updated 12:30pm  17th July 2020

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

Despite easing of some ‘lockdown’ measures, official health guidance is still that the best way to reduce risk is to work from home where possible and minimize travel and social contact.  Town Council staff are following this guidance, and our public reception desk remains closed for now – please see below for contact arrangements.  We will post details here when there is any change to this position.

As some restrictions have eased we may now consider some forms of use by hirers of the The Town Hall and All Saints Centre buildings.

Many limitations remain, but anyone wishing to explore the possibility of hiring rooms in  either building is welcome to discuss it with us – please contact us as below, or direct to  townhall@lewes-tc.gov.uk or ASClewes@lewes-tc.gov.uk .

meanwhile……..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.


Bus Services – Covid Crisis – information from East Sussex County Council (@27th June)

  • You should only travel if your journey is necessary. Bus services are running to reduced timetables so please check for updates before travelling.
  • Avoid travelling at busier times if you can. Buses now have reduced passenger capacities to assist with social distancing.
  • When travelling on a bus you must wear a face covering unless exempted from doing so.
  • Remember to carry hand sanitiser and use it before and after travelling.
  • Concessionary Pass free travel times updates can be found on the website (below).

For bus timetable updates and important travel safety information visit:

www.eastsussex.gov.uk/roadsandtransport


HEALTH MATTERS – Lewes Urgent Treatment Centre

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)

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

 

 


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

 

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  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.