Greetings from the Jubilee Centre!
I hope you and your loved ones are well and coping with the third lockdown.
This week is a mixed bag of news. We now have a timetable for opening up our services (see Part Two) but Bury is sadly facing an increase in the rate of Coronavirus infections which could scupper all our plans (see Part One). We are coming to the end of our Free Energy Checks project, which provides free equipment to help you reduce your bills but we can support 10 more households (find out more in Part Two).
In Part Three of this newsletter, there is news about £350,000 investment into Clarence Park, and we announce this month’s winners of our 100 Club.
Part One: Coronavirus in Bury
In Bury, on Thursday 24th February, 227.8 people per 100,000 were tested positive for coronavirus – a rise of 11% from the previous week’s figure. Bury now has the highest infection rate in Greater Manchester. On the same day, the England average was 116.9 people testing positive per 100,000 – a fall of 13% from the previous week’s figure.
Bury residents are living under the regulations of the National Lockdown, which was outlined in my email on Tuesday 5th January. A link to that email is here: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/bury/our-services/coronavirus/newsletter--5th-january/
59,000 people in Bury have now received their first vaccination - that’s about a third of the eligible population (182,100). This is a tremendous achievement by our council, local health services, the army and local volunteers.
Book a vaccination online
You can now book a vaccination online if you are aged 64 and over, or if you have previously received a letter saying you are at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable), if you receive Carers Allowance or if you are an eligible frontline health or social care worker.
More vaccination information
The Bury Council website has a page about the vaccine at https://www.bury.gov.uk/coronavirus-vaccine
Dementia UK has produced guidance on how best to support people who experience dementia with the vaccination process. Click here: Giving the Covid-19 vaccine to someone living with dementia - Dementia UK
Our friends at Age UK have produced a webpage answering the main questions about the Covid-19 vaccine. Click onto https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/coronavirus/coronavirus-guidance/coronavirus-vaccine
New coronavirus shielders
1.7 million people have just been contacted by the government to inform them that they have been identified as people who need to shield.
During the pandemic, evidence has accumulated that certain groups in society – older people, men, people of minority ethnicity, people with some medical conditions, people who are obese, people living in more deprived areas – have been at higher risk of being hospitalised and dying from coronavirus than others in the population.
The 1.7 million new shielders may not have a single condition that puts them at very high risk, but a combination of characteristics, each of which increase their risk a little and which, together, raise their risk to an extent that they are recommended to shield, and be prioritised for a coronavirus vaccine.
Part two: Our support to you
Telephone helpline and online support
We will be answering the Age UK Bury office telephone – 0161 763 9030 - from 10.00 am to 2.00 pm every weekday throughout the lock down. If we can not help, we are sure to find someone who can! If you get the answerphone, please leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
We will update people with latest news on
During the Coronavirus pandemic, we are trying to keep essential support services open. These include:
- Information & Advice
- Keeping in Touch - our new telephone befriending service
- Handyperson Service - to help you with those small DIY jobs around the house
- Online Activities by Sue and Diana
- Our weekly email newsletter
Provisional timetable for reopening our services
Based on the government’s announcement this week, our provisional plan is
Week beginning Monday 29th March
- Nordic walking with Diana
- Group walks of no more than 6 people
Step 2 - No earlier than 12th April
- Charity shops
Step 3 - No earlier than 17th May
- Jubilee Café with social distancing restrictions
- Organised exercise classes
- Friends Together
- Face to face Information and Advice sessions with social distancing restrictions
- Walks for groups for no more than 30 people
Step 4 - No earlier than 21st June
- Jubilee Café with no social distancing restrictions
- Face to face Information and Advice sessions with no social distancing restrictions
- All other activities including Bingo and Quiz
- Collections for Charity shops
- Walks with no limit on numbers of people
This is a provisional timetable and subject to change. The health and safety of members, volunteers, tutors and staff remains our number one priority and we may keep some services closed, even if there is no legal requirement to do so.
We will announce the opening of services through this newsletter, so you lucky readers will be the very first to know what is going on!
Last chance to claim a free energy checks and free equipment
Older people in the borough of Bury can receive a free home energy check and goods worth up to £30 through our new Handyperson service.
Andrew, our handyperson manager will assess the energy efficiency of a person’s home, give tips on how to save energy and, where appropriate and abiding by Government rules on social distancing, install simple and practical energy efficiency measures such as draught proofing, low energy light bulbs and radiator reflector panels to help reduce energy bills. These goods are free and worth up to the value of £30 per household.
Here are some comments from people who have received this offer:
- “Great service, my home feels cozy now and draught free”
- “Brilliant support and help with checking I’ve got a competitive energy tariff”
- “Fantastic help and support changing my meter and bringing the cost of my electricity down”
- “Really helpful with supplying energy saving bulbs and timers”
For more information, contact Louise on 07872 067662 or email Louise@ageukbury.org.uk. Louise’s office hours are 08:30 am – 4:00 pm, Monday to Thursday. At other times, please leave a message on the answer machine.
We can only help 10 more households before this project comes to an end. First come, first served.
Part Three: And in other news
We are sad to report that Anne Pearson, a regular at the Jubilee Centre for many years and a member of the Friends of the Jubilee Committee, has passed away. Our thoughts are with Anne’s family and friends at this sad time.
100 Club - This month’s winners
Today, we can announce the second group of winners in our new 100 Club.
For the February draw, we had 42 members. The winners this month are:
- 1st prize - No: 35 Pauline McCann
- 2nd prize - No: 41 Jean McCoy
- 3rd prize - No: 24 Anonymous
The numbers were chosen using a computerised random number generator and independently verified.The cheques will be in the post today.
There are plenty of numbers to purchase and if you would like to join for the March draw, please call us on 0161 763 9030 and we will send you a brochure. Alternatively, click on this link: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/bury/get-involved/100club/
Clarence Park News
Clarence Park is to receive a £350,000 investment to improve the park and its facilities. The funding will address the top priorities identified by residents in the survey carried out last year (completed by over 600 park users):
- A new skate park
- Refurbishment of the Ball Zone and tennis courts
- An upgrade of the playground
- New bins and benches
- Improvements to footpaths and fences.
A new facebook group has been set up for all users of Clarence Park to work together. Join “Friends of Clarence Park” here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/266221755033047
There is “Friends of Hoyles & Finchy Parks” which you can find at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/482976866192157
Age is just a number
Joe Biden became the US president at 78, Natalie Levant became a comedian at 89 and Margaret Ford wrote her first book at 94. Here are six positive stories to inspire you.
Last week's quiz was a General Knowledge, Music, Food and Drink Quiz and the answers are in the link.
This week’s quiz is a Bury, Music and General Knowledge Quiz. The quiz is just for fun and to keep you out of mischief. The answers will be in the next newsletter.
Keep warm and stay safe. We will be back next week - send us any news to share with others.
Andy and all at Age UK Bury