Wellbeing Wednesday: Parents Edition

Do your children like the outdoors? Maybe they do but you can’t get them away from their technology? Well why not let them try these apps by themselves or with you, their family and friends. They are fun, competitive and really cool! Let them experience all the new and exciting things that could be found in the local area.

Pokémon Go

Pokémon Go is a free smartphone app that combines gaming with the real world. The game uses location tracking and mapping technology to create an ‘augmented reality’ where you can catch and train Pokémon characters in real locations.

If your child is 13+ then they can sign up and enjoy seeing who they can catch. If they aren’t, you will have to sign up for them on your behalf. Permission permitting for all ofcourse!

What is Pokémon?

Pokémon (short for pocket monster) is a franchise owned by Nintendo and began life in the mid 90’s as a game for the Game Boy. The game is centred on fictional characters known as Pokémon which you can catch and train to battle each other.

How to sign up?

There are two options for signing up to the game. You can use a Google account to sign in, or you can create a Pokémon Trainer Club account. On the sign up screen, tap the Google icon, Enter your Google username and password. If you don’t already have an account, tap Create account and follow the instructions. From there, you can learn about Pokémon Go from Professor Willow, and choose a starter Pokémon. Once the account is set up, you can give yourself a cool username and then you’re ready to play.

How to play?

You have to walk around the real word and find the Pokémon characters that appear on the game map. When you come within a close enough range the Pokémon will appear on the device screen and then you can throw Poké Balls at them to capture them. The aim is to collect as many different characters as possible.

The map is an anime-style version of Google maps that replaces real street names and landmarks with Pokémon specific buildings so don’t get confused if your child comes home saying that their mates house has turned into a battle club or a mystery dungeon because it hasn’t!

Another feature of the game are Poké Stops which are real life locations where you can collect free Poké Balls. You can also find Pokémon eggs that hatch into Pokémon which can be added to your collection.

What would Pokémon want?

When playing Pokémon Go, it is advised that all users remember to be sensible when going to places new or meeting new people. Pokémon would want everyone to have fun but not get hurt so do ensure that you and your children stay safe!

If you or your child has any concerns regarding safety, please visit https://www.pokemongolive.com/en/faq/.

Buxplore

When you are out with your children, have they ever wondered what that strange looking building is? If you download the Buxplore app and take it with you on your walks, it can tell you all about these things and more! There is even a whole dedicated route for primary age kids, great right? Heritage for Kids is a fantastic trail to get you and the rest of your family out exploring. Starting at the Chantry Chapel, explore the oldest parts of Buckingham – find, touch and imagine icons from Buckingham’s thousand-year history. This short route passes by Chandos Park which is great to stop and have a sweetie break!

The app has clear maps, flagging locations to explore and audio options which make these routes really easy to follow. Simply use your mobile phone to access the app (don’t forget to turn on your mobile data and location tracking) then head out to the first stop on your chosen route.

Learn and explore Buckingham’s wild spaces from Bourton Park to Buckingham Canal. Connect with nature and learn more about Buckingham parks and the river Great Ouse. The explorer route is designed to be explored a little at a time, it is the perfect way to find some of the hidden green spaces you might not know about. Most of this trail is well away from roads and has lots of activities to try at every stop so you, mum and dad, don’t have to worry.

There’s been a murder! Can you solve the puzzles and find the culprit?

Buckingham murder mystery trail is a totally free interactive detective mystery. Start on Moreton Road at the Old Police Station and meet Sergeant William Jeeves! Solve puzzles to unlock new locations and discover clues as you take a tour around the scary side of Buckingham’s history. Don’t worry – hints are available if you get stuck.

Did we mention it’s free? No pocket money needed! Thanks to a £10,000 grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Buxplore is completely free to use and will remain live for the next five years, with new routes added throughout.

How to download the app and start using Buxplore?

Start by visiting Buxplore.web.app on your mobile phone and click the white box at the bottom of the screen to download the app. Then simply pick a route and visit the first location to get started!

Apps not your thing? How about you try playing games that don’t require devices or added platforms but rather just your imagination. The games that I am inferring here are I Spy, Stop and Go and Spot the Swan – a safer alternative to Yellow Car! There’s no time like the present to try these out, what can beat good old fashioned fun anyways? Let’s see how they work;

I Spy

First you need to designate who is going to be the spy. Then they will need to select an object that everyone can see but they mustn’t reveal what it is. The spy will then hint at what the object is by saying something like "I spy with my little eye something beginning with B."

