I made my digital debut in the Chamber today and spoke up on behalf of some of our small businesses and the self-employed who have been left out of plans for government support – many of whom have contacted me in the last few weeks to tell me how difficult the situation has been for them. I also called for the furlough scheme to be extended beyond the end of June and made more flexible so that businesses can part-furlough staff as they rebuild after the lockdown. We look forward to hearing more news of the government’s plans for lifting restrictions at the end of the week.
TAKE PART IN COVID-19 RESEARCH
University College London has launched a study of the psychological and social effects of Covid-19 in the UK. The results will help them understand the effects of the virus and social distancing measures on mental health and loneliness in the UK and help inform government advice and decisions. They are looking for adults across the UK to take part. Participants will be asked to complete a ten minute online survey now, and then answer a shorter follow-up survey once a week while social isolation measures are in place. Click here to Take part.
MET POLICE SOCIAL DISTANCING VIDEO
The Met Police has launched a social media campaign to thank all Londoners who have followed the government guidelines by staying at home. They are urging the public to keep going and follow these rules until the crisis is completely over. Have a look at their video here: https://mps.ent.box.com/s/plzsf7cxs9e210nm73m1jmum4y35wna
The Heritage Service is hosting Dance4VEDay marking 75 years since VE Day (Victory in Europe Day) by trying to create the largest remote dancing flashmob in honour of the occasion. Join in at 4pm on Friday 8 May for the dance along. You can find out more on the Heritage Service’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. There is a also series of great dance workshops to get you ready for the big day. Read more about #Dance4VEDay
COUNCIL LEADER CALLS ON GOVERNMENT TO REOPEN GARDEN CENTRES
Caroline Kerr, the Leader of Kingston Council, has written to the Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Labour Markets urging him to prioritise the reopening of garden centres.
Cllr Kerr called on him to act to support the borough’s economy and enable residents to benefit from the positive impacts garden centres can have on mental wellbeing. In her letter, Cllr Kerr said: “I urge you to allow garden centres to reopen as soon as possible, bearing in mind that the size of their spaces lend themselves particularly well to social distancing. I would also stress that garden centres have already suffered enormous financial losses as a result of being closed during the spring and many may not survive this crisis if reopening is delayed. On behalf of Kingston residents I urge you to reopen them as soon as possible to enable the full benefits to be shared by both residents and the local economy."
FREE BUSINESS WORKSHOPS THIS WEEK
Kingston Council’s package of support for businesses includes a series of free workshop sessions on different business-related topics. On the 6th of May the focus will be on how to repurpose your marketing message and position your brand post-Covid. This will be followed by a session on 13 May on managing cash flow through challenging times. You can find out more about the programme and book your place on this eventbrite session here.
RICHMOND SCHOOLS TO REOPEN IN JUNE
Penny Frost, Richmond Council's Cabinet Member for Education, has written to say they expect schools to reopen at some point in June after the scheduled half-term holiday. They expect this to be on a phased basis with some children in some year groups returning first. Achieving for Children staff and the Council are working closely with headteachers to ensure that schools are ready for a safe phased return.
NEW SUPPORT STRATEGY FOR UNPAID CARERS
A strategy that aims to support and champion the borough’s unpaid carers has been published by Richmond Council. Its aims are to:
Improve the recognition of carers and the understanding of their needs
Mitigate the economic and academic impact of caring
Create carer friendly services and communities
Improve carers health and wellbeing
For more detail please find the strategy here. To speak with a member of the Richmond Adult Carers Support Team, call our Carers Support Line on 020 8867 2380 or email email@example.com. To speak with a member of the Young Carers Support Team, call 020 8867 2383 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.