Rushden Covid -19 Rural Support Network / Local Volunteer Support Group

A letter sent to Stephen Pettyfer, Chair of the Parish Council - from Stuart Izzard of the Group Village Connections. If you have any comments or requests please e mail:

Dear Stephen,

Thank you so much for all the vital work your voluntary Covid-19 support group is doing to support the vulnerable, elderly, isolated and lonely in your community.

We are in great admiration for the work going on throughout the pandemic in our rural areas and have been very pleased at the response to our recent Survey. We would like to thank you for responding and supplying us with the requested information enabling us to compile a picture of the RSN activity across the county, identify the key activity and consider where there are additional needs for information or support.

This sheet is the first in what we hope will be a regular Bulletin keeping you and your volunteers informed with local and national updates and sharing good news from our villages and hamlets. We are receiving weekly updates from CHH (Community Help Hertfordshire) in which CDA Herts is a partner, and so we plan to share relevant information with you.

CHH is keen to identify, train and support CICs (Community Information Champions) who can share key messaging with friends, families and local communities. The overarching aim is to reduce the spread of infections through ensuring that people are getting the message about keeping safe.

We would be pleased if you could note the following:

  • In light of the 3rd Lockdown, effective from 6 January, we would like to hear from you if you have any updates in your activity including challenges, progress or setbacks.

  • We would like to hear about any good news stories which we can share with CHH.

  • We have created a virtual network of email addresses using googlegroups which will enable us to quickly and easily disseminate information to you and you can also use it to communicate with others in the Network. You can opt out of this if you wish.

  • We will create an eBulletin in which we will include news from the Rural Support Networks / local voluntary Covid-19 support groups and also any local or national news of interest or help.

  • If you are interested in becoming a Community Information Champion please let us know.

Below is the first Information Sheet from CHH which we have been asked to share with our Rural networks and it is hoped that you can pass this on to all those with whom you have safe contact locally. If you need hard copies please let us know.

If you do not wish to receive this information or be part of the proposed network, please let us know and where possible provide an alternative contact – we would be most grateful for your cooperation with this.

Thank you again for your invaluable contribution in ensuring the good health and wellbeing of those in need in your community.

Kind Regards

Stuart Izzard Village Connections

COVID INFORMATION UPDATE: Please share this as widely as possible throughout your community

Hertfordshire is in a National Lockdown along with the rest of England as Coronavirus case rates continue to rise. Residents are told we must stay at home. The UK’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty has said: “We have faced several grave moments during our battle against coronavirus. But right now, the country is perhaps facing the most serious yet. The new, more transmissible variant of this disease is spreading rapidly across the country and having tragic consequences.”

For more information about the lockdown rules Click Here

Keep on doing the basics:

· make sure we wash our hands regularly and thoroughly

· keep our distance from others

· wear a face-covering when required

· self-isolate when told to do so

COVID vaccinations

The UK’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty reminds us that these restrictions will not last forever. Science has delivered new vaccines, drugs and tests, with more on the way, in record time. People will be reunited. Vaccines and new treatments offer us hope and a clear way out. But we are not there yet and should not act as if we are. We can all play our part to assist the vaccination programme by:

· waiting to be contacted by the NHS – you will be invited to an appointment when it is your turn. Remember the NHS will never ask you to pay for a COVID-19 vaccination

· attending both of your booked appointments

· continuing to follow all the guidance to control the spread of the virus

· ensuring that you are registered with a GP who may contact you when it is your turn to receive the vaccine

Everyone who is vaccinated will need a booster jab, this will be administrated up to 12 weeks after the first dose. It takes a few weeks after getting the second dose for the person’s antibodies to reach their optimum level. Even after a second dose of the vaccination, in order to protect yourself, your family, friends and colleagues, you must still follow the general advice at work, at home and when you are out and about: •practise social distancing • wear a face mask • wash your hands carefully and frequently • follow the current Government guidance Click Here

To get support if you’re affected by coronavirus please contact HertsHelp for:

· help to get food, household essentials and medication

· financial support and advice

· services that can support you if you are feeling lonely or down

· ways to improve your health and wellbeing

Visit email or call 0300 123 4044

For more information and guidance for residents and businesses during the pandemic Click Here

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