Village News and Events
in Boxted and Langham
Bojo has spoken – and we’re all listening. Stay at home – protect the NHS – save lives. This week’s newsletter gives you some food for thought whilst you’re cooped up. We hope you find some of the snippets useful. Stay safe everyone.
Digital help at home
There will be no digital help at the Hub for the time being, but fear not! You can still go online and get help and support. I hope you are well.
Colchester Borough Council is still offering digital support via a remote service. See the Council’s webpage (https://www.colchester.gov.uk/digitalaccesssupport/) or, for further information, contact:
- Colchester 01206 282 452/ Clacton 01255 686497
- Email: Digitalaccesssupport@colchester.gov.uk
Feel better live more podcast
As the world goes into lockdown to help manage the global pandemic of Coronavirus, many people are feeling anxious. Many people feel scared and helpless, which is completely understandable.
In this episode, Dr Rangan Chattergee speaks to the behavioural neuroscientist and psychiatrist, Judson Brewer, who will help you understand how to keep your cool in these stressful times.
- To listen to this podcast, you will need to have iTunes on your device. Access the podcast at here
- If you don’t have iTunes, you can listen here
Get updates on Coronavirus from the government
Useful websites for essentials
During these unprecedented times, you may find it useful to order some essential items online. Please be aware that these sites are currently experiencing high levels of usage, so you may find it difficult to access the supplies they offer.
Milk and More
Who Gives a Crap Toilet Rolls
A Facebook group, “Colchester Borough Emergency Coordinations Group“, has been set up consisting of people offering help and support during this difficult period.
Rubbish collection limits temporarily increased
Earlier this week, we made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend all of our recycling collections (except food waste) because of the impact Coronavirus (COVID-19) is having on the service’s resources and the need to follow government guidelines.
The government’s guidelines and Stay at Home advice also means households have more rubbish to dispose of and to help with this, we’re increasing the amount of rubbish that every household can put out for collection every fortnight by one 60 litre bag. This means the new temporary limits for household rubbish collections are now as follows until further notice:
- Households with black bag collections can now put a maximum of 4 x 60 litre black bags out for collection
- Households with black wheelie bins can now put out a maximum of 1 x black wheelie bin and 1 x 60 litre black bag out for collection
Rubbish collections remain bi-weekly, food waste collections weekly and flats with communal rubbish and recycling collections are continuing as normal.
Further information about the increased allowance, can be found here.
How you can help
Our crews are doing a great job delivering this critical service. We’re urging everyone to act responsibly to protect the health and safety of your communities, including our staff delivering this critical service and prevent the spread of the virus through your rubbish.
As well as following all of the government guidelines, you can play your part and take action to protect our staff, their families and your communities by following these four steps:
- follow the advice on how to get rid of your waste if you are either self-isolating or confirmed to have Coronavirus
- reduce and reuse rubbish and recycling and compost as much as possible
- store recyclables where possible
Follow the advice and only put the correct items out for collection at the right time.
Ideas to reduce your rubbish and recycling
There are lots of things that can be done to reduce rubbish and recycling materials, including:
- flattening your cardboards, cans and plastics recycling so they take up less space in your containers
- squashing plastic bottles and replacing the lids to keep them compressed
- cooking meals using food leftovers
- home composting
- using paper, card and plastic items for craft projects
- repairing broken items
- repurposing items.
More hints and tips can be found at www.colchester.gov.uk/coronavirus and will continue to grow over the coming weeks.
Vitality fitness and nutrition
As a qualified Children’s Fitness Instructor to support children’s fitness whilst home schooling Boxted resident Vanessa Edwards is facilitating a daily children’s fitness session to help keep everyone fit and healthy!
Monday to Friday 11am – you need to sign up to Facebook to view the videos.
Transport and Travel – Coronavirus update
Keep up to date with all the transport and travel news during the coronavirus outbreak from the Essex County Council website.
Blackthorn blossom over the lake. Photo by Anne Slater
Sale update: Boxted Methodist Schoolroom
Bob Russell, Chairman BMSB
The Boxted Methodist Silver Band plans to buy the School Room – but, in order to meet the strict deadline of the “asset of community value” legislation, a deadline of 10th August had been set. An already big challenge has now got even steeper! With the onset of the Coronavirus outbreak, a request has now been made to extend the negotiations until the end of the year.
Praise for all volunteers
It’s a very uncertain and unsettling time for us all at the moment but after the launch of emergency outreach posts in the form of the Langham Village Shop, Boxted Hub, Good Neighbours and the information websites and communications via Boxted Village News and forthcoming newsletter, the level of volunteers who have come forward to help those who are vulnerable and unable to leave their homes has been utterly overwhelming.
Although this Coronavirus has and will affect so many and bring high levels of anxiety, I have to hold on to the fact that our communities have come together through ‘love, commitment and selflessness’ in such a positive way.
