I hope you and your loved ones are well. I hope you are staying cool and protected from the extreme weather conditions we are experiencing.
A big thank you to all who have visited our cafe and shops over the week and followed the rules on social distancing and wearing of face masks. We are really grateful for your support as the war against the coronavirus has not yet been won.
So far, we have not lost any staff because they have received a positive test result or been “pinged” by the NHS app but we are monitoring the situation daily. It is possible that staff and volunteers could suddenly have to isolate and this could cause us to close down at a moment’s notice. I guess it’s all part of the “learning to live with the virus” experience! It makes it impossible to plan anything with certainty.
In this week’s part three of the newsletter, there is news about scams, an update on social care reform and new courses from Adult Learning in Bury. Happy Reading!
Part One: Coronavirus in Bury
On Thursday 22nd July, 606.8 people per 100,000 tested positive for coronavirus over the last 7 days – that is an increase of 45%. This is the highest it has been in Bury during the whole of the pandemic.
On the same day, the England average was 537.7 people testing positive per 100,000 over the last seven days– an increase of 49% from the previous week’s figure.
In the last week, the number of hospital admissions in the UK rose to 5,175, (a rise of 31.1% from the previous week) and the number of deaths were 387 (a rise of 50.6% from the previous week). Hospitalisations and deaths remain much lower than at the equivalent time during the second wave and scientists say this is at least partly down to the protective effects of vaccines.
Whilst current research shows that the vaccines against Covid 19 are highly effective in reducing infections, symptoms, hospitalisations and deaths, the caveat is that vaccines do not make you invincible. You are certainly a lot safer after having had two jabs but it is still worth your while to reduce your personal exposure to virus by social distancing, wearing a facemask and sanitising your hands.
The official Bury Council / Bury CCG Update, published today, leads with the headline "Let’s act carefully as we take the next step". Download it from this link.
As of 18 July 2021, a total of 128,513 first doses and 102,655 second doses of the vaccine have been delivered from Bury's community vaccination centres, hospital hubs and regional vaccination centres.
The Bury Council website has an update of all the clinics offering the vaccination.at https://www.bury.gov.uk/coronavirus-vaccine
Alternatively, go to the Bury Covid 19 Vaccination booking service at https://covid.nhsbookings.com/gmpcn
For details on testing for Coronavirus, go to https://www.bury.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=15451
Click on the Government website for the full details. The guidance relating to protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable is on this Government website and it can be summarised as “just be careful”.
Part Two: Our services
With the increasing number of Covid-19 infections in Bury, any of our services may have to close at a moment’s notice should one or more of our staff have to self-isolate. We will advertise any changes via Facebook and Twitter.
The Jubilee Centre Cafe
Our café is open next week from 10 to 2.30, Monday to Friday.
In our cafe, we ask that all customers respect social distancing rules and wear a facemask when moving around. Our staff and volunteers will be doing likewise. Table service will continue until we feel it is safe to reintroduce counter service. As a temporary measure, the cafe will extend into the main hall, allowing us to accommodate more people.
Real life activities!
Diana is leading a Nordic Walking class on Wednesday afternoons from 2.00 pm till 3.00 pm. The classes are £5, payable by cash or cheque, on the day. We will supply the poles and Diana will give full instructions. You can just turn up on the day.
Sue will be leading her Tai Chi class outside the Jubilee Centre on Thursday morning at 11.00. This class is £5 - pay Sue. If it rains and it gets cancelled, our cafe is open for a coffee.
We are continuing with some online activities until we can reopen the centre properly.
Diana will be on our Facebook page on Monday for gentle exercise and chair-based exercise and on Tuesday, we see the return of Dancefit. Go to https://www.facebook.com/ageukbury for details.
Sue will be leading her Tai Chi class on Friday morning. Send an email to email@example.com for an access code and link to the Zoom app.
Our Charity Shops
Our Ramsbottom charity shop is open from 10 am to 4 pm, Wednesday to Sunday and our Bury charity shop is now open on Tuesday to Saturday from 10 to 4.
We are unable to collect donations at the moment but we can accept over-the-counter donations if you are able to bring them to the shop.
We will be asking our shoppers to wear facemasks and keep their distance from others. We really need our staff and volunteers to stay healthy and our shops to stay open.
During the pandemic, we are keeping 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
Jubilee Centre activities
Last week, I reported that we have delayed restarting activities at the Jubilee due to the increasing rise of the Coronavirus infection rate in Bury. We have a provisional date of the week beginning 9th August for reopening activities but this is not set in stone. It will all depend on the infection rate in Bury coming down.
