Since the last edition, alongside the issues of COVID-19, large numbers of people have been severely affected by the flooding, snow, and the impact of limited bus services for a short period. As such some people who have had to leave their homes where they may have been isolating due to COVID due to the threats of the flood and move to friends, relatives, or rest centres set up by Wrexham County Borough Council. It is very hard for those of us not impacted to appreciate the level of stress that these residents are going through. There is high praise for all of the emergency services, Wrexham County Borough Council, volunteer-led rescue organisations, and the way neighbours and friends all rallied together once again.
The issue of most of the Arriva buses being withdrawn as soon as an outbreak was identified amongst their drivers shows the potential fragility of our infrastructure that can be impacted so quickly by COVID-19. It is important that when this type of issue occurs that people should not drop their guard and start sharing a car for work or other journeys with others outside of their normal bubbles.
There has been a small drop in cases in Wrexham but are still showing very high levels compared with other parts of Wales with a number of areas showing figures in excess of 800 per 100,000 compared with an average of 661.
The vaccine programme is now being distributed in various locations across Wrexham County Borough, such as GP Surgeries and Glyndwr University but there are still many people asking about the speed or consistency across age groups. There should be more appointments being issued this week provided the supply chain is maintained. It is important at this stage that people wait to be informed of their appointment and do not contact their GP.
Further information the statistics and figures surrounding the virus can also be found on the Public Health Wales website.
Important information for those who have been vaccinated
People being vaccinated should not change the way they engage with others. No vaccine has ever been 100% effective, so there is no guaranteed protection. It is possible to contract the virus in a short period after receiving a vaccine, and Professor Van-Tam suggests up-to three weeks to allow a fully developed immune response.
In an interview with BBC, Professor Van-Tam said “Even after you have had both doses of the vaccine you may still give Covid-19 to someone else and the chains of transmission will then continue. If you change your behaviour you could still be spreading the virus, keeping the number of cases high and putting others at risk who also need their vaccine but are further down the queue.”
Test, Trace, Protect Programme Scam Alert
There are unfortunately a number of scams disguising themselves as the Test, Trace and Protect programme. People are urged to be cautious if someone contacts you regarding any COVID related information. None of the legitimate services would ask for any bank account details for ID verification.
If you think you have been the victim of a scam, speak to your bank immediately and report any fraud to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040
You can obtain further information on dealing with scams and fraud by calling the Consumer Service telephone number via 0808 223 1133 or contact Citizens Advice Bureau on 0800 702 2020. Further information on Scams can be found on the Friends Against Scams website.
Food and Community Support Network
AVOW Food and Community Support Network met last week with representatives from 20 different schemes operating across Wrexham County Borough.
The key points from the meeting were:
- to ensure that people are made aware of what support is available and
- that there is no stigma attached to receiving support.
Providers run a discreet service and no-one should feel that they cannot access food support.
If you are providing food, i.e. parcels or cooked and want to be part of the network email AVOW Health and Social Care Manager, Sandra Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Broader Health Issues
We are all being reminded that despite the pressure that the NHS are under due to COVID-19, they are still open for emergency requirements. In particular, they are urging anyone with any form of potential heart problem to make contact or go to hospital. The public are urged to remember that the ambulance service is also stretched and should only be used from emergency calls.
Floods and Bad Weather Support
Wrexham County Borough Council are the lead on responding to weather-related issues and anyone seeking assistance should call 01978 292000 or out of hours on 01978 292055.
Committees from Community Buildings have been particularly impacted during the pandemic with sporadic periods of opening and closing and navigating restrictions throughout the different lockdown period.
AVOW has formed a network to discuss the ongoing situation and keep all parties informed on what is available in the area, including funding support, and free training for committees and individuals.
The next meeting will be held at 11.00 am on Thursday 4th February 2021, please register at: https://bit.ly/39amj0G
Funding for Local Community Organisation
AVOW is currently exploring the development of a Countywide Community Lottery which will enable organisations of various sizes to gain funds with very little administration and also create a central community grant fund scheme that AVOW will administer.
The Wrexham Lottery will have a top prize of £25,000 in the weekly draw.
This will be a Lottery aimed directly at raising funds for local organisations. This is in the development stage and any organisation interested in gaining funds from the scheme are invited to a meeting on Thursday 11th February at 1.00 pm
To register for the event please visit: https://bit.ly/2YoDOUL
AVOW Grant funding Extended
Following additional funding being released by Welsh Government AVOW has an additional £21,000 to distribute to support local organisations that are responding to the needs of the local community.
Amounts up to £1000 are available. Priority will be for organisations that have not yet received any AVOW or Comic Relief funding but previously applicants are also able to apply.
There are various Welsh Government business grants that Community Organisations are able to access and information is available via Wrexham County Borough Council and AVOW.
For more information on the AVOW grant please email Funding Officer Nigel Davies at Nigel.Davies@avow.org
For more information on business funding from Wrexham County Borough Council please visit their website.
Comic Relief Fund
There is only a very small amount of funding left in the Comic Relief Fund. Anyone interested in applying is urged to do so in the next 10 days. For more information please contact email@example.com.
Comic Relief Voluntary Sector Emergency Fund
AVOW has received a £26,000 share of the funding from the Comic Relief A Big Night In. This fund was launched on the 13th July and full application is available now from the AVOW website.
The criteria are that each project must meet at least one of these themes:
- Children survive and thrive – Actions to give children the best start in life and access to opportunities to achieve their potential
- Gender justice – Actions to improve equality for women and girls
- A safe place to be – Actions to help vulnerable people improve their circumstances and safety
- Mental health matters – Actions to enable access to support and increase awareness.
Wrexham County Borough COVID Updates
Wrexham County Borough Council have introduced a twice a week update briefing which is available on their website.
Information will be shared around current infection rates in the area and any latest guidance from Welsh Government and Public Health.
AVOW hopes to keep this as a fortnightly 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