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Coronavirus 15 May 2020 - 2.30pm general update

This is today's round-up of the latest Coronavirus news on Friday 15 May 2020.

#StayHomeSaveLives  #HereForSwansea

Changes to free school meals

Parents and carers in Swansea whose children are eligible for free school meals are to have the choice of continuing to receive weekly food bags, having direct payments to their bank accounts to provide lunches themselves or opting out of the scheme entirely should they wish.

Eligible parents who want to receive direct payments of the cash equivalent of £39 per fortnight paid directly to their bank account instead will soon be able to apply for this securely using a new online application created by the Council's Education and IT departments.

The first payment will be available from the week commencing the 25 May provided they have applied online by 3.00pm on the previous Wednesday (20 May).

Parents and carers who qualify will be notified of the choice at the start of that week commencing 18 May but they can make the switch in subsequent weeks should they wish.

Those who choose to continue with food bags will, for that week only receive them on Tuesday 26th May as the Monday is a bank holiday. Keep up to date on the free school meals during coronavirus page.

 

Day centre staff

Staff who usually work at Swansea Council's Birchgrove Day Centre have temporarily swapped jobs to help provide care at a council residential home.

The team who normally support adults with learning disabilities are now working at The Hollies in Pontarddulais which looks after vulnerable adults including those with dementia.

Like many council staff they have been redeployed to focus on critical services during the coronavirus pandemic.

Day Centre Manager Lorraine Howells said she could not speak highly enough of the way the team has adapted and risen to the challenge. There's more about the day centre staff here.

 

Clydach Foodbank

Former foodbank recipients in Clydach are now turning to volunteering to help others though the coronavirus crisis.

Clydach Foodbank coordinator Alan Cram said: "Some of our volunteers are former recipients of food bank support - they want to give something back to the community. I think this shows how effective and valued these services are.

"The whole project and the foodbank depend on our wonderful volunteers who come from our local communities, including Clydach, Craigcefnparc and Glais."

For further information contact the foodbank - 07815 534095 or email info@swansea.foodbank.org.uk.

Swansea Foodbank - www.swansea.foodbank.org.uk
The Trussell Trust - www.trusselltrust.org/

 

Stay At Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives

Residents are being reminded this weekend that the Welsh Government guidance for staying safe from Coronavirus remains largely unchanged. You can now exercise more than once a day but you must exercise locally to your home. There has been no change to the requirement that you should not travel or drive to another location for exercise. Garden centres are allowed to re-open but only where they can comply with the two-metre distancing duty. The Welsh Government statement can be found here: https://gov.wales/wales-extends-coronavirus-lockdown

 

Well-being

If you're looking for a one-stop brochure packed full of information to help you through the Coronavirus crisis then a new well-being publication by SCVS might be what you are looking for. It's packed full of information about where you can get advice and support on lots of different issues ranging from benefits and financial problems to mental health and substance misuse. It's regularly updated and you can find it here: https://www.scvs.org.uk/corona-virus-mental-health-well-being-information

 

Support for our communities

There are a number of organisations and who may be able to support residents during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Western Bay Care and Repair service is helping people fill out attendance allowance claim forms. They will complete the form and post it back through the letterbox for the person to send off. They can be reached at: https://www.careandrepair.org.uk/en/your-area/western-bay-care-repair/

Here is a list of the latest contacts:

Citizens Advice Bureau: 0300 330 9082
Swansea Council for Voluntary Service: www.scvs.org.uk/coronavirus-inds
 

Swansea Council's useful links can be found on www.swansea.gov.uk/coronavirushelp and include:


Staff

Staff who have been working from home during the coronavirus pandemic should not be returning to work at their base location without permission from their line managers.

There have been some examples of staff drifting back to their base locations. At present, only those working in critical roles where they must attend their base location for meetings are allowed to do so.

Staff working from home should maintain regular contact with their manager and colleagues, take regular breaks and avoid being 'always on' by identifying non-working time.

You should also ensure you are taking steps to look after your health and wellbeing, including managing your work station and other equipment you use for work.

Please ensure, along with your line manager, that you:

  • consider your working environment and your health and safety
  • review your Display Screen Equipment Self-Assessment and revisit the online DSE training to ensure you're working safely
  • check you have the right equipment to enable you to work from home and that it's set up in the correct manner
  • agree monitoring arrangements, work programmes and targets
  • ensure that you should inform utility providers, insurance companies and mortgage providers of your intention to work at home
  • agree hours of work
  • agree contact arrangements, which may mean regular email contact confirm start and finish times
  • discuss requirements for attendance at the office for team meetings and training or to cover peaks in workload
  • consider any procedures that are different for home workers

Additional Health and Safety advice and guidance is available via staffnet on www.swansea.gov.uk/staffnet/healthandsafety 

More information is available under the 'working from home' section of staff FAQs which can be found on www.swansea.gov.uk/staffcoronavirusFAQs

In addition, the ICT team has produced a guidance leaflet to help manage ICT security at home, which can be found on Staffnet - Working from Home guidance leaflet 

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