Coronavirus: if you need help

Coronavirus: what if I need help?

There is always help available in Buckingham.

Information about Coronavirus is being updated rapidly. To keep up to date with current and accurate information stick to trusted sources; visit the NHS coronavirus page which has information about the virus, symptoms, self-isolating, and travel.

Food and essentials

If you are in isolation or advised to stay at home you may be worried about how to get food and other essentials going forward. As a first option, always choose to ask someone you know personally and trust (or a business you trust) for help with food deliveries or prescriptions.

If you are able to afford food, but having difficulty getting a delivery slot, you can ask the Buckingham Support Network if a volunteer may be able to deliver essentials to your house.

For information on which local businesses are doing home deliveries and/or collection please visit https://www.facebook.com/cllrwarrenwhyte

Downloadable self-isolating poster and high risk household poster for deliveries.

Is your local business now offering a delivery service for essentials in Buckingham? Contact us on office@buckingham-tc.gov.uk to be added to the list. Please provide a link to your website or offer.

Lots of local businesses are launching new delivery services to help those in need have essential items delivered to their door. Including:

If you are not sure, please call and ask.

Restaurants and takeaways delivering:

It's not just food - all kinds of shops are offering home delivery:

Buckinghamshire Council can arrange food parcels for those shielding who are unable to access food, to apply, call the main switchboard on 01296 395000 and ask for help.

Medical Help

If you think you may have Coronavirus and need medical help, please use the NHS 111 symptom checker service for help. 

If you have questions for The Swan Practice about prescriptions or appointments, please check their website which is being kept up to date with the latest news.

Pharmacies are all operating on different opening hours in order to keep up with the demand for prescriptions. They may have longer lunch breaks or open later and close earlier. This helps them ensure everyone gets their medication.

Please do not call for information or queries - this delays everyone's prescriptions. Instead check the website for updates and opening hours before you visit. 

Some people are considered at very high risk of severe illness if they catch Coronavirus (Covid-19) These people should have received a letter from the government highlighting them as vulnerable, and giving them advice on actions to take over the coming months. If you are not sure if this includes you or someone you care for, there is more information on the government website.

A small group of these people have been identified as extremely vulnerable. The advice for this group is different. Extremely vulnerable people are advised to 'shield' which includes staying home for at least 12 weeks from the time they receive their letter. Many companies have therefore said that they will prioritise those classified as extremely vulnerable for access to deliveries, including Sainsbury's.

If you have not received a letter, but think you should have, you can still register with the government as an extremely vulnerable person on their website or by calling the helpline on 0800 0288327. This is particularly important if you think you may need help getting deliveries of food or essentials, and will help you access food deliveries.

There are a number of other groups offering additional help and advice to those shielding:

  • Buckingham Hub runs from Buckingham Library and can offer support coordinated by Buckinghamshire Council including emergency food parcels.
  • Prevention Matters offer help and advice
  • If you are concerned about an extremely vulnerable person who might need help, call Buckinghamshire Council on their a 24 hour phone number – 01296 383 204 – this number is specifically for calls relating to coronavirus only.
  • Buckinghamshire Adult Social Care team are also reaching out to vulnerable people they are aware of. If you know of someone who might need their help, call the Adult Social Care team on 01296 383 402.
  • Downloadable high risk household poster

A new mental health helpline has been launched for those living in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. The helpline runs in a similar way to 111. People can call when they need to find out when and where to get help and to access support from mental health professionals.

Adults: 01865 904 997

Children and young people: 01865 904 998

When someone is seriously ill or injured, or in an acute confused state, call 999.

Transport

If you are an elderly or vulnerable bus pass user, Buckinghamshire Council has asked all bus companies to accept bus passes at any time of day so that you can access early opening hours for shops. For updates on bus timetables you can check the Buckingham Council buses page.

If you work for the NHS and are currently not able to get to work due to public transport or car problems, Bucks Self Drive are offering short term free hire.

Financial Problems?

Many people's lives have changed hugely over the last few weeks. If you are now having financial problems and need help and advice there are places you can turn for help.

The long running Buckingham Food Bank and the newer Buckingham Athletic Emergency Food Centre are able to provide food to those in financial need through referral systems.

The Buckingham Foodbank is available for anyone in North Buckinghamshire struggling with food poverty. Please get in touch with Buckingham Citizens Advice Bureau who can refer you to the foodbank.

