Our response to the COVID-19 coronavirus

Normal drop-in has been suspended

(Edited after posting to remove references to Whitmore Community Centre, which does not figure in our current plans).

After the 2 March session, we suspended the weekly drop-in because Internet access had stopped — but we were expecting to return quite soon.

But on the following day, we realised that Internet access had become irrelevant. We can’t restore the normal drop-in until the COVID-19 crisis is over.

That doesn’t mean we can’t do anything — but we would have to make substantial changes to ensure your safety. Here are some of the ideas and principles we are working on …

COVID-conscious etiquette and safety

  • High-visibility reminders of current guidelines and information — on the walls and on our screens.
  • Wash hands before entering or re-entering the meeting room, and again before leaving the building.
  • Keep at least 2m from every other person.
  • Don’t come if you feel the least bit unwell.
  • Don’t come if you live with, or care for, other people who are more vulnerable.

The equipment we use

  • Many people bring their own devices. We can insist that they should be clean — and not used by anyone else, not even volunteers.
  • Most people also use our laptops. We can ensure that each laptop is used by only one person during each session and cleaned after use. After that, they go back into the cupboard, and are not touched again until the following week.

Transport

  • Possibly the greatest risk.
  • Don’t use public transport unless you really must — and never during the rush hour.
  • We can adjust our opening and closing hours, eg- to finish at 4 instead of 5 pm.

Keeping in touch with you at home

  • We are giving a lot of thought to this, but there are no easy solutions.
  • We have email addresses and phone numbers of nearly everyone who has been to the drop-in recently — that’s you and about 300 others. So maintaining contact is not the main problem. Most people want real-world face-to-face help or support. That’s our speciality.
  • However, remote and online communication is well within our technical competence — and we expect to have at least one workable proposal soon.

Workshops instead of drop-in

  • We know there is a demand for short courses and workshops. We haven’t been able to meet it because the demand for open drop-in has been so much greater.
  • Last time we arranged Monday afternoon workshops was October 2019 (Google Photos 1 and Google Photos 2). We were instantly oversubscribed — but we were in control of the numbers. All we would have to do is reduce the maximum from 15 to 8, and repeat to prevent disappointment.

Audio activities

  • We haven’t done podcasting or Internet radio for a while — simply because we have been far too busy with the drop-in.
  • Both are suitable for small groups of people, and explicitly require you not to handle the equipment.

Your ideas, your preferences

It could be a very long time before we can get back to how it was last week. But what do you think we could do next week, next month, or the remainder of the year? If you  are a regular drop-in user, you probably know how to contact us quickly. The details are also on our Information page.

DWP home visits

The DWP have published a flyer for people who have difficulty accessing their services. Here’s an extract …

DWP Partnerships Team aims to develop efficient and effective public services which support the most vulnerable in our communities.

DWP Visiting provides face-to-face contact, through home visits or appointments at suitable premises, for customers who are vulnerable and unable to access the Department’s services through any other channel, such as telephony, post or online.

We are also here to help vulnerable people who are unable to access our services independently. Our officers will quickly check your entitlements and complete all the necessary paperwork and forms.

And here’s a link to the document, which you can download and read yourself …

Workshops for Hackney carers

Two workshops in September

1. Bowel Cancer Awareness

Friday 21 September, 10:30 am to 12:30 pm
  • Join us to learn more about bowel cancer and how it develops.
  • 9 out of 10 people survive early stage bowel cancer if spotted early.
  • The session will be highly interactive and you are free to ask lots of questions.

Click for ALL the details about the Bowel Cancer workshop


2. Smokefree Hackney information workshop

Friday 28 September, 10:30 am to 12:30 pm
  • Are you thinking of quitting for Stoptober?
  • Would you like advice on how to support a family member or friend to stop smoking?

Click for ALL the details about the Smokefree workshop


Where and how

  • Both workshops will be at 1C Mentmore Terrace, E8 3DQ
  • If you would like to attend, please contact CCS admin on 020 8533 0951 or email ccsadmin@hackneycarers.org.uk to book a place

Hackney Shine

Nicky Branch, energy advisor at SHINE, is talking to Hackney elders about the range of free energy-related services available to disadvantaged Hackney residents.

The voices belong to: Bob, Maralyn, Megan, Mimi, Nicky, Sallie and Sheila. Five other people were part of the discussion, but are not heard on this episode.

Recorded 15 June 2018. 33 minutes.

About Hackney Shine

From their own website …

Hackney SHINE energy advice has been set up to help residents keep well and warm throughout the year and avoid cold-related conditions during winter and anxiety over paying the fuel bills, which can lead to ill health, extra visits to the GP and hospital admissions.

How to contact Hackney SHINE

St Mary’s Secret Garden

Paula Yassine, manager of St. Mary’s Secret Garden, leads a conversation about gardening and wellbeing.

The voices belong to: Dane, Megan, Paula, Rick, Sallie. Six other people were part of the discussion, but are not heard on this episode.

Recorded 1 June 2018. 38 minutes.

Links

BBC | NHS Tracker: Check key targets in your area

Use our tracker to check whether your local services are meeting strict waiting-time targets for cancer, routine operations and A&E.

The NHS is under unprecedented pressure. Rising numbers of patients need hospital care – whether in an accident and emergency department, for cancer treatment or for planned operations and care, such as knee and hip replacements.

For each there are strict targets local services are expected to meet across the UK. But what are the chances of being seen in time where you live? Use the interactive tracker to find out.

Visit NHS Tracker

Campaign to End Loneliness

The Campaign to End Loneliness inspires thousands of organisations and people to do more to tackle the health threat of loneliness in older age.

We are a network of national, regional and local organisations and people working together through community action, good practice, research and policy. We want to ensure that loneliness is acted upon as a public health priority at national and local levels.

Visit Campaign to End Loneliness

Patient.info

Patient is an online resource providing information on health, lifestyle, disease and other medical related topics. The website’s aim is to provide members of the public with up-to-date information on health related topics in the form of comprehensive leaflets (which can be read online or printed), blogs, wellbeing advice and videos. Leaflets are compiled by qualified medical practitioners with several years of experience in the medical profession.

Visit Patient.info