Last week’s announcement prompted responses from people who were “frustrated and disappointed” by the delay and others who felt we should “be prudent” and delay activities until September.
Any activity that brings people together runs the risk of increasing the rate of infection, people falling ill and people being forced to self-isolate for 10 days. We all saw that one meeting with the Health Secretary who felt “groggy” resulted in the isolation of the Prime Minister and Chancellor for 10 days. No matter how careful people are, this virus has a sneaky way of creating havoc to any plan.
We are taking a financial hit by not reopening activities immediately. As a registered charity, we have a statutory and moral duty to “avoid exposing the charity’s beneficiaries to undue risk”. When it comes to choosing between the health of our members or our economy, we simply have no choice but to be cafeful and cautious. Nightclubs and private gyms do not have the same requirements as charities.
In March 2020, we closed the Jubilee Centre and shop a week before we had to. In reopening both the cafe and shops, we took our time and proceeded cautiously. This has paid off as we have managed to keep the cafe and shops open continuously. We will get the activities back as soon as it is safe to do so.
I also said last week that “we will not expect members to provide a Covid passport or proof of vaccination to participate in the activities or enter the cafe” However, it was reported this week that the government might enforce this and now I might have to recruit a team of Passport Controllers to inspect your paperwork! That distant sound of thudding you might have heard was my head banging on the desk as I read the news.I will keep you updated about this in future newsletters!
Part Three: And in other news
Social Care Reform
It was reported this week that the plan to reform social care is now delayed until Autumn. This is at a time when vital care services for older people in Bury are facing substantial cuts.
The Bury Times this week kindly published my letter about this issue and a copy is available at this link.
Please visit the https://keepyourpromiseboris.com/ to find out more about the need for social care reform.
Moving On Together ¦ Next Meeting
Moving On Together is a support group for Former Long Term Carers
The group will restart on Monday 9th August 2021 at St John's Church Hall, Parkinson Street, Bury at 2pm. Looking forward to seeing past members and welcoming new members. For more information phone 07510 435851
National Insurance Scam
One of our readers phoned up to say she had received a worrying message about her National Insurance number. The automated message stated: "This call is in regard to your National Insurance number. Ignoring this final warning may lead you to legal troubles. The reason behind this phone call is to inform you that your National Insurance number will be terminated due to some unethical financial transactions."
The recording then asks the recipient to "please press '1' to get more details."
The call is a data harvesting or phishing attempt, which could lead to identity theft. Pressing the button puts the recipient in touch with a scammer who will supposedly verify their National Insurance number. Unfortunately, anyone who responds is revealing key personal details putting their finances in danger.
You can also report tis to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 Monday to Friday 8am - 8pm or via their website at https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/reporting-fraud-and-cyber-crime
Beware Track and Trace Scammers
The Government carries out public health quarantine compliance checks on individuals who have a legal duty to quarantine at home for 10 days following international travel. This means that if you are required to quarantine, you may receive a visit from someone working on behalf of NHS Test and Trace to make sure you are complying with your legal duty.
Scammers are posing Test and Trace staff and if you are expecting a visit, please check this page about what to expect. Test and Trace staff will not request your financial details, such as your bank or credit card information or demand a payment or issue a penalty notice or fine.
Adult Learning Courses in Bury
Are you thinking about enrolling on an adult learning course in September? Find out more about their wide range of courses and try a free taster session in art, crafts, maths, mindfulness, languages and much more.
The online open days are on the following dates:
- Thursday 29 July (6pm to 8pm)
- Friday 30 July (1pm to 3pm)
- Saturday 31 July (10am to 12pm)
You can book sessions and 'meet' staff online and find out more about courses starting in September
Open Day at Bury Art Museum – Saturday 31th July from 10 am
Bury Art Museum will be hosting a few one-off happenings over the day as well as some great new exhibitions to visit. For more information, go to https://www.facebook.com/events/661967434759692/
Weeding at Clarence Park
Members of the Friends of Clarence Park will be meeting to tackle the weeds arounds Clarence Park. Join them on Sunday, 1st August at 11:00. More info at https://www.facebook.com/events/354724772845750/
The Weekly Quiz
The answers to last week’s Quiz is in the link.
This week’s Quiz brings you another 30 questions to test your knowledge. This quiz is just for you and your friends to enjoy. The answers will be sent out with next week’s newsletter.
If you have any news to share, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org
Good luck to Team GB in this year’s Olympics.
Keep safe and be careful!
Andy and all at Age UK Bury