On this page you’ll find news of services that may be able to offer support to our families during the coronavirus pandemic.
If you know of anything we can add to this page, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, thank you!
Community hubs set up to support most vulnerable in coronavirus fight
4 new hubs have been set up across Rochdale to support the most vulnerable members of the community during the coronavirus pandemic.
The hubs will see the council and Link4Life work with partner agencies and volunteers to ensure that older and more vulnerable people who need help can get everything they need, including emergency food and essential items.
People who are vulnerable and need to access support through the community hubs can phone: 01706 923685. The out of hours contact number is: 0300 303 8875.
All staff at the hubs will be trained in infection control and practice social distancing while they work. The hubs will also work with and support community and voluntary groups to ensure efforts are coordinated across the borough.
The hubs, in Rochdale, Littleborough, Heywood and Middleton, will primarily organise the distribution of emergency food parcels and essential items to ensure that people without help are not left to fend for themselves. They will also support people who are socially isolated. More hubs will be created in future, if needed.
Talking about death and grieving
We sincerely hope that you do not have to deal with the death of a loved one, but if you do, the advice below from The Key for Schools might give you some guidance about how to approach this difficult conversation with your children.
When you talk to bereaved children
- Listen and validate – children often don’t recognise their feelings as grief. Let them know that whatever they’re feeling is normal and okay
- Acknowledge their fears – children’s fears, no matter how irrational, are real and we can’t take them away. Just knowing that someone they trust is listening to them is helpful
- Reassure, but only as much as you can do so honestly – for example, a child whose family member has died from COVID-19 will quite rationally be afraid of other family members dying. It’s unhelpful to try to calm a child’s fears by saying that won’t happen when it already has, and it can diminish the child’s trust in you. Rather, acknowledge the possibility but counter with facts about how rare this is
- Check their understanding – children can be very literal, and what might seem obvious to us may not be so clear to them. As you talk to them, regularly check that they understand what you’ve said
- Share your own feelings – it’s okay to let children know that you’re also sad and upset. It can be reassuring that what they’re feeling is normal
If the bereaved child is struggling to express themselves
Grief is overwhelming at any age, and children may struggle to express what they’re going through. You can get the conversation started by:
- Sharing Lost for words – a free e-book of advice by grieving children for grieving children
- Sharing ‘Thunks on death’ (about halfway down the page) – a set of cards designed to open discussion about death and grief
- Completing memory books
Further resources which may help are available here:
Children and bereavement – includes lots of resources for parents and children, including helplines and tips for creating a memory box
Child Bereavement UK
Cruse Bereavement Care
- Children and young people’s physical responses to grief
- Children and young people’s emotional responses to grief
Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families
- On My Mind is a resource for children to learn how to support their own mental health and wellbeing. It stresses the important of self-care.
Early Help Early Years Family Leaflet April 2020
Free School Meals
The Department of Education’s free school meal voucher scheme is now active, and we have been busy contacting our families who receive Free School Meals to arrange it.
For more information about the voucher scheme, please click through to our Lunch Information page.
Businesses, employment and financial support (from www.rochdale.gov.uk)
- Coronavirus: what you need to do on GOV.UK – check what financial support you can get, your employment rights, what the government is doing to support businesses and more.
- Guidance for employees, employers and businesses on GOV.UK – includes a package of measures to support businesses, guidance for employers and employees, staying at home, working from home, sick pay and more.
- Guidance for health professionals and non-clinical settings on GOV.UK – the advice is for anyone in any setting.
- Business support and advice from the Business Growth Hub – the Business Growth Hub has developed a range of resources and guidance to ensure businesses feel supported and are prepared to act quickly as the situation unfolds.
- Business grants, loans and financial support – includes information about coronavirus support for businesses.
- Support for businesses – the Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.
- Guidance on closure of businesses and premises on GOV.UK – guidance on the closure of all retailers that sell non-essential goods and other non-essential premises, as part of further social distancing measures.
Government updates about the closure of schools have included the following information about wellbeing:
Social connections, alongside exercise, sleep, diet and routine, are important protective factors for mental health. Materials to promote and support mental wellbeing are included in the list of online resources we have published to help children to learn at home. Public Health England’s Rise Above platform supports young people. The Department of Health and Social Care is providing £5 million of additional funding to support mental health charities to increase their provision for adults and children at this time.
Social isolation, reduced exercise, and bereavement, may affect children’s wellbeing in this period.
Resources to promote and support children and young people’s mental wellbeing include:
- MindEd educational resources for adults about children and young people’s mental health, which is relevant for parents and carers as well as volunteers, teachers, and other professionals working with children
- the Every Mind Matters platform which supports looking after your own and other’s mental health
- guidance on looking after wellbeing and mental health during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
- guidance on supporting children’s wellbeing and mental health
All NHS mental health trusts are setting up 24/7 helplines, and seeking to use digital and virtual channels, to continue delivering support during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Leading mental health charity, YoungMinds, has issued advice to young people and parents on how to look after their mental health during the coronavirus pandemic.
Published advice includes:
- Looking after your mental health while self-isolating
- What to do if you are anxious about coronavirus
- Talking to your child about coronavirus
The charity will aim to reach hundreds of thousands of young people and parents with supportive digital content over the coming weeks, to help those coping with uncertainty, social isolation, health anxiety, bereavement, additional caring responsibilities and gaps in mental health support.
The YoungMinds’ Parents Helpline will also remain open, by operating remotely, and will continue to provide free advice and guidance to any parent or carer worried about the mental health of a young person under 25.
The YoungMinds website will be updated regularly as the situation develops. It also provides advice on looking after yourself if you are a young person and has a Parent’s Guide to Support for parents and carers.
Message from Transport from Greater Manchester
Thank you for continuing to support the government’s message to stay at home to save lives and protect the NHS.
Do not travel unless it is essential – public transport must only be used for trips that are absolutely necessary for work, to get supplies, to care for others or for medical reasons.
Train, tram and bus services have been reduced to make sure they can be maintained for essential workers and to protect frontline staff. All our Travelshops, excluding Eccles and Altrincham, have now closed until further notice.
If you must travel, wash your hands before and after using public transport, use a tissue if you cough or sneeze, and use contactless payments if possible. When using public transport, please follow social distancing guidelines and keep two metres from your fellow passengers.
Thank you for your cooperation. We’ve already seen a significant decrease in passengers across Greater Manchester. By staying at home and only travelling when absolutely essential, you’re protecting each other, protecting our staff, protecting the NHS and saving lives.
Please share this message with your friends and family, colleagues, partners and members, and we’ll continue to keep you updated.