This will be the final edition of the AVOW Weekly E-briefing on the community response to Coronavirus within Wrexham County Borough. This briefing will now be fortnightly rather than weekly.
Whilst our communities move into the ‘Recovery Phase’, we are mindful that COVID-19 is still very active in the area and to ensure that everyone takes the appropriate precautions going forward.
Non-Essential Retail Opens in Wrexham Town Centre
The long-awaited opening of non-essential retail shops has begun across Wrexham County Borough this week.
Wrexham County Borough Council (WCBC) have undertaken work around the town centre to ensure the safety of retailers and the public, and were congratulated at this weeks Town Centre Forum.
Retailers have also changed their layout and signage to assist the public in maintaining a social distance around the town.
Social distancing and personal safety should continue to be a top priority for residents. Abiding by the guidance from the Welsh Government is in everyone’s best interest. It is particularly important to respect the personal space of those experiencing increased anxiety on the relaxing of lockdown restriction.
Licenced traders in the county are now awaiting further guidance on lockdown restrictions, you can read more about this guidance on the Welsh Government website.
Although many charities have closed their public-facing services, most have been operating virtually during the pandemic. Charities have engaged with 1000s of people during this difficult period, as the demand for support increases. Across the county, charities have provided access to befriending support, essential shopping, and a general increase in anxiety for residents.
Several charity shops in the town will be figuring out how they can reopen safely, how to accept donations and ensure the safety of shoppers.
If there is anyone who is still struggling and would like to access support, please contact the AVOW COVID Team by phone on 01978 312556 or email COVID19@avow.org.
Rowan Foods Outbreak
There are many reports around the current outbreak of COVID-19 in Rowan Foods and the potential impact on the area.
There is a full multi-agency response that is operating on the site and in our communities to conduct tests and referral to the Test, Trace and Protect service. It is possible to contain the community spread, but this makes it even more important to remain supportive of our Health Service as they deal with new cases
It is crucial to reduce the community spread of COVID-19 and ensure, where possible, that containment is operated around every new case. Betsi Cadwaladr are calling for employees who have not yet been tested, you can find out more at Wrexham.com.
If you, or someone you know, if in a position without any support, please contact the AVOW COVID Team by phone 01978 312556 or email COVID19@avow.org.
This week also saw the re-opening of schools for the ‘Check-In, Catch-up, Prepare for Summer and September until the summer holidays. The next three weeks will give schools, children and families the opportunity to reconnect with teachers and check-out the safety initiatives in the classroom.
During the lockdown, there have been significant issues arising with mental health amongst children and young people. Sadly, this comes alongside an increase in suicide across Wales. It is now very important to help and support each other and ourselves. Welsh Government have issued a Young People’s Mental Health Toolkit that can be accessed through our website.
Childcare and Nurseries
Childcare settings across Wrexham are able to open from 22nd June, but many will not be ready until this week. There are significant alterations to prepare to ensure the safety of children and staff. Childcare settings should be contacted directly for their local arrangements. There is further guidance available on the Welsh Government website.
Currently, the Welsh Government guidance is still observing the 5-mile travel limit, unless there are compassionate reasons to travel further.
Further guidance will be released this week, as the Welsh Government continue to emphasise the Stay Local guidance.
Gathering is still not permitted. Only two households should be coming together, whilst maintaining social distancing guidance. The warm weather recently is a temptation, however, the potential risk of infection should be a stark reminder to everyone.
The message for everyone is to stay small, stay local and avoid any locations where a mass gathering may be going on.
St. Giles Church has reopened for private prayer between 10 am and Noon, Monday to Saturday. Other faith communities will be opening, and information can be found outside of their building or through the St. Giles Social Media channels.
Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic (BAME) Update
There are particular concerns within the BAME community about the impact of COVID-19. There are also a number of research projects that have been developed to identify key indicators. For further information please visit the Welsh Government website.
If you would like any help or assistance with BAME issues, please contact our colleague Anna Szymanska by email Anna.Szymanska@avow.org.
Whilst there are a number of changes occurring for many people who are shielding. Although, residents are still advised to isolate until 16th August due to the increased risk. For further guidance on the shielding advise, please visit the Welsh Government website.
The AVOW COVID Team are still providing links to volunteers and additional support across Wrexham County Borough. If you would like to contact a member of the team please call 01978 312556 or email COVID19@avow.org.
AVOW Voluntary Sector Emergency Fund (VSEF)
AVOW are pleased to announce a further £26,000 additional funds to the AVOW Voluntary Sector Emergency Fund (VSEF). Applications are now open for the grant and further information is available on our website.
This week alone, we have distributed grants to local Voluntary organisations such as:
- Fairhaven Church
- Wrexham Street Pastors
- Equus, and
Local Good News Stories
Good News – Rainbow Centre, Penley
The Rainbow Centre in Penley serves the communities of Wrexham and North Shropshire by providing community services, social prescribing projects and community outreach services. They have joined forces with nine local Community Councils across South Wrexham to co-ordinate a community response to help support vulnerable people during COVID-19. The Rainbow Centre manages a team of Community Agents who operate from a wellbeing hub and work across South Wrexham.
They are trained to offer advice and support on a range of issues and link with local volunteers has enabled Community Agents to focus on assessing people’s needs and arranging appropriate support (including arranging home care, living aids, meals and nutrition, wellbeing support and benefit advice).
In addition, The Rainbow Centre has been signposting people in need of support to local volunteers who can provide direct assistance with shopping, prescriptions, dog walking and other day-to-day tasks.
On 16h March, The Rainbow Centre joined with Overton Community Council to agree with an approach which could be replicated swiftly across the Community Council areas and support the COVID-19 response. Marchwiel and Bangor-on-Dee were already offering local level support, so the Centre was keen to join with them whilst supporting more Community Councils to join the response. The shares response ensures residents have access to the support, advice, and practical help they need. Whilst ensuring vulnerable people and those volunteering are protected and stay safe.
You can read more about this initiative on the Welsh NHS Confederation website.
Your Local Lockdown
We want to share your stories and photo’s from Wrexham lockdown.
- Has your organisation or community done something special?
- Have you been doing over and above with your response?
Let us know and we will feature these good news stories in the community. We hope these stories will encourage others to think of new ways they could be working and supporting communities.
Include your stories and photos of what has been going on in your community, whether by an individual supporting people, and organisation or the community itself.
Please make sure you have permission before sharing images or stories. There is a limit of three images from individuals and five from organisations and businesses. Please email AVOW at email@example.com.
AVOW Weekly E-Briefing
Although this will our last weekly COVID briefing, the newsletter has proven popular. AVOW are currently running a survey on the impact of this briefing and would appreciate your opinion, you can complete the survey here.
For further information across Wrexham County Borough and Wales, please see the following news sources:
AVOW – including information for the community, Third Sector, Voluntary and Community Organisations on our website.
Wrexham County Borough Council (WCBC) – including information across Wrexham County Borough departments, councils, services and more on their website.
Welsh Government – including advice for Voluntary Organisations, Businesses and services on their website.
Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA) – including information available on funding, Third Sector, Voluntary and Community Organisations on their website.
AVOW hopes to keep this as a weekly briefing to share with our community’s support information and guidance- if there are issues you want information on email firstname.lastname@example.org
The content of this briefing is provided for information only. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action based on the content. We do not accept responsibility for any errors, omissions, misleading statements, or the consequences thereof. https://avow.org/terms-and-conditions/