We don’t know how long this will go on for, let’s face it it’s completely out of our control – but suggest through whatever religion we preach, we humble ourselves and pray.
Claire Arculus, Langham
The Boxted Community Hub in happier times.
How life has changed in the last 10 days. It is really rewarding to be able to do something positive in times like these, and thanks to Bonny and Heidi at the Boxted Community Hub, I have been lucky to be afforded this opportunity.
The Covid-19 relief effort by the Boxted Community Hub was started from scratch in the week beginning the 16th March. Just Bonny, Heidi and me, but with valuable assistance from Karen Thompson, our Parish Clerk.. Oh, and from my son’s girlfriend Claire who has done all the Word processing , flyers and ID card templates!
We are now quite organised, and prepared for the worst. Ten fantastic people have volunteered. They are all, or are the grown-up offspring of, well-known Boxted residents. We also have two people who are happy to just have a chat on the telephone if anyone needs to talk.
Dozens of elderly or self-isolating people in Boxted have been helped in these last few days. Several “meals on wheels” have been cooked and delivered by Bonny and Heidi, with regular orders coming in now. Shopping has been done and delivered to the doorstep, and prescriptions collected and delivered also.
So many wonderful donations of food and household essentials have been received too, and these are now being distributed amongst those most in need. We are not sure if we will have to become a more formal ” food bank “ in the future, but for now donations of non-perishable food items are still welcome. They can be dropped off at the Hub between 10 and 14.00 Tuesday to Friday, or by arrangement. Things like pasta, rice, flour, tins of vegetables, tinned meat or tuna, cereals, squash, UHT milk, ladies sanitary wear including Tena, soap, washing powder and so on. Also a little fresh fruit and veg just now, but not too much in case it gets wasted. Best ring the Hub first to check what is needed.
The Hub is currently open, ( but not inside to the public!) four days a week, Tuesday to Friday inclusive, 10 am to 2 pm. Meals can be ordered for home delivery, possibly some takeaway meals soon, and some provisions can be collected on the doorstep by pre-arrangement.
If need be, the Hub will extend the opening hours to more days, depending on demand for their services.
All other services are in the flyer featured above.
Arabella Brentnall, Boxted
Coronavirus – stay at home, save lives
Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, says: “The more we can do to disrupt the spread of Coronavirus, the more lives will be saved.”
Please do what Cllr David Finch, Leader of Essex County Council, says.
I have never written to anyone on a more important subject. I would ask that you please take a moment to read this message.
We are facing the biggest challenge of our times. Coronavirus is a killer. If we do nothing, 500,000 people across our great country will die.
But that horrendous outcome will not happen, provided we act.
The Government has issued good advice. But not all of us are following it.
This is not good enough. We MUST heed the advice from Government.
It is simple. And it is in our hands.
STAY HOME. SAVE LIVES.
Across Essex this weekend, we have seen people behaving in a way which was very much like going about their usual business.
I will be blunt. This is not acceptable.
We MUST socially distance.
Even though some schools across Essex will stay open, you should ONLY take your children to them, if you have been notified that you are a critical worker AND if you absolutely have NO other option.
If the epidemic peaks, as it has in Italy, which has a world-class health system, the NHS will be overwhelmed.
We must not allow the ‘peak’ of the epidemic to outstrip the NHS’s capacity to care.
Every single one of us can ensure that this nightmare scenario does not happen.
In China, and South Korea, the spread of the virus has been kept in check because Governments have acted quickly enough, and people have followed advice. We must follow suit. Our great County of Essex has always risen to the challenges over the decades. This is the greatest one of our times.
Please, follow the advice. Stay Home. Save Lives. #StayHomeSaveLives
Introducing Community Shield
Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, says:
People across Essex are doing an amazing job supporting their family, friends and neighbours who at the most risk from coronavirus because they are older, vulnerable and have health conditions.
From now, public services across Essex are stepping up support for people who may not have help from their nearest and dearest.
Cllr David Finch, Leader of Essex County Council, said:
“The way Essex has rallied around the vulnerable across the County has been incredible and I would like to thank each and every person who is helping friends, neighbours and relatives stay home and stay safe. You are literally saving lives across our great County because you are protecting our NHS.
“Now Councils, the NHS and all our public and voluntary sector partners are stepping up to try and make sure no-one who needs help is missed out. It has been a huge effort, involving round-the-clock work. I am very proud of what is being put into place to shield our most vulnerable residents.”
Essex County Council is supporting the national effort to get food and supplies to the County’s most vulnerable residents.
How will it work
The Essex Resilience Forum (ERF) made up of all the county public sector organisations, is tasked with ensuring that people with the most serious health conditions across Essex, Southend and Thurrock, are shielded from social contact for 12 weeks during the peak of the epidemic. These people have been written to directly by the Government and told to expect food packages to be delivered to them.
