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Community support for Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Wokingham Borough Community Response to COVID-19

Here to help

With the Covid-19 cases now increasing both nationally and locally Wokingham Borough Community Response continues to be ready, if and when you need support during this winter. You are not alone.

If you’re self-isolating, do you need help collecting prescriptions or a shopping service? Advice on debt from losing your job, statutory sick pay, or benefits? Are you feeling lonely and depressed and need some help and advice about your health and wellbeing?

We are here for you; your community is here for you. Please do reach out!

Wokingham Borough Community Response

The Wokingham Borough Community Response (WBCR) was launched at the start of the pandemic and continues to support you if you need extra help at this time.

One Front Door, led by Citizens Advice Wokingham, is the fastest way to get the help you need as it works closely with us and a range of local voluntary organisations such as the Wokingham Volunteer Centre, First Days, Involve, Link Visiting Scheme, Age UK Berkshire - to name a few. We all came together at the start of the pandemic to create WBCR, a unique support network, and is an additional support net to the NHS and social services.

You can contact One Front Door 24/7 via its website (see the link above) or call it on (0300) 330 1189 Monday to Fridays, 9am to 5pm, and Saturdays, 9am to 1pm. You can also leave a voicemail out of hours. If you are hard of hearing, you can use the text relay service by calling 03444 111 445.

Help and support for you and your family

Our teams across the council are continuing to provide support to our residents across all our services. Below are ways in which we can support families across the borough.

If you cannot find the help you need below and it is a council service please try the search function at the top of the page. Alternatively contact our customer services team.

Wokingham Borough Community Response is a team effort.

We are working with Citizens Advice Wokingham, First Days, the LINK Visiting Scheme, Involve Community Services and the Wokingham Volunteer Centre, as well as our town and parish councils, Age UK, Churches Together and other churches and voluntary organisations across the borough.

  • Citizens Advice Wokingham is the 'front door' for our community response. They are taking calls and    emails from residents and putting them in contact with the people and organisations they need.
  • The Wokingham Volunteer Centre are collecting prescriptions. 
  • The LINK Visiting Scheme is making regular welfare checks and pairs lonely residents with a telephone     buddy.
  • Involve Community Services is communicating with the many voluntary sector organisations in the borough so we have an integrated response to those most in need.

Donating food and essentials

You can donate food to your local foodbanks in Wokingham and Woodley.

Check in on vulnerable family, friends and neighbours

Just helping them with their shopping and checking they have everything they need can make a huge difference. Know someone self-isolating? Call or text them to check that they're okay.

Print out the I Can Help form (PDF document) and put it through your neighbour’s letter box.

Volunteer with a local charity

We are working with local charities to provide community support during this difficult time. To volunteer, visit the Wokingham Volunteer Centre website. The Volunteer Centre is currently experiencing a high volume of applications of people wanting to help. Please be patient. They are logging all applications and will contact volunteers when they are needed.

Help and support

We are aware that this is a difficult and stressful situation for everyone – but particularly so for adults and children living with domestic abuse. Domestic abuse is more than physical violence. It can also include, but is not limited to: coercive control, verbal abuse, emotional abuse and sexual abuse.

If you believe you are being abused, or worried you may commit domestic abuse, please use the following services which can help you.

If you are in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police - the police will continue to respond to emergency calls.

If you are in danger and unable to talk on the phone, call 999 and then press 55. This will transfer your call to the relevant police force who will assist you without you having to speak.

If you suspect that your neighbours or those in your community are victims of domestic abuse, we encourage you to report it to the police.

Home Refuge Service

The Home Refuge Scheme is a free service for anyone suffering abuse and wanting to remain in their home. It provides security measures such as door chains, viewers, and window locks, so you can stay safe in your home.

You will also be offered support from Berkshire Women’s Aid and have a full fire safety check from Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Call our Home Refuge Team on 0118 974 3799 or email home.refuge@wokingham.gov.uk

Other support numbers and websites:    

Call Berkshire Women's Aid on 0118 950 4003. This number operates 24 hours a day. You can also email helpline@bwaid.org.uk or visit the Berkshire Women's Aid website.

Freephone the 24 hour National Domestic Abuse helpline on 0800 2000 247 or visit the National Domestic Abuse website.

Call Men's Advice Line on 0808 801 0327 or visit the Men's Advice Line website.

Call the Respect helpline on 0808 802 4040 (for anyone worried that they may be harming someone else) or visit the Respect website.

Call Galop on 0800 999 5428 (national helpline for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people experiencing domestic abuse) or visit the Galop website.

Further information

For further information and advice including how to delete your website history visit our Domestic Abuse Advice page.

Information and resources

Visit our information page for resources, online tools and support information during the coronavirus outbreak including:

  • Helping explain the Coronavirus (COVID-19) to children         
  • Help children and young people manage their mental health and wellbeing    
  • Home learning support material    
  • Help and support information for parents and carers    


Children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND)

For parents and carers who have a child with SEND please visit our information page on the Local Offer.

Childcare for keyworker children

Visit our directory for a list of Ofsted registered childcare providers who are offering childcare spaces for key workers children.

Helpful information for young people

West Berkshire CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) have produced an information sheet called #Coping - young people's guide (PDF document) which has information and advice for young people on how to look after their mental health and emotional wellbeing during the coronavirus outbreak.

Child protection and family support

If your family are experiencing difficulties, or feel you might need some extra support we may be able to help you. A worker can talk to you to see what kind of help you and your family might need.

Visit our family support page for further information. 

If you are worried about a child or young person you should tell us immediately. Children and their parents may need urgent help. If you believe a child is in immediate danger call the Police on 999.

