Coronavirus - COVID-19 Useful Information COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called coronavirus. Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms Stay at home if you have either: a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature) a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual) Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do.We understand that global pandemic of COVID-19 can cause anxiety and distress to everyone including Service Leavers & Veterans. Ee have complied some useful links and information to support to concerns. NHS information for individualsNHS information for individuals is available here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ Adjustment to services from Veterans UKAs a result of COVID 19 Veterans UK have had to make a number of adjustments to their services. Details of these changes can be found here. These changes include: A reduction in the hours of the Veterans UK helpline. This will now operate from 8am to 4pm (Monday to Friday) with callers who need immediate emotional support outside these hours routed to the Samaritans 24 hours helpline. All but the most exceptional face to face visits for the Veterans Welfare Service/Defence Transition Service and Integrated Personal Commissioning for Veterans have been suspended with immediate effect as a protection for our clients and our staff. Advice, information and support will continue to be provided via telephone, email or letter and our welfare staff will remain available to assist veterans in need at this difficult time. Anyone in urgent need of assistance can find further information here or by contacting the Veterans UK helpline on: Freephone (UK only) 0808 1914 2 18 Telephone (overseas) +44 1253 866 043 Information about the DWP Universal Credit Transition FundIn November 2019, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions announced that the Department would be launching a £10m Universal Credit Transition Fund, to encourage innovative approaches to supporting people to navigate the benefit system and prepare for work. The aim is to tailor support to those who need it. Their work with local partners has shown them that they are well placed to identify and help vulnerable people who can at times struggle to engage with the support that is available. The UC Transition Fund will offer grants to partner organisations, including charities, to provide innovative and creative new approaches to supporting our vulnerable customers. DWP particularly welcome applications with a focus on care leavers, prison leavers, homeless people, refugees and people with substance dependency but this list is not exhaustive. Any group who are confident that they can make a difference to vulnerable people’s journey towards work could consider an application. Details on how to apply can be found on gov.uk here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-partnership-opportunities-with-jobcentre-plus Next steps on NHS response to COVID-19: Letter from Sir Simon Stevens and Amanda PritchardThis letter, sent by Sir Simon Stevens and Amanda Pritchard, sets out important actions we are now asking every part of the NHS to put in place to redirect staff and resources, building on multiple actions already in train. Read more here. Message from Help for Heroes regarding face to face servicesHelp for Heroes have shared a message regarding a pause in face to face services at its’ Recovery Centres and community locations at the moment. Read more here. An update from Combat StressCombat Stress’ CEO, Sue Freeth, has shared the charity’s latest plans relating to COVID-19 below. Read more here. An update from SSAFA, the Armed Forces Charity Due to COVID-19 in order to protect our volunteers and staff, SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity’s central office, Queen Elizabeth House, will be closed until further notice. As far as possible all of our services will continue with all appropriate measures taken to ensure volunteers, staff and beneficiaries are protected. Read more here. Message from The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust regarding current projectsA message has been shared by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust for anyone currently involved in funded projects and activities. Read more here. A message from RFEA – The Forces Employment CharityAlistair Halliday, Chief Executive of RFEA – The Forces Employment Charity, has shared the following message to provide an update on their services. Read more here. A message from Walking With The WoundedEd Parker, CEO of Walking With The Wounded, has shared an update on their services. Read more here. Response to the Covid-19 outbreak from The Royal British LegionAn update from The Royal British Legion regarding their services and events has been shared. Read more here. Soldiering On Awards Night – 24 April – has been postponedIf you have tickets to celebrate the 2020 Soldiering On Awards due to take place on 24 April 2020, we are sure that you and your guests have been wondering what effect the outbreak of Covid-19 will have on Awards Night. So, in light of the latest Government advice which encourages social distancing and to avoid unnecessary travel, the Awards Night celebrations have