updated 4:20pm,  29th May 2020

Please read below for a range of information and links we hope you will find useful.

HEALTH MATTERS – Lewes Urgent Treatment Centre now open

The Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) at Lewes Victoria Hospital has re-opened as an Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC). To ensure the safety of staff and patients, changes to the way the service operates have been put in place in light of coronavirus.

Local people are asked not to arrive at the UTC unless they have first called NHS 111 or accessed NHS 111 online, where they will be assessed and directed to the most appropriate service for them. To enable appropriate social distancing and minimise wait times patients at the UTC will be seen by appointment only. There are very limited facilities for safely assessing those arriving without an appointment and anyone doing so will be asked to contact the appropriate service by phone initially. This is to minimise risk to staff and other patients during the challenging times created by COVID-19.


Community Hub for Lewes – customer contact advisers will answer Covid-19 calls and emails at:

online: https://www.lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk/community/covid-19/ phone: 01273 099956 (option 1)

Community Hub  Community hubs have opened across East Sussex to bring extra help for people who need support in coping with the effects of coronavirus.  The hubs include online forms and phone lines which anyone can contact to seek help if they are isolated, anxious or unwell at home and do not have family or friends they can call on.  Volunteers and staff from local councils and the health service will then ensure they try to get the right assistance to the people who need it most, including arranging food deliveries, medical supplies or mental health support.

Community hubs have opened in every part of the county.  The hubs are in addition to direct help which has already been arranged for people with urgent medical conditions who are being asked to shield themselves at home for 12 weeks. These people are being contacted directly by their GPs and can have food parcels delivered directly to their doors through the Sussex Resilience Forum which brings together emergency services, health services, local authorities and other partners across East Sussex, West Sussex and Brighton and Hove.

The community hubs will focus their help on people who do not have an extreme medical condition but are vulnerable because they are isolated from help, too unwell to buy food or have other pressing difficulties. The hubs will also bring together volunteers, donations and projects to co-ordinate East Sussex’s community response to the virus.  Contact details for the Lewes community hub is:

Lewes online: https://www.lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk/community/covid-19/ phone: 01273 099956 (option 1)

Lewes District Council’s, Leader of the Council and  Deputy Leader have between them been carrying out regular Facebook Live Q&A sessions at 10am most mornings. Starting on Monday 20th April these will be taking place on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, still at 10am. You can watch these live or after they have ended here: www.facebook.com/lewesdistrictcouncil

Some residents who are isolating don’t have friends and family and other support networks around them; perhaps can’t make it to the shops to buy groceries or have essential medicines that need to be collected. If you need help like this visit www.lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk/requestsupport  and fill in a simple form to request the help you need. If you don’t have access to a computer or smart phone, then call Lewes District Council on 01273 099956. Operators can give advice, guidance and information and signpost you to the best local organisation to help you.

The Oyster Project Charity for Adults with and without disabilities in Lewes district, has moved their creative and well-being groups online via video link, and now offer four weekly groups and social meet ups.  Isolation, loneliness and anxiety are a real problem, especially for people with disabilities; these groups are there for people who would welcome engaging in a friendly and supportive community.  Please encourage anyone you think would benefit to visit www.oysterproject.org.uk

A new website showcases local food and drink businesses that are offering deliveries in response to the Covid-19 crisis. With demand rocketing as people stay at home; some businesses have diversified by transforming their premises into a community shop with a delivery option while others have scaled up their takeaway service. The website www.eatlocal.info  is a comprehensive directory of these outlets. If you know of a business that is not yet listed, please ask them to email hello@eatlocal.info  to have their details added to the site.


Waitrose Lewes & Partners “Essential Packages for the Vulnerable” Telephone Order Trial opens 25th April.

Waitrose & Partners is supporting the Lewes branch with a same day telephone delivery service for vulnerable customers who are unable to come in and shop.

They define vulnerable as including the elderly, those in self-isolation, less abled, new and expectant mothers or anyone with an underlying health condition who cannot go out to the shops themselves. This is a trial, supported by spare resources from John Lewis & Partners, and only being conducted in a limited number of branches across the country.

The broad overview of the process will be;

  1. Customer phones the branch – Lewes number is 01273 486286 – expressing interest in purchasing one of the set Essential Packages. This is a pre-set list of items to cover store cupboard and fruit and vegetables within four key options (an Essential Food package, Essential Vegan Package, Essential Gluten Free Package, and an Essential Non Food Package)
  2. The branch will take the customers details, assemble the order, phone the customer back and take payment securely over the phone
  3. The branch, supported by John Lewis, will arrange with the customer to deliver the package to their home address within 24 hours, or for the customer or their carer to come to the branch and collect the package ‘contact free’

With regret the Town Council has CLOSED the Town Hall and All Saints Centre and cancelled meetings, to assist in minimizing risks to health in the present emergency.  The priority is to save lives and the best way to protect yourself and others from illness is to stay at home.  If you do leave home for exercise, please stay safe