As well as being able to refer families and individuals to Buckingham foodbank, Citizens' Advice can also help with any questions or difficulties you may have regarding:

  • Managing money
  • Debt
  • Benefits
  • Housing
  • Employment

If you are concerned about paying your bills, as a first step we recommend contacting your usual providers and asking what support they may be offering at this time.

If you think you might be eligible, we recommend you apply for Universal Credit as soon as possible. We are hearing reports that phone lines are very busy and calling outside of peak times may help. Telephone: 0800 328 5644

Get everything you will need to apply ready for your application before you try and claim.

The government advice pages can tell you more about Universal Credit.

Coronavirus Scams warning

Stay safe everyone, if you are concerned that you or someone you know has been a victim of fraud please contact: Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 and contact your bank.

For advice call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 11 33

 

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme

There are grants available from the government for self-employed people. Please check the government website for more information and how to apply.

Grants

Buckinghamshire Business First, Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership and Buckinghamshire Council have been working on local programs to help support struggling local businesses. Visit Bucks Business First for more information.

Grants of up to £5,000 are available

  • To support businesses to invest in professional services which will provide essential support and identify opportunities to increase business resilience.

Grants of up to £10,000 are available

  • To support businesses that do not qualify for government support or to provide the difference in value where national support can be provided.
  • To support businesses who wish to switch production or re-direct resource to support national need.
  • To enable businesses to invest in measures that will improve business resilience.

These grants are only available to businesses based in the Buckinghamshire Council area. Eligibility criteria apply.

To find out more about these grants, visit the COVID-19 Business Resilience Fund page.

Other Buckinghamshire Council Grants

This above fund is a separate scheme to the £10,000 grants for businesses in receipt of the small business rate relief and the rural rate relief, and the grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses. Those funds are being delivered directly by Buckinghamshire Council. To find out more, please visit the Buckinghamshire Council Business Support Hub.

Buckinghamshire Council offers a Local Emergency Fund, this can help residents of Buckinghamshire in need with access to food banks, food vouchers and meter top ups.

You can also contact the Council by calling 01296 395000 to ask about government food boxes which are being delivered to those considered Extremely Vulnerable.

Coronavirus: help with social activity during self-isolation

Tourist Information Centre/Shopmobilty

Both Shopmobility and the Tourist Information Centre have closed their offices, however the phone lines are still open to enquiries. Please pass this phone number: 01280 823 020 to anyone without access to the internet for help with inquiries about Buckingham, from public transport to what shops are open and more, the Tourist Information Centre team will try and find you answer.

Going into self-isolation can feel intimidating. We've talked about the practical side above, but staying mainly or totally at home for two weeks or twelve can still be part of a community effort. Mind has advice about looking after your mental health while in social isolation, and on social media we have seen lots of ideas for ways to keep entertained.

The Town Council may have had to postpone or cancel local events, but there are lots of wonderful group events continuing across social media platforms, from virtual Choirs to exercise classes and art projects. Share your efforts and make new connections with others trying the same things.

We love Isolation Examination! Buckingham's own weekly quiz. Follow them on Facebook to join in every Wednesday at 8pm.

Two facebook groups are also advertising online events:

Video calling is a great way to get in touch with people, with several different platforms offering video calls for free - if you haven't tried them before it's a great time now.

Contact Us

The data obtained will only be used with regards to this enquiry and will not be used for future marketing or passed on to any third parties. This is in accordance with GDPR. By filling in the information you give your explicit consent for your data to be used for this purpose only. For more information please read our privacy policy.

Coronavirus: volunteer

Coronavirus: how can you help?

Information about Coronavirus is being updated rapidly. To keep up to date with current and accurate information stick to trusted sources; visit the NHS coronavirus page which has information about the virus, symptoms, self-isolating, and travel.

Use the tabs below to find out more about volunteering opportunities.

Buckinghamshire Council is implementing a community support hub system. For more information about ways you can be involved, please check their website.

We will update this entry as more information becomes available. 

Buckingham Foodbank and the Buckingham Athletic Emergency Food Centre are collecting food donations to distribute to those who cannot afford to buy food.

The food bank are looking for donations of soups, tinned meats, tinned veg and fruit, beans, pasta, rice and other similar non-perishable goods. You may see trolleys out for donations at local supermarkets. You can also donate at:

Buckingham Athletic Clubhouse
10 am to 12 noon
Tuesdays and Wednesdays
(Please leave donations in the box by the ramp)

The Centre, Verney Close
10.30 am to 11.30am 
Tuesdays 
(Car park entrance)

Donations are hugely appreciated and make a real difference to those in need.