Tip for the spy: Try not to look at the object when you are hinting at what it is. That would be a big giveaway!

Depending on how many people are playing, take it in turns to guess the object the spy has hinted so everyone gets a fair chance at guessing. Finally, once the object has been guessed, change the spy to the first person who guessed the object correctly and repeat the previous steps. To make it more fun, why not try changing the characteristics of the clues. For example, have your family guess objects that are a certain shape or begin with a certain colour.

Stop & Go

If you have a family of fairly small children, why not teach them their stop and go commands? It won’t be like home-schooling, it can just be an imaginative way of letting them pretend to be everyday objects like cars, trains or buses. They can even pretend to ride a pony if in desperation! All you have to do is act like a signal and shout ‘STOP’ or ‘GO’ when you want to change direction etc.

Spot the Buckingham Swan

Like the game Yellow Car, Spot the Buckingham Swan is where you have to tap another person in your group when you spot the Swan statue in Buckingham. The force of the tap should only be hard enough to ensure that the intended person knows that they have been hit, we don’t want any tears or bruises!

Remember to always be aware; the game is always on, unless otherwise agreed by everyone that you are taking a well-earned break.

If someone calls out ‘Swan’ the Buckingham Swan must be in view otherwise the tap will not count. Therefore, if you call out ‘Swan’ and tap another player but the statue is not in view, that player can tap you back. This also means that you cannot call ‘Swan’ before you see it even if you know where it is!

Winter Wellness Spotter Sheet

To help brighten up your daily bit of exercise and to recognise Children’s Mental Health Week this year, which runs from February 1st to February 7th, Buckingham Town Council has put together a Winter Wellness Spotter Sheet for young children. Download and print the spotter sheet and see if you can spot some or all of these seasonal nature signs on your walk today. Please take part responsibly and follow government guidelines on social distancing. For more fun, we've added some extra activity sheets to be completed at home.

Getting outdoors has taken on added importance in recent weeks and most people would agree that a walk in the fresh air is a sure way of clearing the head. The weather may be rubbish but encouraging your children to get back to basics and have fun playing outdoors can make a huge difference to their overall mental health and wellbeing. Even in winter, nature is still alive and there are lots of green spaces to see and explore within our lovely town. The spotter sheet can easily be completed around Bourton Park and Chandos Park and we hope it will make your daily walk even more enjoyable.

For more information about Buckingham walks and maps, visit our Walks and Maps page. Here you can download pdf copies of local walks and maps to help you explore beautiful Buckingham.

We would love to see some photos of you out and about completing the Winter Wellness Spotter Sheet! Please send your photos to us via private message on Facebook, or tag us on your post using #WinterWellness #SpotterSheet @BuckinghamTC and don't forget to tell us what you thought to be entered into a prize draw to win a reusable water bottle. We will do our best to share as many of your photos as possible. Happy hunting!

Possible Family-Fun Locations

Bourton Park Footpath and Trees
Children Playing in Edible Woodland
Close Up Shot of Buckingham Canal and Reeds

Winter Wellness Spotter Sheet

Heading outdoors for some fresh air?

To help brighten up your daily bit of exercise and to recognise Children’s Mental Health Week this year, which runs from February 1st to February 7th, Buckingham Town Council has put together a Winter Wellness Spotter Sheet for young children. Download and print the spotter sheet and see if you can spot some or all of these seasonal nature signs on your walk today. Please take part responsibly and follow government guidelines on social distancing. For more fun, we've added some extra activity sheets to be completed at home.Winter Spotter Sheet

Getting outdoors has taken on added importance in recent weeks and most people would agree that a walk in the fresh air is a sure way of clearing the head. The weather may be rubbish but encouraging our children to get back to basics and have fun playing outdoors can make a huge difference to their overall mental health and wellbeing. Even in winter, nature is still alive and there are lots of green spaces to see and explore within our lovely town. The spotter sheet can easily be completed around Bourton Park and Chandos Park and we hope it will make your daily walk even more enjoyable.

For more information about Buckingham walks and maps, visit our Walks and Maps page. Here you can download pdf copies of local walks and maps to help you explore beautiful Buckingham. If you cannot get out and about due to self-isolating, you should check out the Buckingham Community Heritage app Buxplore. Remote access has currently been enabled so you can choose your route and take a visual tour around the streets and parks of Buckingham, completing activities, questions, and mysteries from home.