  • stay local and use open spaces near to your home where possible – do not travel unnecessarily
  • you should only go outside alone or with members of your own household
  • keep at least 2 metres apart from anyone outside your household at all times
  • gatherings of more than two in parks or other public spaces have been banned and the police will enforce this
  • if you have a garden, make use of the space for exercise and fresh air
  • take hygiene precautions when you are outside, and wash your hands as soon as you are back indoors

We can be contacted in the following ways:

  • via our website: lewes-tc.gov.uk
  • via emails to info@lewes-tc.gov.uk
  • telephone messages may be left on 01273 471469 or, if urgent: telephone 07795 573503 (calls may not be answered, but messages are regularly checked)

All our Councillors and staff wish everyone the very best during this difficult time.


Some useful links:

  • Lewes Coronavirus Volunteers  (if you need help or can offer it)

Facebook Lewes Coronavirus Volunteers, or 07742 211075 or 07853 946524

Lewes Coronavirus Volunteers have recently launched a crowd-funding initiative.  If you wish to help with money – see details at:

https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/lewes-coronavirus-volunteers

 

Furniture Now! Essential Household Item Sussex Relief Scheme

Furniture Now! have launched the COVID-19 Essential Household Item Sussex Relief Scheme.  They will supply household items free of charge to those most in need in the community.  Self-isolation is a huge challenge for people who have inadequate living conditions – perhaps without a bed, fridge, toaster and basic utensils, for example.

Do you know someone who desperately needs assistance to help them manage during the COVID-19 crisis?

To submit a request for assessment, or to volunteer for our COVID-19 Essential Household Item Sussex Relief Scheme in actioning this initiative please use this link: request help or volunteer .

Help for those suffering dementia, or caring for someone who is: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/coronavirus

The Alzheimer’s Society can answer all your questions about dementia. They can also give you tips if dementia makes it difficult to follow NHS or government advice about coronavirus.

The Alzheimers Society have now temporarily suspended all face-to-face and group services; replacing these with more telephone support calls and new online services.

Where a person with dementia is already known to The Alzheimer’s Society, they are getting in touch with a ‘welfare’ call. A trained member of staff or volunteer will call the person about their needs for support, check on their safety and wellbeing, and offer advice or signposting to other support.

Coronavirus support from Dementia Connect


Information on help available from Drug & Alcohol Services for those with problems is available here


Lewes Town Council has earmarked funds which may be available to community groups and organizations working to assist the community during the crisis.  These may be existing community groups and associations (eg foodbanks), or simply small groups of neighbours who have formed since the emergency began to help each other and others in their area.  Guidance on how to apply, and an application form are available here

Other organizations offer similar help – The Sussex Crisis Fund has been set up by Sussex Community Foundation to support community and voluntary sector organisations in Sussex who are leading efforts to support people most affected by the coronavirus outbreak.  Emergency grants of up to £5,000 are offered to charities and community groups which are responding to the immediate crisis in the community and helping those most affected.  Please email the Grants team at grants@sussexgiving.org.uk for more information or visit www.sussexgiving.org.uk/apply

The Sussex Crisis Fund is also welcoming donations – large or small – at www.totalgiving.co.uk/appeal/sussexcrisisfund

There is more information for individuals and businesses of all kinds who may suffer financial stress during the crisis on Lewes District Council’s website at https://www.lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk/community/covid-19/ and a recently-announced Hardship Fund for the self-employed who may not have previously been eligible for council tax reduction benefits.  More at: http://www.lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk/council-tax-reduction


Attending your allotment is permitted, provided that advice about social distancing and hygiene are followed. The advice of the National Allotment Society is regularly updated and is available here:

The National Allotment Society has published advice at:  https://www.nsalg.org.uk/news/covid19-information/

Any plot-holder who is self-isolating because a household member is ill with Coronavirus should not visit the site

PLEASE REFRAIN FROM LIGHTING BONFIRES

We ask all allotment holders to heed advice from East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service who urge residents to refrain from garden bonfires.

It is important to appreciate during this time that neighbours and more vulnerable members of our community may be self-isolating and want to get fresh air into their homes through open windows.

It is also important for the wider community to stop garden bonfires at this time, due to the increased fire risk that this creates, when emergency service resources are under stress.


Latest government advice

The advice issued by Government is updated regularly at

www.nhs.uk/coronavirus  and  https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

The incubation period of COVID-19 is between 2 to 14 days. This means that if a person remains well 14 days after contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus, they have probably not been infected.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus.

Public Health England recommends that the following general cold and flu precautions are taken to help prevent people from catching and spreading COVID-19:

  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze. See Catch it, Bin it, Kill it
  • put used tissues in the bin straight away
  • wash your hands with soap and water often – use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available. See hand washing guidance
  • try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

If you are worried about symptoms, please call NHS 111. Do not go directly to your GP or other healthcare environment.

Further information is available on the PHE blog and NHS.UK.

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