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Showing posts from March, 2020

Radios to Help Fight Loneliness | Make A Difference: Radio Heroes

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WaveLength, along with Argos, Currys PC World, John Lewis & Partners, Pure and Roberts Radio, are coming together with BBC Local Radio’s Make a Difference initiative, to provide radios to the most vulnerable over 70s. Radio has a unique role providing local news, sharing information in the community, providing entertainment and most of all being a companion to listeners.

WaveLength radio In 1939, WaveLength was founded to fight loneliness. As the oldest loneliness and technology charity, we give radios, televisions, and tablet computers to those most in need. We recognise that we are living in very challenging circumstances. At this critical time, it’s important that everyone can feel part of their community.

To nominate someone to receive a radio head over to Make A Difference website


If you have news for Houghton Regis, please send it in

Charity Shops Closed | Declutter Encouraged | Use Charity Online Shops

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By Alan Winter updated 26 April
KEECH HOSPICE CARE When Keech Hospice Care shut their shops it was not a decision made lightly: as a charity,they rely heavily on their shops’ income. The decision was been made with the wellbeing and safety of their staff, volunteers and customers in mind.

Keech are inviting people to take part in virtual marathons to help raise funds.  Details can be found here.

Also Keech are asking people, "if they are at home, to take this opportunity to declutter and have a clearout of cupboards, wardrobes and attics. People should store their great clutter in a safe place and, when we reopen our doors, please drop it at your nearest Keech Hospice Care shop so we can turn your great clutter into great care!

“We look forward to welcoming our customers back as soon as it’s safe for us to reopen. In the meantime, please enjoy a good #DeclutterForKeech!”

To find your nearest Keech Hospice Care shop, visit www.keech.org.uk/shops or Keech on Ebay

AGE UKAge UK  shop…

Coronavirus Advice

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Read more advice on all the above topics at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/


Stay at home to stop coronavirus spreading
Everyone must stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus.


You should only leave the house for 1 of 4 reasons: 1. shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
2. one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of 3. your householdany medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
4. travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home

Important These 4 reasons are exceptions – even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household.
How to stop infection spreading There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with coronavirus.
Do
wash your han…

Help for NHS Staff With Free Parking

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Your Parking Space dot com are offering free parking spaces to NHS staff. To qualify staff need to enter their NHS email address on their website.


Further information on L&D car parks


If you have news for Houghton Regis, please send it in

Coronavirus - Where In Houghton Regis Do Most Age Related 'At Risk' People Live?

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New mapping functions introduced by ONS, can help identify areas where most people might need help during the coronavirus pandemic as they are in the over 70s age group.

In the sample below, 207 people are estimated to be aged over 70 in the Tithe Farm area of Houghton Regis (outlined in yellow).

12.7% of Central Bedfordshire population is aged 70 or over, and 2.1% are aged 85 and over. (Source: Office for National Statistics - 2018 mid-year population estimates for the UK, England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland)



People aged 70 years and over are among those most at risk of severe illness from the coronavirus (COVID-19).

On Sunday 22 March 2020, the UK Government introduced shielding measures to protect the extremely vulnerable from the outbreak, with an estimated 1.5 million people being asked to stay at home and avoid all face-to-face contact for at least 12 weeks. Some over-70s will be in this group, while others are only allowed to leave their home in certain circumstances…

Stay Away From Forests | Stay At Home

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Forest Closures:
Ashridge Estate say on their website, "All our houses, gardens, parks, toilets, cafes, shops and car parks are now closed to further restrict the spread of coronavirus. Ashridge Estate is now closed, please do not travel here."
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Forestry England: 'Do not visit the nation's forests'Website The government has told everyone to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. This is a very sad day for us, as we ask you not to visit the nation’s forests or do anything that would put the emergency services under extra pressure.
Make sure you have read and understood the government’s new rules on staying at home and away from others. Travelling can only be to and from work, where work absolutely cannot be done from home.
Stay at home Only go outside for food, health reasons or essential work Stay two metres (6ft) away from other people Wash your hands as soon as you get home Anyone can spread the virus.
--- Rushmere Country Park is OPEN - all toilets and visitors …

Virtual Library | Extended loan periods | Download Music | Magazines Online

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Bedfordshire Libraries posted this message to their library users today. Any books on loan will be extended and the libraries encourage people to discover what is offered online.

Dear Library User

We are continuing to follow government guidelines about the Covid-19 outbreak, which includes the closure of our libraries and Leighton Buzzard Library Theatre.

The health and safety of our staff, community, volunteers and customers are paramount and we believe that this is the correct decision.

To help library customers over the coming weeks, we have extended the due dates on items on loan and have paused charges on any items that are already overdue.

We are pleased to let you know of some changes that will make using the library during the closure more convenient for you:

Items already on loan, and not overdue on Friday 20th March, have been extended by 12 weeksItems renewed online using Arena -  or the Bedfordshire Libraries app will be renewed for 12 weeks.No charges will be incurred duri…

If You Have CV Symptoms Do Not Come to the L&D Hospital

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23 March 2020 - Information from L&D Hospital to the PublicThe L&D Hospital in Luton today issued this notice:

Please do not come to the hospital if you have either a high temperature, or a dry continuous cough, or if anyone you live with is displaying these symptoms. Please stay indoors and avoid contact with others. Use the online NHS 111. Call NHS 111 if you need to speak to someone.

