East Suffolk Councillors have agreed to allocate £1,000 from each of our 2020/21 Enabling Communities Budgets towards a hardship fund.
Managed by the East Suffolk Communities Team, the fund will help to relieve the financial hardship of residents during these uncertain times. Funding can be used in many ways, including the support of pop-up food banks, buying essential goods or services for individuals, supporting telephone befriending services or providing funding for fuel to enable Good Neighbour Scheme volunteers to deliver medicines across the district. Other East Suffolk staff will be redeployed to support to the Communities Team in allocating this funding.
Anyone wishing to highlight a resident or group in need of support is asked to contact the Communities Team by emailing email@example.com.
Social media - how you can help
If you use social media, can you please follow the East Suffolk Council pages and share/retweet our posts about the virus and the council's response. This is critically important to ensure that good and reliable information goes as far and wide as possible.
Watch out for scammers
Unscrupulous criminals are exploiting fears about COVID-19 to prey on members of the public, particularly older and vulnerable people who are isolated from family and friends.
Friends Against Scams (www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk) is a National Trading Standards Scams Team initiative, which aims to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams by empowering people to take a stand against scams.
Anybody can join Friends Against Scams and make a difference in their own way. You can even complete the online training and raise awareness throughout your community.
As this fast moving situation evolves, I will keep you informed of further developments. Of the utmost importance is for you all to stay safe and well:
STAY AT HOME, PROTECT OUR NHS, SAVE LIVES .