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Published on 16 March 2020 11:58 AM

Whilst the nation and the World work together to minimise the reach and effects of the Coronavirus disease, we will be providing regular updates and information to ensure you can continue living your life.

CORONAVIRUS: What you need to know

Press Release

Charity boss says Teesside must get behind over 70s in Coronavirus emergency

The head of Teesside’s leading charity supporting older people has appealed for the community to get behind the over 70s, who are expected to be told to stay at home for up to four months due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Anne Sykes, Chief Executive of Age UK Teesside, said: “Tens of thousands are going to he heavily affected by this, right across Hartlepool, Stockton, Middlesbrough and Redcar & Cleveland. Many will have family, friends and neighbours who will come to their support.

“However, we know that many live alone, are isolated and do not have the support mechanisms they need to get through this very difficult period. Who will check that they are healthy, have enough food in the house, are warm and are coping emotionally with being alone?”

Age UK Teesside already provides services tor older people, including befriending, social activities, dementia support and financial advice, using teams of staff and volunteers. She said: “We need people in every neighbourhood to check that their older neighbours are okay. If not, they should contact social services or Age UK Teesside.”

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK said: “Many people will be deeply shocked at the news which has broken today about four months quarantine.  But if the science is clear that it’s what is necessary to save many older people’s lives then it must be the right thing to do for those aged over 70.

“We will all need to step up and help older people get through it in what is going to be several months of real national emergency.  Some older people can rely on great support from their families but not everyone is so lucky so we’re going to need to put some infrastructure in place and fast to help them get through.


“For now if you were planning to have lunch with the grandparents there’s no reason not to.  But keep a bit more distance, preferably at least a metre apart, no kissing and hugging sadly and those hand hygiene practices are fabulously important.

“Now is not the time to back off our older population, who need our love and support more than ever.  Do provide reassurance and now’s a good time to make a plan together as a family.  And for everyone else now is also a great time to look out for older neighbours, especially if they seem to be on their own and help to provide support in the weeks and months to come.”

For further information, contact Anne Sykes on ……contact details to add

Neighbourly Volunteers

In these challenging times, lots of people have been asking us how they can support older people who are staying at home.
The services delivered by Age UK and our partners typically require an application and training process that can take several weeks to complete.
In order to best support those older people who may be in need of some simple assistance immediately, we want to encourage you to take part in neighbourly volunteering.
Click on the link below and watch a training video that will provide helpful information that will help you care for older friends, family and neighbours.

Teesside Support Links

Service Update


---Tuesday 7th April 2020---

While the world unites to slow the spread of the Coronavirus and ultimately reduce the risk to the vulnerable among us, we continue to work for the older population of our community albeit from our own homes. So while our office sits empty and our living rooms and kitchens become overcrowded, we have a responsibility to the people of Teesside who need us now more than ever.


Our Mission Statement remains at the forefront of what we do, with a few tweaks in regards to delivery:


  • Helping to claim rightful entitlements to a range of benefits, so promoting financial security and stability

Benefit advice, checks and form filling services are still available via telephone. For those with failing vision or those unable to write, advisers can fill in the form for you. Forms that need signing can be mailed or hand-delivered, while completed forms that need checking or posting can be picked up.

  • Campaigning and lobbying on a range of issues of interest to older people

We are currently supporting the National Charity Guidance

  • Providing the opportunity to broaden social networks, meet new people and try something different

With social distancing and self-isolation comes loneliness and many older people in our community were already struggling with isolation long before COVID-19. Our Befriending Services are still operating, with staff and volunteers providing regular welfare calls with clients who otherwise wouldn’t have any communication.

Alternatively, our new Rekindle Project is offering online tutorials across Middlesbrough so you can learn how to make the most of your devices and alleviate some of the isolation by connecting with others online.

  • Promoting healthy living

We have detailed information on our website with advice on how to stay safe during this pandemic and encourage anyone who is struggling or unsure to get in touch. Taking care of your mental health during lockdown is vital and we have regular contact with our clients to ask how they are feeling and if there is anything they need from us to get through their day; something as small as delivering a newspaper can make all the difference.

For anyone struggling to stay active during lockdown we recommend the Active Tees YouTube channel, where they have gentle routines for all fitness levels, older people and Chair-Based Exercise.


"This isn't over..."

Tuesday 5th May 2020

Teesside key workers on COVID-19 “This isn’t over…”

Leading emergency services, local authorities and other key workers across the region are making a call for Teesside to play its part in responding to the need for continued commitment to government advice to adhere to social distancing.

Middlesbrough and the Tees Valley has been highlighted as one of the England’s most likely hotspots to ignore government advice to stay home, save lives and protect the NHS. With an estimated population of almost 700,000, a recent survey indicated that around 25% of people in the town of Middlesbrough will ignore the official advice.

The North East region is reported to have the highest coronavirus infection rate in the UK, with just over 9,000 confirmed cases to date.

Now local key workers from across Teesside have joined forces to issue a plea to ensure their towns do not continue to top a table of communities that have flouted the rules, leading to a further spread of the disease.

Staff from local NHS Trusts, the police and fire services, local authorities, local media and shop workers have released a Teesside-centric collaborative message across the region to keep going, to stay safe and ultimately save lives.

The campaign echoes the sentiments of one local NHS Foundation Trust – North Tees and Hartlepool, who issued a similar drive in early April. Julie Gillon, Chief Executive of the trust comments “when our initial campaign was launched we were planning to ensure that our region would be safe, that our services would be future proofed. We now need to come together as key workers more than ever to protect the Teesside population, to keep our key worker colleagues safe. As a combined voice, working together we can enact this”.

Chief Superintendent Thom McLoughlin, Head of Local Policing at Cleveland Police, said: “The Government continues to require people to stay home and only go out if they need to fetch food or medicine, to go to work if it's essential or to exercise. Even when you leave your home, you need to continue social distancing and keep at least two metres away from other people to protect yourself and others.

“Cleveland Police would like to once again thank the vast majority of local residents for working with us and partner organisations at this difficult time. We’ve been supporting over half a million people in the Cleveland area to do the right thing and help save lives and their response has been heroic.”

The video will also be released alongside a series of images that offer suggestions about what two metres apart might mean for a Teessider. From ten Teesside parmos to 25 lemon tops, 10 copies of a James Arthur LP to the length of Boro player Dael Fry, stood on a football. The key worker teams across the Tees Valley will work to share the messages across all of their social media accounts over the weekend to drive home the message ‘this isn’t over yet, don’t undo the good work to date’.