To report other concerns about a child please visit our child protection page

Pregnancy and coronavirus

If you're pregnant, you may be unsure how coronavirus (COVID-19) could affect you, your baby and your pregnancy care. Visit the nhs website for further information.

If you are healthy, it's really important you go to all your appointments and scans for the health of you and your baby. Hospitals and clinics are making sure it's safe for pregnant women to go to appointments.

Children’s centre services

Our children’s centres are no longer open to the public, but some of our key health services are continuing. Visit our children’s services page for more information.

Coping with a crying baby 

Having a baby is an incredibly exciting time but it can also be a very challenging time if your baby is crying a lot. 

A crying baby can make you feel worried or anxious, but it’s very normal to feel that way and something that most parents feel at some point. Visit the Berkshire Healthcare website for help and support.

Vaccinations and screenings

If you or your child are due to attend a routine vaccination or screening, it is really important that you attend these vital appointment where possible and contact your GP if you are suffering from any symptoms that are concerning you.

Please only rearrange these appointments if you're unwell or self-isolating because you have been in contact with someone with COVID-19. Visit the NHS website for further information on vaccinations and screenings.

Latest government guidance

Visit the government website for all the information regarding how universities, nurseries, schools and colleges are working during coronavirus (COVID-19).

Home schooling resources

We appreciate that home schooling your child, especially while trying to work from home and undertake other commitments, can be difficult. 

Please visit our resources page for home learning support material.

Your health and wellbeing

It is totally understandable to feel stressed, overwhelmed, fearful or anxious during this current crisis.

Managing your stress and psychological health is as important as your physical health. Taking care of your basic needs and employing helpful coping strategies are top priorities.

Visit Berkshire Healthcare website for advice and support to help you.

Your child’s health and wellbeing

Your child may be feeling anxious and worried with so much uncertainty at this time.

Even very young children can be upset by the change of routine and pick up on the anxiety of those around them.

This is all very normal and it’s important that we do all we can to support children and young people through this difficult time.  Visit Berkshire Healthcare website for advice on how to support your child 

There also many resources available to help explain Coronavirus to children.

Helping you to cope

You can find resources to help and support you during the current pandemic on our coping during Coronavirus page. 

Talking Therapies

Talking Therapies is an NHS service available to residents of Wokingham Borough. It offers support if you are struggling with challenges like depression, stress, anxiety and phobias. To access the service you need to be 17 years or above and be registered with a Berkshire GP practice. You can refer yourself to the service or discuss your concerns with your GP who can also refer you to the service. 

Visit the Talking Therapies website for further information.

To contact the service call 0300 365 2000 or email talkingtherapies@berkshire.nhs.uk

The media and your mental health

In times of uncertainty it’s natural to experience increased feelings of anxiety or worry, particularly when we're faced with a constant stream of news and information.

Consider limiting your intake. The media can be all-consuming and many of us may find ourselves constantly refreshing, reading and re-reading content. This can increase the focus and anxiety around the virus and uncertainty.

Follow these top tips to limit your intake:    

  • Don’t be afraid to mute or unfollow people that are posting unhelpful information or that you find increases your anxiety
  • Turn off notifications for media outlets and engage on a more planned basis
  • If you feel you’re becoming consumed, try and practice some mindfulness. The app Headspace is a good place to start.
  • Fill your news feeds with positive news.

 

Many outlets are sharing positive stories and messages:


Stay up to date using trusted information. The best places to follow for up to date official information are:


If you’re sharing other information on social media or with friends/family, think about the impact it may have on others. If in doubt, follow the three rules – is it true? Do you know the reputable source? Is it kind? Is it useful?

Apps to support mental wellbeing

Insight timer app provides a large range of guided exercises to manage stress, anxiety and improve sleep 

Mindshift CBT app helps you understand what anxiety is, learn to relax and develop more effective ways of thinking to actively manage your anxiety.

Feartools app helps with generalised anxiety disorder, phobias and social anxiety.

Pzizz app calms your mind to aid sleep.

Apps for Children and Young People

Chill Panda app helps with relaxation and to manage worries. This app is for children aged 6 – 12 years to be used with support from a parent or carer.

Clear Fear app helps with relaxation and mindfulness. This app is for children aged 11-19 years with support from parent or carer.

Molehill Mountain app helps to manage anxiety for young people with autism.

Combined Minds app helps family and friends of a young person who has been diagnosed with a mental health condition.

Useful Websites

The NHS website has a list of national mental health helplines and information  and an apps library.

Elefriends is a supportive online community run by MIND

Mind is a mental health charity that offers help and support.

Cruse offers bereavement support if you have lost a loved one.

Support for adults and their carers

 Looking after our residents, especially our most vulnerable is our main priority. There are a number of services currently available to help you during the current crisis. Visit our care and support for adults page for further details. 

Young carers

Are you under 18 and helping to care for someone? This may be something that has come about due to the current crisis or you may have been caring for someone for longer period.

We may be able to help you. Visit our young carers page for further information 

We know these are difficult times for all businesses across our borough.  Visit our Coronavirus advice for businesses page for information about grants and how to get help.

It is really important that at this time you draw on support you might have through your friends, family and other networks. Try to stay in touch with those around you over the phone, by post, or online.

Let people know how you would like to stay in touch and build that into your routine. This is also important in looking after your mental well being and you may find it helpful to talk to them about how you are feeling.

Remember it is okay to share your concerns with others you trust and in doing so you may end up providing support to them too.

Be responsible

Pleas be responsible with your comments and actions in your community and social media, so as not to cause undue concern or anxiety.

The following places will be posting the latest factual advice and information relating to COVID-19:

You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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