Being able to self isolate effectively is really important to help stop the spread of Covid-19/Coronavirus. If you can, please volunteer to check on your neighbours and support them if needed. You can do this by:

King's College London is doing research into Covid-19.

By taking 1-minute to self-report daily, even if you are well, you can help scientists identify:

  • High-risk areas in the UK
  • Who is most at risk, by better understanding symptoms linked to underlying health conditions
  • How fast the virus is spreading in your area.

Sign up online!

Going into self-isolation can feel intimidating. We've talked about the practical side above, but staying mainly or totally at home for two weeks or twelve can still be part of a community effort. Mind has advice about looking after your mental health while in social isolation.

Many groups and social activity groups are making use of online facilities including YouTube, Skype and Zoom.

Social media and video platforms are also fantastic ways to keep in touch with family and friends. If you know someone who would enjoy online activities and needs help to get connected, why not give them a call and see if you can help them get started?

Our events calendar is also now looking a little empty - if you are offering a FREE  online or socially distant class, concert, poetry slam or anything fun frankly and are based in the Buckingham area, let us know and we will add your event to our events calendar.

Two facebook groups are also advertising online events:

Members of the public can sign up quickly and easily at goodsamapp.org/NHS to become NHS Volunteer Responders, and can be called on to do simple but vital tasks such as:

  • delivering medicines from pharmacies;
  • driving patients to appointments;
  • bringing them home from hospital;
  • or making regular phone calls to check on people isolating at home.

Both Shopmobility and the Tourist Information Centre have closed their offices, however the phone lines are still open to enquiries. Please pass this phone number: 01280 823 020 to anyone without access to the internet for help with inquiries about Buckingham, from public transport to what shops are open and more, the Tourist Information Centre team will try and find you answer.

A national campaign, For the Love of Scrubs is looking for volunteers to sew sets of scrubs for NHS use. There is a local facebook group coordinating volunteers.

Both Milton Keynes Hospital and The Swan Practice have said they would be delighted to accept donations.

Many shops are now closed to the public. For some businesses this could cause real financial struggles. If you can, please do call the wonderful businesses around Buckingham and see if they are operating a delivery service.

Food and essentials:

Restaurants and takeaways delivering:

It's not just food - all kinds of shops are offering home delivery:

Is your local business now offering a delivery service for essentials in Buckingham? Contact us on office@buckingham-tc.gov.uk to be added to the list. Please provide a link to your website or offer.

If you would rather donate money, many charities are looking for donations at this time.

Heart of Bucks are coordinating a Coronavirus Response Fund that will be distributed directly to individuals in need, as well as local groups best able to support individuals in their areas. To donate directly, visit Total Giving.

Local hospitals also have their own fundraising groups, and many are giving detailed information about the kind of donations they can and can't accept. Visit their pages for more information.

Do you have an idea for a new project?

Are you running a project now and need help or advice? Community Impact Bucks is a great resource for community groups and can give lots of useful advice, including training videos for volunteers and accessing funding.

Contact Us

The data obtained will only be used with regards to this enquiry and will not be used for future marketing or passed on to any third parties. This is in accordance with GDPR. By filling in the information you give your explicit consent for your data to be used for this purpose only. For more information please read our privacy policy.

Information Centre by Phone and Online

Buckingham Tourist Information Centre may have closed its doors for now, but we are still committed to helping anyone that needs it. We have set up a support line for Buckingham residents that don’t have access to the internet and need information on where to find help, essential travel information, local business closures and opening times.

We are currently compiling a list of information that we think people will need, but please let us know if you are doing something for the community or if you are a local business with a change to your circumstances. We don’t know everything, but we will try our best to help in any way we can. Contact us on 01280 823020 or email tic@buckingham-tc.gov.uk

 

Temporary closure of public toilets

Due to the ongoing coronavirus (covid-19) situation, the public toilets in Cornwalls Meadow car park and Chandos Park have been temporary closed.

Our green spaces team have been marking these facilities closed, as well as play areas and play areas run by partner organisation Aylesbury Vale District Council in order to reduce the number of staff needed to work on this task.

Temporary Closure of All Council Play Areas

Following Monday’s announcement by the Prime Minister, as of Tuesday morning, 24th March the Town Council has closed all of the play areas it manages, i.e. those in Bourton Park (junior and senior), Chandos Park, Badgers Estate (Otters Brook), Meadway (Ken Tagg) and Lace Hill. It has also closed the use of the outdoor sports and exercise equipment in Bourton Park.

