April 2020: News from your local MP

March 25 2020

Let’s help each other through coronavirus

THE COVID-19 Coronavirus emergency is making us all re-think how we organise our lives. This is a particularly urgent public health emergency, which has significant consequences for our jobs, communities and the way we interact with each other.
This is a time for us all, as a community, to step up and think about how we can help each other, even as we try to keep ourselves safe.
Hopefully everybody has now seen the advice which has been posted by the Government, South Gloucestershire Council, the Red Cross and other agencies.  
Moreover, this is an opportunity for us to reach out to our neighbours and friends, to ensure their well-being. It is easy to assume that someone else, or the Government will take care of things. Certainly Government is taking the lead, but we as citizens and neighbours have an opportunity to do a little bit extra.
My office and I are at your disposal, to help with any problems you may be experiencing with Government agencies or local authorities. My team will do what they can to assist. We are exercising precautions regarding meeting people, but if in doubt, please call my office.
It is heart-warming to see how local community initiatives are arising to respond to this emergency. Elderly citizens and those who have underlying health conditions are particularly vulnerable, but they still need to feel that they are part of our community, and can rely on all our support.
We can all do something to help: volunteering our time or looking out for our neighbours.
Readers will be aware of the general advice, but do please refer to the Government’s latest advice for households on the gov.uk website.
Students at the University of the West of England have a section on their website for advice.
If you are asthmatic and concerned about your particular risks during this outbreak please visit the website asthma.org.uk, where there is a special section on advice and triggers.
If you are pregnant, please refer to this advice from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists at rcog.org.uk.
First Bus is offering advice for those travelling using their at firstgroup.com and GWR have put up the following information for rail services at gwr.com/safety.
For older people in need of assistance locally please visit Age UK’s South Gloucestershire site on: ageuk.org.uk/southgloucestershire or call 01454 411707. There is also advice on the Age UK website.
Citizens Advice have a dedicated page on their website, citizensadvice.org.uk, offering advice related to coronavirus and you can call Citizens Advice South Gloucestershire on 03444 111 444.
If you are interested in assisting your neighbours in this time of difficulty, please consider registering to become a Red Cross Community Reserve Volunteer. This involves simply visiting reserves.redcross.org.uk to register your details and you will receive a text when the Red Cross needs help in your area.
I have registered to volunteer and would encourage everyone to do so.