A distribution hub has been set up by Essex County Council in Witham in central Essex, with two other hubs set up by Southend and Thurrock Councils. From this weekend, food packages will begin to be dispatched to vulnerable residents.
Given the importance of social distancing and the most at risk being able to stay in their homes, ERF members and the voluntary sector are also mobilising resources across the county to provide assistance to a larger group. These are residents who are also vulnerable during the peak of the epidemic, and includes people over the age of 70 or pregnant women, who do not have the support of friends, family or neighbours.
Councils across the county are working with supermarkets, delivery companies and other organisations on developing supply lines to people.
District Councils will also use their local hubs, which have been established in every district, borough and city council area, using volunteer support.
How will they be contacted
These residents will be contacted by the NHS, or their GP surgeries, starting from early next week, week commencing Monday 30 March.
The message will set out the instructions for those people who do not have the support of friends, families and neighbours, to register with the Essex Welfare Service (EWS) (part of PROVIDE, a health and social care provider), should they need food deliveries.
They will be able to contact the EWS via essexwelfareservice.org and by calling 0300 303 9988, Monday to Friday between 8am to 7pm, and Saturday to Sunday between 10am to 2pm.
We recognise not all of residents identified will need support, and many will have organised their own arrangements already. However, Community Shield’s aim is to ensure that no-one slips through the net. If you need support and have not received a message, please contact the EWS directly
PFCC urges businesses to donate PPE
Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, says:
URGENT APPEAL FOR PPE
An urgent appeal has just been launched by Essex County Council for any small businesses to donate any unused Personal Protective Equipment they may have within their stock. With many small business currently closed, the council is appealing for any PPE equipment such as Masks, Disposable Gloves, Aprons, Eye Goggles, Overshoes and also any Sanitising Gel that businesses may have, that can be provided to the front line care staff who are caring for our most vulnerable residents in Essex over the coming days and weeks. Over the last few days there have been many small businesses that have closed to help stop the spread of the virus and ensure people stay home.
Businesses such as restaurants, gyms, beauty salons, nail bars, car body shops, tattoo artists, cleaning companies and hardware stores may have some PPE sitting unused on shelves and in cupboards that could help stop the spread of Coronavirus.
Essex County Councillor John Spence, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social care said: “We fully understand the efforts government are making to ensure PPE is available for all who need it, but we equally recognise the challenge they face in reaching beyond the NHS into other parts of the caring system.
“It may be that there are protective items sitting in storage cupboards that can be put to good use to support our social care workers, care workers and other front-line employees. If you are able to offer up this stock in our fight against this virus, please get in touch. Please share this message with all your friends and family to get the message out there.”
Essex County Council are willing to purchase any stocks if needed. To donate or advise us of stock please email PPESupplies@essex.gov.uk with your PPE supply details including quantity and postcode, plus a contact name and phone number and someone will be in touch. Any items offered and suitable will be collected safely with collectors observing social distancing and hand hygiene.
Fake Products/Websites – Covid-19/Coronavirus
Colchester District Neighbourhood Watch
A man has already appeared in court for making fake coronavirus testing/treatment kits and selling them worldwide. These kits contain harmful chemicals and police are warning anyone who had bought one of these kits not to use it. Report to Action Fraud, quoting “Trinity CV19 treatment kits”.
During this time, be aware of fake websites and suspicious links. Criminals will advertise products they know to be in short supply, such as hand sanitiser, face masks and ‘treatments’. Claims like ‘100% safe’, ‘No side effects’ and ‘Quick results’ should be warning signs.
There are a number of fake emails circulating claiming to be from health organisations (such as the World Health Organisation or US Centre for Disease Control), with attached ‘safety advice’ which when clicked downloads malware to infect the device.
Ensure you check where an email has come from – is the email address suspicious? Never click on any suspicious links or open any documents on emails that you were not expecting – do not let your curiosity get the better of you!
Elderly individuals targeted by doorstep scammers
The elderly are being increasingly targeted by doorstep scammers due to their increased isolation from family and friends. Criminals are posing as police and health officials, sometimes offering to carry out a coronavirus test on their doorstep in exchange for cash.
- Be vigilant as always, do not accept offers on the doorstep.
- Always confirm who the person is, using a trusted number – genuine officials will always wait.
- Thieves offering to shop for the elderly and then keeping their money.
- Thieves posing as good Samaritans are offering to complete shopping trips on behalf of the elderly, before keeping the money or bank cards that are handed over.
- Treat such invitations with caution.
- Never hand over your bank card or details.
- If vulnerable people are using others to do their shopping, ensure it is someone they know or from a trusted source.
Pension savers have been warned to be extra vigilant of criminals seeking to prey on people anxieties amid the pandemic. As markets are affected and people seek to increase their savings, it may make people look to make snap decisions that could have serious consequences.