There are 8 other play parks in Buckingham not managed by the Town Council and the same rules will apply to them.

The Town Council’s parks remain open for exercise, however everyone who is visiting parks and open spaces must maintain social distancing, keeping at least 2 metres from each other. This means please avoid narrow paths, as well as thinking carefully about activities you may do there. It is not appropriate to use parks as social spaces to meet others who are not living in your household.

This is particularly important to remember while exercising. If you are moving faster than another individual or household group and are not able to pass someone with a 2m distance between you, you must stop or move to an area where there is a suitable distance. All park users are responsible for ensuring that this distance is maintained.

We will continue to monitor the position and may need to take further steps to protect the well-being of our residents. We are in this together.

Full government guidance on staying at home and away from others

Easter Egg Hunt for Everyone!

If you’re in isolation you can still join in our Easter Egg Hunt! Simply print out and Image of our Happy Easter colouring activitydecorate as many eggs as you like, fancy colours and designs encouraged and display them in your windows or around your area for egg hunters to spot!

Print your Buckingham Egg PDF

The weather is lovely, If you can, get out and have some much needed fresh air and fun around Buckingham. See how many colourful eggs you can spot on your walk. We would love to see how many you find and which you thought were eggstra special!

Good luck and stay safe. We’re looking forward to seeing your designs!

 

Impact of Coronavirus Measures on Buckingham Town Council Services

Grounds Maintenance

The Grounds Maintenance Team are continuing to work to maintain Bourton and Chandos Parks, green spaces and cemetery.  Grass cutting will soon start again, including on grass verges and vision splays.

Play area checks and repairs will continue.  Parents and guardians should take appropriate steps to ensure children’s safety and hygiene is projected when using equipment.

Members of the public are asked to remember that Town Council staff have been instructed to have minimal direct contact while they are at work, so all questions about Council services should be made by phone or email wherever possible.

UPDATE AS OF 24th March – ALL play areas and outdoor gym equipment across Buckingham is now closed. 

25th March – Public toilets are closed

Markets

The Town’s markets remain very much open, and are proving more popular than ever.  The market provides people with a low risk outdoor place to shop for essential supplies.  All stall holders have been asked to make sure they have some means of hand washing at their stall which they should use regularly.  This is a great way to support local businesses at this time.

Shopmobility

The Shopmobility Service is now closed temporarily, due to a reduced demand and to protect staff.

Tourist Information Centre

The Tourist Information Centre has been closed temporarily, following the closure of the Old Gaol.  However, staff are still available to answer queries by telephone and email during the Centre’s usual working hours:

Opening Hours

Monday – Saturday, 10.00am to 4.00pm

Contact Us

Phone: 01280 823 020

Email: TIC@buckingham-tc.gov.uk

Web: www.buckinghamoldgaol.org.uk

Lace Hill Sports and Community Centre

The centre remains open for hire but not for general public access by drop in.  Hirers are being asked to keep their activities under review, and to ensure all users follow the government’s hygiene advice.  Many activities have now been put on hold, so do check before visiting the Centre.

Events

  • The Funeral Fair, Death Café and Civic Service have been cancelled owing to the low numbers forecast to attend, and requests from stallholders and attendees not to go ahead.
  • The Annual Town Meeting has been postponed.
  • The Easter event planned for 5th April at the Lace Hill Community Centre has been cancelled.
  • Music in the Market will also not go ahead.
  • The planned VE Day celebration will now be held as a combined event to mark VJ Day on 15th August.  More details will follow.

Decisions about events planned for later in the year will be made at a later date.

Town Council Office

The Town Council office is now closed to visitors.  However staff are still working and phone calls and emails will be responded to in the usual way: office@buckingham-tc.gov.uk  01280 826426.

Buckingham Town Council Agree Detailed Climate Emergency Action Plan

Buckingham Town Council declared a Climate Emergency in July last year (2019).  Since then the Council has been busy investigating actions the Town Council can take, as well as looking for ways to work with partners to make a difference.

The Council has set the following objectives:

  1. Energy – to reduce energy demand, improve energy efficiency and convert to renewable, low or zero carbon technologies for energy and heat.
  2. Transport – to promote walking, cycling and public transport. Accelerating the move to Council owned electric vehicles.
  3. Food & Land – to promote sustainable land management, including tree planting to help absorb carbon & water.
  4. Economy, Housing & Waste – to support the local economy to ensure existing and new homes are climate resilient whilst reducing, re using and recycling materials and ongoing resources e.g. water
  5. Community Engagement – to engage local people in accelerating their own responses and building resilience to ongoing climate impacts.

