Coronavirus News In Brief 28th April 2020

Ramadan Mubarak to all Muslims

This week saw the start of Ramadan.  We would like to express our sympathy with Bristol’s Muslim communities, who are not able to come together during Ramadan, as they usually would, because of the Coronavirus lockdown. 

Wishing you successful, virtual, daily breaking of fast and Iftars.  Ramadan Mubarak to all.

Getting Food during Lockdown

National Food Service is one such organisation. They are currently doing important work providing nutritious cooked meals to those who need them at this time of crisis, this week delivering 1208 meals across Bristol – a 30% increase on last week.

As demand increases, NFS is looking for volunteer drivers to help with deliveries of food and also people to run their phone lines.  If you think you can help with either of these roles please email bristol@nationalfoodservice.uk

If you or anyone you know in Bristol needs access to food please call them on 0117 325 0450

Coronavirus info in BSL:

Transport

The Brislington Park & Ride will resume service between 7:00am and 6:00pm from 27th April 2020.  It will work in unison with the Number 39 service to provide a half-hourly service on the Bath Road.

Don’t Get Fooled!

We are now starting to see an increase in online scams and we would ask you to be careful about emails that claim to be:
 

  • from the government, offering a tax rebate and asking for your bank details;
  • investment scheme and trading advice, encouraging you to capitalise on the coronavirus downturn;
  • from the World Health Organisation (WHO), with crucial coronavirus safety advice;
  • from a research group that mimics the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and WHO;
  • from the council, offering a council tax refund;
  • from the council, asking for bank details in order to get free school meal vouchers.

 
Opening attachments or links in these emails could let scammers access your device and personal details, or follow your movements online.  You should always be careful when opening emails from people you don’t know and never give your bank details to people you don’t know.  

More information is available on the council’s scams and overpricing webpage.

Priority Services Register

Have you registered as someone who needs a priority service from the local energy distributor?  In this area Western Power Distribution (WPD) provides our electricity, regardless of which company you buy your electricity from.

This is for people who have essential electric aids or medical equipment in the home e.g. stair lift, automatic door opener, hoist, breathing equipment, etc.  It highlights your need for priority support should there be a power cut.

If you have already registered, you will want to know that WPD is offering extra support, to those who need it, due to the coronavirus outbreak.  As part of this service, they are working with local community partners to deliver support such as food services, friendly calls and energy saving advice. Please contact them via the below methods if you would be interested in such support.

Call: 0800 096 3080

Email: socialobligations@westernpower.co.uk

If you haven’t registered yet, do so as soon as you can.  You never know when you might need the extra support they are obliged to provide, during an electricity failure.

See here for further information.

Energy advice and support

Because of the lockdown, many people are spending much more time at home, resulting in increased heating and electricity bills.  This is an extra cost that some people can’t easily afford, but it is also good for the environment to lower the amount of energy your home uses.

If this sounds like you, you will be pleased to know that the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) are offering support to vulnerable residents by providing advice on energy, money, benefits and carrying out home repairs.
 
CSE’s WHAM (which stands for Warmer Homes, Advice and Money) service is funded by Bristol City Council to help lower your energy bills and make your home safe, secure and warm.  You can get support and find out more about the offer on CSE’s website or by calling the WHAM team on 0800 082 2234.

Paid Parental or Adoption Leave

Furloughed workers planning to take paid parental or adoption leave will be entitled to pay based on their usual earnings rather than a furloughed pay rate.

Entitlement to Statutory Maternity Pay, as well as the other forms of Parental or Adoption Pay, are currently based on someone’s average earnings over an 8-week assessment period.  For Maternity Allowance, entitlement and the rate paid is also determined by looking at average earnings over a 13-week period.

The government has changed this, for workers on furlough.  From 25th April they will be assessed on their usual, full pay.

The changes will ensure those intending to take time off following the birth, adoption, or death of a child will not see their entitlement to pay affected as a result of being furloughed in the wake of the impacts of COVID-19.

Laughter in Lockdown

Under the Laughter in Lockdown banner, the Bristol Slapstick Festival is releasing 10 years’ worth of previously unseen footage, including material from John Cleese, Eric Sykes and Tim Vine.
 
Bristol Slapstick Festival continues to release additional clips every week and you can find the full comedy list on their YouTube channel.

National Theatre Thursdays

The National Theatre is now broadcasting some of its most popular productions for free while the lockdown restrictions are in place.
 
The new National Theatre at Home programme will show a popular play every Thursday at 7:00pm and these will then be available on demand for seven days.  This week’s production is Danny Boyle’s adaptation of Frankenstein starring Benedict Cumberbatch.
 
For the full programme visit the National Theatre At Home webpage.

Enjoy your library from home

Keep yourself entertained while you stay at home by joining the library online.  Bristol Libraries has a wide variety of services online which are available to you from the comfort of your own home; from eBooks, audiobooks and eMagazines, to daily newspapers from around the world and even eComics.
 
There is something for all the family, with the library team now running a number of online events from children’s story time and quizzes, through to a virtual Lego club and a new podcast to keep younger family members busy.

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