We would love to see some photos of you out and about completing the Winter Wellness Spotter Sheet! Please send your photos to us via private message on Facebook, or tag us on your post using #WinterWellness #SpotterSheet @BuckinghamTC and don't forget to tell us what you thought to be entered into a prize draw to win a reusable water bottle. We will do our best to share as many of your photos as possible. Happy hunting!

 

Wellbeing Wednesday: Adults Blog

How are you feeling about this year? Your personal wellbeing is one of the most important things to help you get through tough times. Now, this isn’t another new year’s resolution blog telling you that you have to go on a diet. In fact, it’s a blog to help inspire you to try something new this year within Buckingham or surrounding areas.

Here’s some inspiration from Buckingham’s Office Apprentice:

I know that getting out and about might seem like a chore, but we all know that we feel better after we having some time outdoors. So why not try out these apps to see if you can incorporate some fun and invigorate your daily walk or outing.

Couch to 5k

NHS Couch to 5K will help you gradually work up towards running 5km in just 9 weeks.

Couch to 5K is a running plan for beginners. It was developed by a new runner, Josh Clark, who wanted to help his mum get off the couch and start running, too. The plan is really simple to follow and has clear objectives that you can work towards over the 9 weeks. You even have rest days each week, giving you lots of opportunities to try other activities and to tailor your exercise around your existing schedule.

How does Couch to 5K work?

The biggest challenge a new runner faces is probably not knowing how or where to start. Often when trying to get into exercise, you overdo it, feel defeated and give up when we're just getting started. But, Couch to 5K is different. It works because it starts with a mix of running and walking to help you gradually build up your fitness and stamina. It helps you create realistic expectations and by starting off slowly at week one, the challenge feels achievable right from the start.

Who is Couch to 5K for?

Couch to 5K is for everyone. Whether you've never run before or you just want to get more active, Couch to 5K is a free and easy way of getting fitter and healthier. Sounds perfect, right? Lots of local runners started this challenge and then joined Buckingham Park Run, one of the most local and popular running groups around!

What are the benefits?

If it’s your wellbeing you want to improve, then there are plenty of reasons why you should take part in this challenge. Running helps to improve your physical health as well as your mental health. You could lose weight if combined with a healthy diet or have a surge in confidence and self-belief, as you prove to yourself that you can set a target and achieve a goal. Or, because it’s been an exceptionally tough year, you might need to relieve some stress and running can do just that. It has been shown to combat depression which is something that a lot of people have faced.

How to get started?

  1. Download the Couch to 5K podcasts to your mobile device or computer.
  2. Work out a schedule that fits in with your home life to ensure you can stick to your running plan.
  3. Plan your route. It can be stressful to know where to go so why not be prepared and look at a map to plan a familiar route first.
  4. Make sure you are safe when running. If you find it easier or more relaxing to exercise with headphones, then do it but just be aware of your surroundings. Another tip I have found is to watch out for people or objects. It’s obvious but, try to stay a good distance away from others and make sure you look and or stop when changing direction or terrain on your travels. When running in the dark, make sure you can see where you're going and that other people can see you. Street lighting and High-Viz are your friends!
  5. Don’t compromise, be comfortable! The most important piece of kit is a pair of running trainers.

Strava

Strava is a free fitness-tracking and social media app designed for runners and cyclists with three main features: Tracking, connecting, and competing. You can track your fitness via GPS within the app, or log it manually. Strava helps you connect with other people in your area who share the same fitness interests as you and it allows you to even discover local clubs and athletic challenges together or alone.

How do I track my exercise?

You can record your exercise and choose from a wide variety of exercise options like running, e-bike riding and canoeing, including things like distance, pace and details about how you felt about the experience. You can also create posts and add photos, in addition to exercise logs which are all saved to your personal feed. The app can also sync to devices, like your phone, GPS watch or heart rate monitor. You can even view your exercise stats for running, biking or swimming.

Who can I connect with?

You can follow other users on the app, as well as athletes who use the app, to see their posts, photos and workouts. Why not find Buckingham Park Run on the app and connect with them? Those who follow you can also see your activities, and give you "kudos" - Strava’s definition of Likes - or leave comments on a post of yours.

Can I compete?

Strava users can also use the "Explore" tab to find local challenges, like upcoming half-marathons, or compete against themselves or other local athletes using segments. The "Explore" tab is also where you'd be able to connect with local exercise clubs and organise activities.

