Some of my constituents have written to me to say that they were confused by the new guidance from the Government on day-to-day activities. To clarify things, the Government has published a sheet of answers to Frequently Asked Questions. If you are not sure what the new guidance means for you, please have a look. It does address most of the queries I have been receiving. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do
QUESTIONS ABOUT SCHOOLS REOPENING
I have also received a number of questions from local parents about sending their children back to school in June. The Government has also published this detailed advice for parents and carers about school, nursery and childcare settings opening to more children. If you are wondering whether you can or must send your child to school, please look here for answers: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers/reopening-schools-and-other-educational-settings-from-1-june
LONDON TRAVELWATCH: ANSWERS TO PUBLIC TRANSPORT QUESTIONS
London TravelWatch is the official watchdog organisation representing the interests of transport users in and around the capital. Following the Government’s announcement on Sunday regarding people going back to work, they asked Transport for London and rail companies a series of questions about how public transport is going to operate with more Londoners going out to work. Both the questions and the responses they got back from TfL and rail companies were quite detailed and specific. You can see their questions and a summary of the responses here: https://www.londontravelwatch.org.uk/Answers_to_our_questions_to_TfL_and_train_companies_on_safety_and_security_concerns_as_more_people_g
HELP WITH REMOTE LEARNING FOR DISADVANTAGED CHILDREN
Up to 200 young people in each of the boroughs of Richmond and Kingston will soon benefit from a Government fund to ensure vulnerable or disadvantaged young people can access education and social care remotely. Through our children's services provider Achieving for Children, laptops, chromebooks and tablets will be distributed to care leavers, disadvantaged students in year 10 and those identified through social care teams, to ensure all students can continue to learn and engage through technology.
KINGSTON AND RICHMOND SAFEGUARDING PARTNERSHIP
Kingston & Richmond’s Safeguarding Partnership has sent this useful poster with all the domestic abuse services available in Kingston, in London and nationally. For Richmond, anyone with a concern about a child can use the London or national services on the poster or call the Single Point of Access line on 020 8547 5008 or 020 8770 5000 out of hours.
The Safeguarding Partnership has also launched a campaign to raise public awareness of how to protect children from harm. Each week they will focus on a different risk, including online safety, domestic abuse, mental health and missing children. More information available here: https://kingstonandrichmondsafeguardingchildrenpartnership.org.uk/
UNDERDOG UNITY VOLUNTEERS: HELPING NEIGHBOURS WITH DOG CARE
Underdog International have set up an initiative to support dog-owners in need due to the impacts of the Covid-19. Underdog Unity facilitates a network of volunteers across the UK who can be matched with people who need help caring for their dog - whether that be walking their dog, shopping for food and supplies, taking dogs to the vet and even caring for the dogs for extended periods of time in their own homes. Anyone is welcome to volunteer to be part of this network. For more info see their Facebook Group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/166089137723106/
KEEPING YOUR MIND HEALTHY
Residents who are feeling low and anxious during the lockdown are reminded that there are a number of free online services that can help. Good Thinking is a free virtual resource provided by Thrive London, Public Health England and the NHS. Through online quizzes, workshops, podcasts and activities it aims to provide digital mental wellbeing support for London. The service promotes self-care for common mental health conditions, including anxiety, low mood, sleeping difficulties and stress. For more information, go to: https://www.good-thinking.uk/coronavirus/
KINGSTON MUSIC SERVICE MUSIC LESSONS
Kingston Music Service is offering a five week bundle of individual instrumental, vocal or music theory lessons for new adult learners. They also offer music lessons for children. I can confirm personally that the online lessons are nearly as good as the face to face lessons. You can email Emma.Hartley@kingston.gov.uk if you have questions about the service, or you can see all their information including enrollment forms for adults and childre on their website: https://www.kingston.gov.uk/info/200176/kingston_music_service/256/about_kingston_music_service
HANDLING THE HIGH VOLUME OF DOMESTIC WASTE AND RECYCLING
The Council has been in touch to let me know about changes to their domestic waste collection practices. Because of the high volume of cardboard being put out every week, trucks that have split holds - one side for cardboard and paper and the other side for metal, glass and plastic containers - are filling up on the cardboard side and then having to return to the tip with the containers side partially full. So they will be making separate passes for these two types of recycling in future. Hopefully this will help reduce the miles travelled and the number of missed collections.
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