You can find more guidance on Coronavirus at www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Advice to patients and visitors Our advice to patients and visitors may change on a daily basis so for regular updates please check our website, and our social media accounts on Facebook @LandDHospital and Twitter @LandDHospital.

Visiting patients in hospital In light of new guidance from the government around social distancing, and to protect our patients and staff, we have changed our Visitors policy.

No visiting is allowed on any of our wards, with the exception of those visiting patients who are at the…

CV Posters: Employers | Cleaning & Disinfecting Guide | Transport | Hostel or Day Centre

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A range of posters (pdf format) has been produced on behalf of Public Health England aimed at different sections of the population. These are available on the UK Government website to download.
Stay at Home guidance for households: current guidelines illustrated Criteria and guidance applied as of 17/03/2020:
Incubation period = maximum 14 days
Day 1 is the first day of symptoms
The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill
If you live with others and you are the first in the household to have symptoms of coronavirus, then you must stay at home for 7 days
If anyone else in the household starts displaying symptoms, they stay at home for 7 days from when their symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14-day isolation period.
Household members who remain well stay in self-isolation for 14 days due to maximum incubation period, calculated from day 1 of the first symptomatic person
Household members do not need to restart …

Bellway's Brambleside Show Homes at Thorn

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Construction is progressing apace at a new homes development in Houghton Regis, with two showhomes now open on-site.

Bellway is currently building the first phase of houses at its Brambleside development, which will comprise 165 two, three and four-bedroom homes off Thorn Road to the west of Bidwell.
The development will include public open space, orchards, a footpath/cycle route and a children’s play area alongside the new homes.


The showhomes – a four-bedroom Wetheral and three-bedroom detached Wendover – launched earlier in the year and followed the opening of the development to the public in October.
Sales Manager for Bellway Northern Home Counties, Lindsey Davenport, said: “We are very pleased with how work at Brambleside has progressed so far.


“Now that we have unveiled the showhomes at the development, prospective customers can come to explore and get a real feel of what it might be like to live in a new home here, with homes reserving fast.

“Since opening up the sales office i…

Funding Available Via Your CBC Councillor for Community Projects

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If you are involved in a local group or project in your area that needs some help or you have an idea about doing something for the community but need some funding to get it going then speak to your Central Bedfordshire Ward Councillor.

Each Central Bedfordshire Councillor has access to £2,000 from which they can allocate grants to local projects that demonstrate a community benefit. Councillors can also work together across a ward to combine their grants, if that’s what is most needed.

So, whether it's cultural, environmental, sporting or social projects, and you have match funding, speak to your Central Bedfordshire Councillor now.

The closing date for the current round of applications is 31 March 2020, so you'll need to hurry!
How to apply You must secure support from your Ward Councillor and read the guidance notes before completing the application form.


If you have news for Houghton Regis, please send it in

Tale of Two Chickens

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Local MP, Andrew Selous, raised this matter in Parliament on 19 March.

He spoke in a debate on Vulnerable People: Food Supplies, saying, “Care homes and other residential settings that have been let down by their wholesale food suppliers are now being told by supermarkets that they will be treated just like any other consumer. Two chickens do not go a long way if they have 136 residents to feed. Will the Secretary of State urgently look into this issue for all residential settings, please?” [Citation: HC Deb, 19 March 2020, c1121]

George Eustice, The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, responded, “I am happy to look at the specific issue that my hon. Friend raised. However, it is also worth noting that while there has been an increase in demand at retail shops, notably in supermarkets, there has been a sharp fall in demand in the service trade, as restaurants, pubs and so forth find that demand for their services has plummeted. Our understanding at the moment …

Have We Ever Got Enough Dog Bins in Houghton Regis?

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By Alan D Winter
Heated discussions on social media prompted me to write into local councils to ask how many dog bins were available in the Parish?

Q. Please could you list the places and usual collection days for individual dog bins in Houghton Regis Parish area?

A. Houghton Regis Town Council Dog Bins are emptied on a Friday morning /afternoon and are sited in the following locations:

PARKSIDE RECREATION GROUND       x 11
TITHE FARM RECREATION GROUND x  6
ORCHARD CLOSE RECREATION GROUND x       2
MOORE CRESCENT RECREATION GROUND x      3
WINDSOR DRIVE RECREATION GROUND x       2
VILLAGE GREEN x 7
DOG KENNEL DOWN x       2

Q. When was the last time the Council considered installing more bins, and what was the outcome of that consideration?

A. I am afraid I cannot recall when HRTC last considered the installation of further bins.

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I then asked CBC to list their bins.

Q1. Please could you list the places and usual collection days for individual dog bins supplied by CBC in Houghton Regi…

Local Help Groups Spring Up as Coronvirus COVID-19 Spreads

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By Alan D Winter
Community groups have been springing up across the land as coronavirus casualties ramp up.
As of 9am on 17 March 2020, 50,442 people have been tested in the UK, of which 48,492 were confirmed negative and 1,950 were confirmed as positive. Meanwhile, shops have been running out of supplies of things like toilet paper and pasta and supermarkets shelves have been running very low on other items.

With government announcements about the isolation of various categories of people and a close-to lock-down situation almost immediately ahead, it is not surprising that concerned and thoughtful people in our community are wondering what they can do to help.

Houghton Regis Helpers The long-established and award-winning Houghton Regis Helpers head the field in local help and support groups for Houghton Regis.

The established Houghton Regis Helpers members are enhanced DBS checked*, which means they are particularly suited to meeting the needs of vulnerable people in the community  …