How to get started?

  1. Download the app and click the “Open Strava” button to show the login site where you can then sign up.
  2. Once you’ve have created an account by entering some basic personal data, make sure to click “YES” to confirm that you allow location access for tracking your activities.
  3. Then choose the “Let’s go” button to continue into your dashboard area. Once you’ve done that, you are ready to start tracking and recording your activities.

Geocaching

Are you looking for an adventure? Or just a change from the same old scenery? Here are 3 steps to help you begin.

  1. Create an account online or through the Geocaching app to view a map of geocaches near you.
  2. Find a geocache by using the app to navigate to a geocache nearby. Don’t forget to bring a pen!
  3. Once you find the geocache, sign and date the logbook. Place the geocache back where you found it and log your experience online.

How it works?

Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Don’t act like you are too old for a treasure hunt, everyone needs a bit of fun once in a while!  All you need to do is navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location. Then sign the logbook and return the geocache to its original location. It’s simple yet effective, brilliant for all of you that need an escape from a boring cycle and even more so for those of you that want some excitement back in your life. New and exciting should be the way forward!

Ingress

Ingress is a mobile app designed for all of you who enjoy to dream and game. The game takes place in a universe much similar to ours but there are some ultra-realistic and obvious differences along the way. Just like Pokémon Go, Ingress it based on geolocation and you interact with the environment around you.

What is Ingress App?

Ingress is an online game that lets you play with lots of people all at once. It is based on a sci-fi universe with a narrator that guides you around your local area to explore.

What is Ingress About?

The Ingress universe mostly acts like real life. However, within the game there seems to be mysterious aliens called Shapers. There isn’t much to know these shapers but one thing is for sure, they can be a serious threat to your online world!

Picture this; the battle takes place between the two factions, the Resistance and the Enlightened, and involves portals found at physical landmarks like monuments, historical buildings, and other places of importance. The point of this game is to capture, destroy, damage, link, recharge, or protect portals in your area. You can also battle other players of the opposing faction in real time, destroying or rebuilding portals and creating control fields.

What’s Ingress Gameplay Like?

First of all, the Ingress world is presented as a map of your actual surrounding area, without any markings or labels. On this map, you’ll be able to see all the portals, links, items, and control fields in the surrounding area. Your location is displayed as a small arrowhead that travels in real time with you.

This means that you walk around to collect items, strengthen portals, or try to destroy the enemy ones. The more active you are, the more action points you earn and the stronger your items will be. You’ll also be able to recharge portals for a longer time. You can also join in on missions, which include secret instructions!

You can also earn multi-tiered badges, going through the standard bronze to platinum and if you are good at the game, you have a chance to win the onyx badge, the highest-ranking tier. You will win a badge after proving your ability and loyalty to your faction. What a great way to win bragging rights from your friends by winning all the badges!

If you fancy something free, motivationally fun and spontaneous then these are some activities you need to try. Embrace life as we now know it and get back out there – safely of course – and feel like you again. Don’t do it for me, do it for yourself.

Possible Exercise Locations

Bourton Park Footpath Near Trees
Chandos Park Roundabout FootPath
Railway Walk Footpath With Archway of Trees

Tier 4: Stay at Home and Buckingham Town Council services

From Sunday 20th December Buckingham became a Tier 4: Stay at home area. This means that there is a very high or very rapidly rising level of Coronavirus Covid-19 infections.

There will be some changes due to Buckingham Town Council services because of the new restrictions, while other services continue:

  • The Tuesday and Saturday Market will continue to run (apart from Boxing Day), however non-essential retail are unable to attend.
  • The Flea Market will not be running.
  • Play areas, outdoor multi-use games areas and outdoor gym equipment will stay open, and the green spaces team will continue working as usual.
  • The Tourist Information Centre and the Tourist Information Centre phone line will be closed.
  • Shopmobility will continue to be open on Saturdays. Users are asked to call in advance.
  • Lace Hill Sports and Community Centre is now closed except for a small number of exempt activities.
  • The Town Council office remains closed to drop in visitors.
  • The cemetery is available for interments as usual and in line with restrictions.

Many local businesses are offering delivery or click and collect options. If you can, please support your community by buying local this Christmas. 

