The Coffee Connection
Dorothy House and 'We Hear You' have come together to offer a virtual support group for anyone in the local area affected by a life-limiting illness or associated bereavement.
This group is an opportunity to connect with other people in a similar situation and chat to our team from the comfort of your home.
The virtual get together is FREE every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday where you will see some familiar faces, their team and others, with a cup of coffee or tea in hand. Each session lasts around 45 minutes.
Everything you need to join is at https://www.dorothyhouse.org.uk/the-coffee-connection
Policing Precept 2021
Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson has launched a survey to collect feedback on policing: what is being done well and where improvements could be made, as well as a proposed increase in the policing element of the council tax.
The suggested increase equates to £15 a year, per household, on a band D property. The consultation is open from Tuesday 5 January to Tuesday 2 February.
Give your feedback via the online survey – https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/PNHBKSG
Watch the Policing Precept video – https://youtu.be/eRMtE_YxdWk
Community Housing in Wiltshire
Homes of Our Own are hosting an online community led housing event to bring you up to date information about community led housing in Wiltshire.
The event will bring together professionals from the community led housing sector and will be an opportunity for those interested in community-led housing to learn more about the sector and what at Homes of Our Own do.
They will special guests from Seend Community Land and Asset Trust and White Horse Housing Association, who will be talking about the progress that they have made to bring forward Affordable Housing in their parish.
There will also be updates on funding available for community led housing groups provided by Ian Crawley, Technical Adviser followed by a panel of speakers ready to answer any questions you have.
This is a FREE event, open to all. Whether you’re interested in setting up a community led housing project, would like to learn more about what community led housing is or would like to know what Homes of Our Own can do to support you, please come along and take part!
For more information about community led housing in Wiltshire and Homes of Our Own, go to www.homesofourown.co.uk, where you can also sign up to receive news and information from the team.
Free advice and support from Wiltshire Citizens Advice
Wiltshire Citizens Advice offers free, confidential, impartial advice online, over the phone and via email.
They give up-to-date advice on benefits, work, money and debt, consumer rights, family issues and more.
Coronavirus has made life hard for many people there here to help. Whether you’re facing a crisis, or just considering your options; checking a quick piece of information, or not sure where to start. It doesn’t matter who you are, or what your situation is, Wiltshire Citizens Advice will always give you free, confidential and impartial advice.
They'll give you all the facts and possible outcomes of different options. That way you can make the decision that’s right for you. They can also offer practical support such as help with filling forms, writing letters or negotiating with third parties.
Call for free (new freephone number): 0800 144 8848
Advisers are available 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
Textphone (if you can’t hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 144 8884
Email: visit their website and complete the short ‘Contact us’ enquiry form:
For more ways to get in touch, visit their website: citizensadvicewiltshire.org.uk
Surviving Winter Fund
Wiltshire residents can claim up to £250 (whilst funds last!) to help with their heating and fuel bills over the cold period. Top up vouchers for prepayment meters will also be paid or credit can be made into energy account if you pay by direct debit. There's also help with solid fuels such as LPG gas bottles, wood or coal.
To be eligible, you will need to be in receipt of a means tested benefit, of pension age, or of working age and receiving a disability benefit (or they/someone in the household has a health condition worsened by the cold). They also need to be struggling with their fuel bills and keeping their home warm.
The fund can also help with boiler repairs of up to £300.
To apply, call the advice line number on 0800 038 5722.
A recent benefit award letters or a recent bank statement showing benefits being paid into your account is needed. It is not essential that all of the information is provided in the referral as they will be picking these up and calling those back to gather any additional information!
The Surviving Winter Fund is first come first served, and the deadline will be in May. If the grant money runs out they can look at other funds you may be eligible for, so please make referrals to the fund as soon as you can.
Skydive for Dementia
Beat the lockdown blues and sign up to Alzheimer’s Support’s Skydive for Dementia on March 20th.
Not only will you experience the thrill of a lifetime, but you’ll also raise money for people living with dementia in Wiltshire.
The charity has teamed with skydive experts GoSkydive to offer places on a dedicated Alzheimer’s Support jump day.
GoSkydive have Covid-secure safety measures in place and specialise in first-time jumps so you’ll be in very safe hands.
The 10,000 ft tandem jump takes place at Old Sarum, near Salisbury. After 30 seconds of freefall, when you’ll travel through the air at 125mph, the parachute will open and you’ll experience amazing views across the Wiltshire landscape as you descend.
Chippenham library services during lockdown
Chippenham library is offering an order and collect service, with bookable computers to support people through the current lockdown.
Safety remains the priority at the library and customers will be asked to wear a face covering and use sanitiser before using a computer.
Libraries are permitted, by a Government exemption, to offer access to the public computer network for essential use if you can't otherwise access a computer or the internet.
Essential needs can include job applications, benefit applications, accessing public services, financial information, online banking, for educational purposes, to keep in touch with family members or to support mental health.
The Home library service, providing books to the vulnerable in their own homes, will also continue.
Items will continue to be renewed automatically, currently to the end of February, so there is no rush to return items currently on loan.
Beware of COVID cons
Local residents and businesses are being advised not to fall victim to any COVID-19-related scams.
Organisations across Wiltshire are asking you to be extra vigilant as criminals look to take advantage at a time when many people are vulnerable.
In recent weeks a number of attempted scams have emerged across the country, including:
- people receiving text messages informing they are ‘eligible’ to apply for a vaccine and then asking them to provide bank details
- people receiving text messages that claim to be from the HMRC inviting them to claim for a ‘grant’
- scammers looking to take advantage of businesses applying for business grants
You are urged not to provide your bank details in response to any email, phone call or text from anyone claiming to be part of the NHS vaccine programme. Bank details, passwords and pin numbers will never be requested as the COVID-19 vaccine is free and this should be an automatic red flag.
Any suspected fraud should be reported to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
Help Us To Help You
If you notice anything out of the ordinary with your health, please contact your GP immediately.
The threat of getting COVID-19 has stopped many people visiting their local surgery and we're being urged to make an appointment if we feel unwell or notice an unusual symptom.
You will never be seen as a burden to your GP, so please help the NHS to help you.