been postponed until the autumn. Read more here. Coronavirus – Changes to Veterans UK ServicesAs a result of the Coronavirus outbreak, and in line with Government public health advice, we are taking steps to minimise the risks to veterans and their families. Read more here. Update from the Association of ex-Service Drop-In Centres (ASDIC)ASDIC plays a key role in identifying the breadth of need presented regularly at Drop-In centres across the country. Centre Leaders are also able to reach out within the communities in its many regions to those that may not have the confidence or wherewithal to seek assistance directly from more established charities. Read more here. Urgent appeal launched to support the homeless during Coronavirus OutbreakSouth-West based homeless charity Alabaré have launched an emergency appeal to support those affected by homelessness after the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic. With the virus known to be particularly dangerous to the vulnerable, the charity have warned of the danger it poses to those it supports with roughly 75% of its service users suffering from an underlying health condition. Read more here. Access to NCVO KnowHow websiteIn light of the outbreak, the NCVO have removed the paywalls to their KnowHow website so all of our online content is now free to all to use. They also plan to run webinars on a range of different topics in coming weeks – information will be shared here. You can access the website here: https://knowhow.ncvo.org.uk/ Thanksgiving Service for the late Major General N W F Richards CB OBEWe have been asked to share the announcement that the planned Thanksgiving Service for the late Major General N W F Richards at 1100hrs on Monday 23rd March at Winchester Cathedral has been postponed. The aspiration is to reschedule the Service later in the year and we will share details once they have been published. Concert postponed due to ongoing outbreakA military band tour, which is taking place to raise funds for Armed Forces charity Poppyscotland, has been compelled to reschedule one of its arranged concerts due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis. The Band of The Royal Regiment of Scotland, which was due to begin its tour at Hamilton Town House on 3 April, will now play at the same venue on 17 September. Read more here. Charities & Organisations for Service Leavers and VeteransThe Royal British Legion• Contact centre remains fully operational. All forward facing engagement (case work visits, Pop In office) for welfare work has been suspended – now via email, phone, skype etc All Branch and district meetings and Branch Community Support suspended (annual conference cancelled)• Examining further ways of supporting clients, vulnerable groups and those isolated and utilising networks. Vulnerable clients contacted with signposting information to additional telephone support.0808 802 8080 / [email protected] / https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/ Veterans' GatewayOpen 24/7Call 0808 802 1212 Text 81212 https://www.veteransgateway.org.uk/ Forces Resettlement ServicesNational Employment online careers fair - 23 april - 7 may. Original event cancelled now running as online fair. Vulnerable clients contacted with signposting information to additional remote / telephone support.https://www.bfrss.org.uk/Events/April-2020/National-Employment-Online-Careers-Fair.aspxCruse Bereavement Offering telephone / online support. Helpline 0808 808 1677 Email: [email protected]Web: https://www.cruse.org.uk/Woody's Lodge All drop in centres closed from 17 March. Events suspended. Telephone calls to veterans weekly. Closed its Drop in Centres at Wrexham (Day and Afternoon), Rhyl, Holyhead, Tywyn. Llangeni, Shotton, Pwll Helli, as well as its evening Drop In with Partners at Cardiff Riverside.Offering support and guidance over the telephone, via email and Facebook messenger. We will be ringing our Veterans once a week to ensure they are safe and offer an ear to listen, if needed. We will have our phones manned during the times below and encourage Veterans to ring for any support.Amelia Trust Farm, BarryMonday – Thursday: 1000-1400Telephone – 01446 781792Eirias Park, Colwyn BayMonday – Friday: 1000-1400Telephone – 01492 533954The Poppy FactoryProviding one to one employment support remotely. This includes support for both those who are looking for work and those who we have recently supported into employment.020 8939 1837 or Email: [email protected]RFEABusiness as usual as staff are remote workers. Suspended all non-essential travel. Meetings and 1-2-1’s still available via online and telephone.Tel: 0121 262 3058 or email [email protected] Veterans Welfare Service - Veterans UKThe Veterans Welfare Service have currently been suspended from carrying out any Face to Face Visits (except in exceptional circumstances), Appointments, Surgeries or Meetings. However, the Welfare Centre is still operational and can be contacted on 01562 825527 for advice and guidance. Welfare Managers will also be carrying out as much work as possible via telephone and email.Tel: 01562 825527 / [email protected]Care After Combat Suspension of face to face and prison visits/meetings with veteransTelephone & Email SupportAdvice Helpline: 0300 343 0258RBL