Contacting the Town Council over the Christmas break

If you need to contact the Council over the break, you can call 01280 816 426 between 9.30 am and 4 pm on the following days:

  • Monday 21st December
  • Tuesday 22nd December
  • Wednesday 23rd December
  • Tuesday 29th December
  • Wednesday 30th December

Normal services will resume on Monday 4th January 2021.

Finally, we wish you the best possible time over the Christmas holiday.

We know this is a really tough time for many local residents, families and businesses. If you are struggling and need help, please reach out and ask for support.

Buckingham Town Council Diversity and Inclusion Working Group

Buckingham Town Council has established a Working Group to examine issues which have been brought to public attention by recent racist events, seeking to establish how these affect Buckingham and the steps that may be taken in order to improve the lives of residents. The Working Group has been asked to bring their first progress report to the Town Council’s meeting planned for November 23rd, and to present their final recommendations by the end of this April 2021 – before the end of this Council year, when new Councillors will be elected.

The Group has so far met once. The Group is seeking input and comments from interested groups and individuals, and also expressions of interest in anyone wanting to take part.

To provide input, or to find out more, please contact the Town Clerk, Paul Hodson, on townclerk@buckingham-tc.gov.uk or via the Town Council’s office on 01280 816 426.

Buckingham Fringe Week – Stargazing From Your Back Garden

On Saturday 11th July, join in with an online zoom presentation at 7pm and chat with Ross Hockman of UK Astronomy. If you would like to attend, please contact our Events Co-ordinator via email on events@buckingham-tc.gov.uk for the meeting’s details.UK Astronomy is a locally based charity set up by a husband and wife to help teach others about the skies above them, they travel the Buckinghamshire area educating community groups, schools and do stargazing events. Ross said “Throughout lock down we have been doing I SPY IN YOUR GARDEN SKIES helping get people out in their gardens enjoying them and have seen a huge increase in numbers joining our Facebook group and this hobby. For more info please do visit us at www.ukastronomy.org.

VE Day Friday 8th May 2020

VE stands for Victory in Europe, and VE Day celebrates 75 years since the guns fell silent at the end of World War II.

Some of the Country's original VE Day celebrations are now sadly unable to take place. But that doesn't mean we can't celebrate from home! There are lots of ideas for different ways residents can join in.

 

Buckingham Events

Our Town Crier has risen to the challenge and will be making a special Cry for Peace.

The current schedule is as follows:

11:00 am: Join in the nationwide two minutes silence on your doorstep

2:55 pm: Bugler will play Last Post and Reveille

3:00 pm: Nation's Toast to Heroes of WW2

3:00 pm: Piper playing Battles O'er and VE Day 75

6.55 pm: Town Crier's Cry for Peace

Nation's Toast to the Heroes of WW2

VE Day celebration organisers are encouraging everyone to undertake the ‘Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of WW2’ at 3pm on the 8th May, from the safety of your own home, stand up and raise a glass of refreshment and undertake the following ‘Toast’: “To those who gave so much, we thank you."

This toast is an opportunity to pay tribute to the many millions at home and abroad that gave so much to ensure we all enjoy and share the freedom we have today.

Great British Bunting

BBC Radio stations have banded together with a great craft idea. Raid the house for supplies and make some Great British Bunting! A great way to show your pride and honour the men and women of WW2 over this special long weekend.

"You can decorate your bunting with pictures of whatever inspires you, whether it’s those who fought on the frontline or worked hard on the Homefront, or whether it’s a celebration of enduring peace or your own personal hero."

Easter in Buckingham

A message from The Mayor, Councillor Mark Cole JP:

thank you from buckingham mayor coronavirus“May I say a big thank you to everybody in Buckingham and district who has helped to reduce the risks of Covoid-19, not only those in the front line – NHS staff, carers, postal workers, council staff, refuse collectors, and food, foodbank and prescription deliverers – but to all those who are respecting Government guidelines by staying at home for all but the most essential trips to food and pharmacy outlets, or exercise.

“In line with Government advice, our town parks will be open for everyone to enjoy this Easter, but for obvious reasons the play areas will remain shut. Whether in the parks, the estates, or in the countryside, please keep your distance from others, and if you are a dog walker keep your dog on a lead – notices will remind everyone of this – and together we can beat this contagion.”

Easter Activities

Buckingham Town Council are inviting residents to create Easter bonnets!   If you’re stuck for what to use or may struggle to get materials, try using the things that are already accessible in your house and garden first.