- As always, the advice remains – do not respond to cold callers.
- Take your time to think things through carefully and do your own research (even if you are being offered a ‘limited time deal’).
- If something looks too good to be true – it usually is.
Please stay safe by following Government Guidelines on Restrictions and encourage others to do the same.
New symptom tracking app aims to slow spread of Coronavirus
King’s College London has launched a new app which tracks symptoms related to novel coronavirus (COVID-19), allowing anyone to self-report daily. Download the app here.
A message from St Peter’s school
Last Friday, it was with a very heavy heart I said goodbye for the foreseeable future, to the pupils of our school. Following weeks of thorough handwashing, increased cleaning routines and speculation of what the future might hold, we closed to the majority of our families. It was perhaps one of the hardest things I’ve had to do as a Headteacher.
Intense planning for home learning, organising staffing rotas, ordering catering deliveries and preparing for our keyworker children ensued. Following ‘closure’, we started the week with approximately 30 children of keyworker families. This has now dropped to 17 and we are anticipating less children as the week goes on. On Monday we had a KS2 (junior) class and a Foundation/KS1 (infant) class, with a teacher and support assistant in both. We have now scaled back our staffing ratios, so that we just have one teacher, a cook and myself in school at any one time. Teachers are working on a weekly rotation, giving flexibility if staff in school become unwell: providing all personnel stay well at home, we should have capacity to offer our services throughout this crisis. As public service workers it is our duty to support those who really are frontline, NHS, police etc.
On Monday, despite a few technical difficulties, all children received an electronic Learning Plan. With activities for English, Maths, Science and the Humanities, the plan directs children to online learning resources and activities to complete. Parents have been keeping us updated with the progress their children have been making. As usual our families have surpassed themselves: I’ve received photos of beautiful art work, stories, handwriting practice and even children doing their PE lesson in their lounge! Many parents are juggling the ‘teaching’ whilst working from home. Needless to say, they are doing a cracking job!
School dinners are still being provided for our children and for Langham Primary. We deliver meals to those children who are entitled to a free school meal and if we’re lucky get to wave over the gate, or through the window at each other.
For those children who receive pastoral support in school, their provision continues, virtually. Our Counsellor has set up weekly online sessions with children and our Family Support worker is making telephone contact with parents in need of support.
Meanwhile, from the confines of their homes, teachers are busy planning for next week’s learning. They will also complete online training (safeguarding, GDPR & Health and Safety), write children’s end of year reports and update parts of the curriculum. There is an endless list of administrative jobs for teachers to be getting on with.
And so to the future… our year sixes didn’t get their usual ‘end of primary school’ send off, so we will invite them back for some sort of celebration. I have promised the children we will all be together again at some point. And this is what we must all hold dear… this will pass, we will all be together again, stronger, wiser and maybe a little kinder.
Churches can longer be kept open as places for prayer and solace.Therefore all churches will be locked and will remain so until further notice.
Should you require prayer please contact Revd Mandy Elmes via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meanwhile, the Sunday services are now on the St Mary’s West Bergholt Websitefor all to view. This requires no Facebook account and therefore means everyone can access the recorded services. They will be uploaded on Sunday afternoons for as long as services are streamed.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed,
for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) recognise that this period may be one of increased financial pressure for many people.
The Team is fully committed to ensuring that illegal money lenders (loan sharks) do not take advantage and profit from other people’s hardship.
The Stop Loan Sharks helpline service (0300 555 2222) remains open and fully operational during the COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage not only victims but friends, family members and the wider community to come forward if they suspect someone is suffering at the hands of loan sharks. A victim of a loan shark should contact the team for help. Visit the website here for more info and support: http://bit.ly/2vyzQyg
Anyone who is feeling harassed or threatened by an illegal money lender can find out more about the different ways the team can help here: http://bit.ly/2Q0Yej9
Loan sharks are not your friends – these criminals are highly manipulative and want you under their control. Find out how to get help if you or someone you know is a victim of illegal money lending here http://bit.ly/2Q0Yej9
You can check if a company is authorised to lend money at www.loansmart.org.uk
These links may also be useful:
- Citizens Advice: Coronavirus and what it means for you
- Money Advice: Coronavirus and what it means for you
- Stepchange – Coronavirus and your finances
Langham and Boxted Churches
Boxted Cricket Club
Mobile Library Service
Boxted Neighbourhood Plan
Boxted WI on Facebook
Boxted WI on Twitter
Boxted Airfield Historical Group
Langham Community Centre
Langham Community Shop
Langham Village Website
Dedham Vale & Stour Valley ANOB
Essex County Council’s PROW Interactive map
Colchester District Neighbourhood Watch
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Newsletter editor: Angela McLauchlan : Design and layout: Shirley Szymanek