West End Morecambe Big Local (WEM) had been planning a range of new activity just as the Coronavirus crisis emerged. Obviously that has all been put on hold whilst everyone adjusts to the current situation. With limited ability to offer practical support WEM is doing some things to help the strategic work being done locally in response to the virus.
Most immediately we are working with Bay Medical on supporting public information for local residents. Secondly, we are making a contribution to the Morecambe Bay Foundation Coronavirus Urgent Response fund which is aimed at direct support for activities in response to the current crisis. This will temporarily replace our Community Chest fund and will be much simpler and quicker. The fund is being coordinated by Lancaster CVS who are also working to ensure groups are working strategically during the crisis.
When things stabilise or improve we will also be looking at potential medium and longer-term support for the community. That will also aim to work in partnership with other support that will be coming to the community, voluntary groups and local businesses. There is a huge wealth of practical, knowledge-based and financial support coming down to try and lessen the impact of the crisis and we will try to help individuals and organisations access that support where we can’t offer anything directly.
Whilst this is a difficult and challenging time for all of us there are moments which remind us of the kindness of those around us and the strength that exists within a community.
Whatever your circumstances we hope you stay safe.
People who are concerned they are suffering symptoms that may be due to Coronavirus can use the tool on the NHS 111 website at https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19 in the first instance where possible, or phone 111 if you are not online. The local health service has changed many of its normal services and you can find out about this as well as useful information at https://www.baymedicalgroup.co.uk/.
Their updates include a list of current local pharmacy opening times and links to national health information on https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
This website includes information on…
- Advice for everyone
- Advice for people at higher risk
- Symptoms and what to do
- Self-isolation if you or someone you live with has symptoms
- How to stop infection spreading
- Looking after your health and well-being
- What to do if you need medical help
- Pregnancy advice
The government also has a national webpage at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus with
- How to protect yourself and others
- Employment and financial support
- School closures, education and childcare
- Businesses and other organisations
- Healthcare Workers and carers
- How Coronavirus is affecting public services
- Coronavirus cases in the UK
For those looking to help in the current crisis, there is also a specific government link:
There is a great deal of general information available online including advice tailored to the needs of small, local third sector organisations. Lancaster District Community & Voluntary Solutions (LCVS) support and represent the voluntary sector. Their web page aims to direct you to the latest information that is available and to fill some of the gaps. As more information comes out, this web page will be updated: http://lancastercvs.org.uk/covid-19-coronavirus-information-and-advice/
Their information includes great links as well as material on issues including:
- Health and Care
- Coronavirus and your well-being
- Infection control
- Business continuity planning
- Business Continuity Challenges
- Increased demand for services
- Decreased income
- Funding targets
- Staff welfare
- Concern about vulnerable people
- Those with caring responsibilities
- Information for Fundraisers about Coronavirus
- Coronavirus and your charity’s finances
- Support for businesses through the Coronavirus
- Job Retention Scheme
- Support for self-employed
- NHS Volunteer Responders
- Managing your Mental Health during the Coronavirus Pandemic
- Supporting young people
And things to fill the time such as…
- Free colouring books
- Online games
- Online music classes
- Free eBooks
- Coronavirus: Apps to help children and young people
- Free mindfulness app.
This is an urgent response fund from Morecambe Bay Foundation to quickly provide financial support to community organisations across the Lancaster district that are working to support people affected by the impact of the Coronavirus. Right now, they are working with organisations (food banks – Morecambe Bay Foodbank and The Olive Branch, and food clubs – via Lancaster District Food Poverty Alliance, Eggcup and community centres) that are scaling up their operations to be able to meet the demand for access to food from the most vulnerable members of our community whilst being in isolation. WEM is makinge a contribution toward this fund and will be reviewing how the support is used locally.
You can find out more about this via LCVS at http://lancastercvs.org.uk/covid-19-coronavirus-information-and-advice/ where there is also information about…
- AlpKit Funding
- Charities Aid Foundation
- International funds
- Facebook Small Business Grants Program
- UK Wide Funders
The work of the Lancaster City Council and the response they are supporting across the district covers a range of issues. Their priorities through this period will be to maintain vital services, support vulnerable people, and support local businesses. Residents can continue to use and 01524 582000. Businesses needing help can be directed to and 01524 582000. The city council’s website at https://lancaster.gov.uk has information on…
- Vulnerable People
- Emergency food provision
- Supporting rough sleepers
- Sharing information
- Business support