We’re working hard to continue delivering services throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and to support our residents – and in particular those who most need our help.
On our website you will find information about where to find support as well as details of any changes we’ve had to make to services.
You can also keep in touch with us online, and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Community Support Hub
The Community Support Hub is continuing to support local residents who have no one else to turn to for help during the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s also supporting the local community groups working across the district.
We are fortunate in West Berkshire to have the resources of two excellent foodbanks that can provide food parcels to those in need – West Berkshire Foodbank and Spotlight.
A central distribution point has been created in Newbury where volunteers from the community groups can pick up food parcels provided by foodbanks for delivery in their local area. This week, we’ve been helping community volunteers deliver 79 Spotlight food parcels to families around the district. You can hear from one of our team and some volunteers in our latest YouTube video – just click on the screenshot to play.
Support for local businesses
Our Business Rates Team has now been in contact with the vast majority of businesses eligible for Government Grants. All businesses must be contacted individually, which is causing some delays, but the team is working as quickly as they can. We have also deployed additional staff into the team to speed this up. We know that’s no comfort to those who are waiting for funding so they can keep their business going, but please be assured we will be in touch very soon.
Find out more about the support available to local businesses.
Financial support for residents
Many households will be facing growing financial hardship as social distancing measures continue and more people find they are on reduced incomes. There is information available on the council website about the help available for residents facing financial difficulty as a result of Covid-19.
Never an excuse for domestic abuse
Periods of enhanced stress can put an even greater strain on domestic relationships, which can lead to an increase in domestic abuse incidents. Help will always be available to people affected by domestic abuse. We have published a leaflet containing information on who to contact and what to do if people feel unsafe. There is never an excuse for domestic abuse. Click on the image to view our YouTube video on this issue.
Covid-19 Advice Bot launched
We’ve launched a new advice bot on our website to help answer common queries we’re receiving in relation to Covid-19.
At the moment the Advice Bot will concentrate on signposting people to updates about services that are affected from the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic along with directing residents and businesses to our dedicated advice and guidance pages.
It’s another way to get in touch with the Council and over the next few weeks we will developing the Advice Bot to make it more intelligent and better able to handle more complicated questions.
.Find out more about our Advice Bot.
Clapping For Our Carers
We’ve been busy clapping for our carers to show our appreciation for the NHS, social care staff and all key workers. It’s been fantastic to see such wonderful support shown across the district – if you’re taking part why not tag us so that we can help share the #WBCommunityLove!
Thank you for staying at home
It’s not something you’ll hear us say often but…it’s been great seeing West Berkshire so quiet. Thank you for staying at home, for observing social distancing and for helping us to save lives and protect the NHS.
You can find the latest advice about staying at home here: www.gov.uk/coronavirus