Here are just a few materials you can use to make your very own Easter bonnet;

  • A hatImage of our Happy Easter colouring activity
  • Paper or Card
  • Colouring pens and pencils
  • Cotton Wool
  • Ribbon
  • Glitter or Sequins
  • Flowers
  • Glue
  • Scissors

Don’t forget your can create Easter Eggs for our Easter Egg Hunt too.

Post your creations to the Town Council’s Facebook and Instagram pages and use our #BucksBonnets so everyone can join in.

And why not wear your bonnet while you exercise over the weekend…

Covid 19 Information for Buckingham

Buckingham Town Council has published a Coronavirus web page giving links to local groups providing support, coordinating volunteers and seeking resources to do more in this challenging time.

The page is being updated each working day with any new information specific to Buckingham.  The Council is also using its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages to provide up to date information on its services and those of other organisations in the town.

This includes links to local businesses who are offering additional services at this time.  As well as local groups and services who are providing support to those who need it and who are seeking more volunteers.

Play Areas

The Town Council’s play areas remain closed for the time being, i.e. those in Bourton Park (junior and senior), Chandos Park, Badgers Estate (Otters Brook), Meadway (Ken Tagg) and Lace Hill, along with the outdoor sports and exercise equipment in Bourton Park.  The same applies to the other eight play parks in Buckingham not managed by the Town Council.

Parks and Green Spaces

The Town Council’s parks remain open for exercise for the Bank Holiday weekend, however everyone who is visiting parks and open spaces must maintain social distancing, keeping at least 2m from each other. This means please avoid narrow paths, as well as thinking carefully about activities you may do there. The parks should be used as routes to exercise through, not as places to remain in.

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.

The Grounds Maintenance Team are continuing to maintain Bourton and Chandos Parks, green spaces and the cemetery.  Grass cutting has started for the new season, including on grass verges and vision splays.

The Team will be checking the parks are safe and emptying bins over the Bank Holiday weekend.  However, 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.

The Buckingham Road Cemetery remains open in the usual way but the same social distancing principles apply.

Markets

The town’s Tuesday and Saturday markets remain open to stalls selling essential food and goods.  The market provides people with a low risk outdoor place to shop for essential supplies.

Shopmobility

The Shopmobility Service remains closed temporarily

Tourist Information Centre

Tourist Information Centre 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

Coronavirus: if you need help

Coronavirus: what if I need help?

There is always help available in Buckingham.

To keep up to date with current and accurate information about Coronavirus Covid-19 itself, stick to trusted sources; visit the Government Coronavirus page and 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.

As Buckingham has moved into National Lockdown in January 2021, advice for clinically extremely vulnerable people has changed. If you have not yet received a letter explaining the new guidance, there is information on the government website.

If you are extremely clinically vulnerable and need help, please contact Buckinghamshire Council's special support service.

Being in lockdown with an abuser is dangerous. Whoever you are, and whoever your abuser is, there are many charities waiting to help you, with advice and support. Citizens Advice keeps a detailed list of different groups you could call.

It is legal to leave your home to escape domestic abuse, even during lockdown. If you need to leave, then don't wait. Get help and leave as soon as you can.

The Bucks Family Information Service (BFIS) website is the first port of call for support for families with children 0 to 19 years old (or 25 if your child has SEND - special educational needs or disabilities).

The BFIS can support our sign post families to help from food parcels to emergency respite in a crisis. To contact the team call 01296 383 293 or email familyinfo@buckinghamshire.gov.uk

The phone line is open 9 to 5 Monday to Friday.

 

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.

If you are self-isolating and are concerned about opening the door for deliveries, downloadable self-isolating poster and high risk household poster are available.

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.

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 or extremely vulnerable. There are a number of other groups offering additional help and advice to extremely vulnerable people:

  • 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.

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.

There are a number of other support options including, local support groups and CALM - which has a webchat option from 5pm until midnight 365 days a year.

There have been some changes to bus timetables due to Coronavirus. For updates on bus timetables you can check the Buckinghamshire Council buses page.

Remember, all bus and public transport users now need to wear a face mask.

Please make sure you wear a face mask in enclosed public places. Using a mask in shops, public transport and restaurants reduces the spread of Covid-19 infection, by people who are not aware they’re infected.

Even though we encourage everyone to wear masks, some people are not able to. Please respect that not all disabilities are visibly obvious and those not wearing masks may do so for good reasons.