The Council has already:

  • Replaced one vehicle with an electric van. This has proved a big success; with vehicles only moving within the town, this has reduced the use of diesel considerably, and also means we have a quiet vehicle to use in the cemetery when needed.
  • Updating the Town Council’s lights in Chandos Park with LED lights, reducing the power used
  • Plans are in place to install solar panels on the Buckingham Community Centre and Lace Hill Sports and Community Centre
  • Ensuring Town Council events are free of single-use plastics
  • A water bottle refill station will be installed in Chandos Park in April, thanks to funds given by Buckinghamshire County Council’s Local Area Forum to the Town Council

Each of the Council’s four committees has reviewed the Climate Emergency Action Plan and added actions within their remits.   44 Actions have now been agreed and are published on the Town Council’s website 

The Actions will include:

  • Hosting one public meeting a year to promote ideas and opportunities for the town
  • Offset carbon emissions by planting more trees (whenever possible)
  • Buy local, fair-trade, recycled, plastic free, repairable and sustainable products wherever possible/available.
  • Review of grass verges and hedges to identify areas to be trimmed less and later in the year to support more wildflowers and insects
  • Asking grant applicants to consider the impact on the environment of their project and any steps they can take to mitigate them.

Councilor Ruth Newell, Chair of the Council’s Environment Committee, said:

“I’m really pleased that Buckingham Town Council is taking the lead in recognising that we need to take actions locally to address climate change.  We look forward to working with local groups, as well as reviewing our own operations to take immediate action, and also to plan for longer term changes, such as the vehicles we use.  There are so many no-cost and low-cost options available that when combined with the funding available to community and other organisations we can start to play an increased role in combating climate change.”

Editors Notes:

 

  1. For enquiries please contact Paul Hodson at Buckingham Town Council on 01280 816426, office@buckingham-tc.gov.uk.

 

New Town Councillor to be Co-opted

image of polling station signOn Friday morning Downing Street announced that said it would be impractical to hold local and mayoral election in May, as they would come during the peak of the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Polls were due to take place in Buckingham on the 7th May 2020 for positions at Buckingham Town Council, the new Buckinghamshire Unitary Authority and The Police Crime Commissioner.

There is currently one vacancy on Buckingham Town Council following the death of Councillor Derrick Isham earlier this year. This will now be filled by the Council co-opting a new member, because a by-election is not allowed at present. As with an election, anyone from the town will be able to put themselves forward. Details of the process to take part in this will be released as more information is available.

Coronavirus: Help in Buckingham

Featured

Information about Coronavirus is being updated rapidly. To keep up to date with current and accurate information stick to trusted sources; visit the NHS coronavirus page which has information about the virus, symptoms, self-isolating, and travel. Sign Health offers daily updates on Coronavirus in British Sign Language.

Buckingham is a great community: many groups have come together to try and work out how they can help elderly or self-isolating residents over the coming months.

Visit our Coronavirus: volunteer page to find out more about opportunities to support our community, locally and nationally.

how can you help banner

 

For a summary of help available, from local offers to national schemes, please visit our Coronavirus: if you need help page.

what if i need help banner

Closures

Please be aware that most non-essential shops, the library, vets for non-emergencies, all public play areas, public toilets, all outdoor exercise equipment, local long distance buses and bulky waste collection are all closed or not running currently.

The Town Council Office, Shopmobility, Tourist Information Centre and Lace Hill Sports and Community Centre are closed, but staff are still working. For full details, see our Town Council impact statement. 

For more information about services run by Buckinghamshire Council, including buses, please check the Buckinghamshire Council page.

COVID-19 Business Measures

Buckingham Town Council is asking companies, self-employed and all other traders in the town to help think about what can be done to help businesses reopen, support the high street and develop online sales from the town.

The Council has developed a Contact Form to allow us to understand what help and support local business may need to reopen and thrive post lock down. Please send your completed contact form to - admin@buckingham-tc.gov.uk

Contact Us

The data obtained will only be used with regards to this enquiry and will not be used for future marketing or passed on to any third parties. This is in accordance with GDPR. By filling in the information you give your explicit consent for your data to be used for this purpose only. For more information please read our privacy policy.