The Hidden Disabilities charity has a sunflower scheme which allows people with hidden disabilities to obtain lanyards, wristbands or wallet cards that has a sunflower logo on. If you see someone wearing or using any of those items with the sunflower logo on, you may need to give them some additional support, help or a little more time.

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 can still be part of a community effort. Mind has advice about looking after your mental health while in social isolation, and we have seen lots of ideas on social media 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 monthly 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, do give it a go.

Financial Problems?

Many people's lives have been impacted by Coronavirus and lockdown. If you are now having financial problems and need help and advice there are places you can turn for help.

If you are pregnant or have a young baby and need help with essential baby items, please ask your Midwife or healthcare professional about Baby Bundles.

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.

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

 

The long running Buckingham Food Bank 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 visit their website for information about how to apply for a food bank.

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.

Local advice

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

Bucks Business First.

COVID-19 Business Resilience Fund page.

Buckinghamshire Council Business Support Hub.

New grants were made available when the second phase of New Restrictions started in November, including the Local Restrictions Support Grant. Bucks Additional Restrictions Grant, and Wet-Led Pubs Christmas Support Grant Get in touch with Buckinghamshire Council to find out if any new funds may be available that you could apply for.

Furlough Scheme

The furlough scheme has now been extended until 31st March 2021. Visit the government website for more information.

Are you at risk of homelessness or homeless right now?

Bucks Council homelessness team are able to help you with practical help and advice.

The Swan Community Hub runs a job club. The job club team can support you with refreshing IT skills, fine tuning CVs and recognising the skills you already have to help you get that perfect job.

Buckinghamshire Council may be able to help with emergency payments for individuals in financial need.

  • Helping Hands – Call 01296 531 151 to get support with food and energy bills over winter. The phone line is open Monday to Thursday, 9am to 5:30pm, Friday, 9am to 5pm. In an emergency, please call our out of hours team on 0800 999 7677.
  • Test and Trace Support Payments – If you are asked to self-isolate, you may be entitled to a Test and Trace Support Payment of £500, depending on your personal circumstances. (See the link for full details.)
  • Local Emergency Support – If you live in Buckinghamshire, you may be able to apply for Local Emergency Support. This is intended to cover urgent short-term emergencies (i.e. no immediate food, no heating or lighting) through the use of food banks, food vouchers, and utility meter top-ups. Apply online or call us on 01296 382 414 during office hours. An out of hours service is also available by calling 0800 999 7677.

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.

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?

To keep up to date with current and accurate information about Coronavirus Covid-19 itself, stick to trusted sources; visit the Government Coronavirus page and the NHS coronavirus page which have information about the virus, symptoms, self-isolating, and travel. Sign Health offers daily updates on Coronavirus in British Sign Language.

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 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:

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 hasn't yet got connected, why not give them a call and see if you can help them get started?

Discover Buckingham are aiming to fill their calendar with Buckingham based socially distant classes, concerts, poetry (and anything else fun) let us know if you are running an online event and we will add your event to our events calendar.

Two facebook groups are also advertising online events:

If you would like to donate money to a local group or charity, please contact them directly. Many groups that rely on local fundraising to run their services are seeing a drop in income and would appreciate any donations, big or small.

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.

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.

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.

Download the NHS Covid-19 App and check in using the QR codes on display in many venues. Checking in everywhere you go helps the track and trace team notify close contacts of the need to self-isolate.

Please continue to support our local shops, restaurants and businesses. Many local businesses will be continuing with the delivery or click and collect sales options they developed earlier in the year. Even if a shop's door is closed, supporting local businesses by placing orders online or over the phone will make a real impact to our community this November. Check out your favourite shop's website, social media or call them if you want to know more about how they are operating.

Don't forget to wear a mask if you can, respect social distancing and wash your hands.

COVID-19 Business Measures

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

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

Please make sure you wear a face mask in enclosed public places. Using a mask in shops, public transport and restaurants reduces the spread of Covid-19 infection, by people who are not aware they’re infected.

Even though we encourage everyone to wear masks, some people are not able to. Please respect that not all disabilities are visibly obvious and those not wearing masks may do so for good reasons.

The Hidden Disabilities charity has a sunflower scheme which allows people with hidden disabilities to obtain lanyards, wristbands or wallet cards that has a sunflower logo on. If you see someone wearing or using any of those items with the sunflower logo on, you may need to give them some additional support, help or a little more time.

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.