Admiral Nurses Contacting every person on active caseloads to provide emotional and address practical support, as indicated. Will continue until direct contact can resume. Some beneficiaries have limited support available, so we will increase our remote support to them and liaise with agencies on their behalf, as indicated. This may need to take the form of ensuring they have access to provisions, etc and we are exploring ways we can assist in these matters. Increasing mental health support for the duration of this situation may be required for the client group. Tel: 0808 802 8080Cardiff City FC Foundation Veterans Hub (TnT) Suspension of the Wednesday social inclusion gathering (TnT), any planned training courses and visits until further notice. Regular welfare checks to our veterans and families by Phone Also to offer information, advice and guidance if required. Regular Coronavirus updates and daily banter via FB Email: [email protected] Cardiff Council Veterans advice teamWe will be running a limited service. Face to face support will be appointment only, and only if absolutely necessary. Phone calls/ online support will also be given.02920 871000 / [email protected]Change Step Staff working from home ensuring that service users have conclusive support and high levels of contact. Mentoring staff will be using phone/Skype/Whatsapp etc to open as many avenues to communicate as possible and will schedule contact according to needs and wants of the service user. Our two Positive pathways coordinators are working with peer mentors and service users to ensure we are focussed on peoples health and activities that cater towards individual. We are also working with partner organisations to be able to offer a strong package of educational possibilities for service users and their families. For those with children in the house we will look to fun distractions and things to doCall us on 0300 777 2259Email [email protected] DWPDetailed guidance available for claimants, employees and businesses https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-support-for-employees-benefit-claimants-and-businessesHelp for Heroes Community Recovery Team (Wales & Hereford)We are developing resources and looking at ways we can support beneficiaries remotely via Skype, phone and virtual events during this time. However, in line with the latest government advice and to protect our beneficiaries, we have made the decision to postpone or cancel all face to face Help for Heroes recovery events and activities and residential stays from Wednesday 18 March, until further notice. This includes the closure of all Help for Heroes recovery centres and community locationsWe will continue to review the situation regularly, making sure the interests of our beneficiaries remain at the heart of any decisions we make.[email protected]RBL - Gwent The Royal British Legion in Wales have issued instructions very similar to other welfare organisations: No face to face meetings or home visits until further notice. Veterans Gateway and RBL Contact number are still operating. On a Wales basis, we are setting up methods for Branches to contact vulnerable and over-70 members and any other ex-service people we are aware of. They will be asked whether they wish to be contacted by phone or email or both, daily, weekly or not at all. 0808 802 8080 Veterans NHS WalesNo face to face meetings with patients. Switched to telephone or video platform for assessments and therapy. Current patients offered continuation of therapy or delayed until post C19.Staff working from home where possible and using technology to offer a service and coming into the NHS building only when required to input data and case notes.Tel: 029 2183 2261 Email: Admin.vnhswc&[email protected] Army Families FederationContinuing support - suspended attending of events and units. Phone, email, skype support in place.07585 333115 /01264 382324 [email protected] Llanelli Veterans AssociationTrips and activities suspended. Discussions in progress for service provision for veterans.Penparcau Community forum, AberystwythSuspension of drop in / one-to-ones. Transformation from individual support to group and community support. Coordinated meeting for young fit & healthy veterans who wish to volunteer their support. Mtg on 21/03/20. Ceredigion CC have been informed. Buddy-buddy system County wideLocal authority supportEvents. The launch of the Penparcau Veterans Hub, VE & VJ day, Battlefield tour and Veteran Breakfast clubs.Ceredigion veterans will be asked to partner up with a younger veteran and an elderly veteran with daily email and telephone contact. Early warning response if the partnership requires support.Once the blueprint has been established, the support guideline will be published in Cambrian News early next week.The offer has been made for the use of the groups coordinated support. Many of the veterans have a vast Mutual Aid to Civil Authorities (MACA) experience working in civil contingency and resilience operations, e.g. Foot and Mouth etc.All events have been postponed until further notice.07761511272 / [email protected] [email protected]VC GallerySuspended drop in and face to face support.Workshop activities stoppedOutreach stoppedHave coordinated a welfare system with the police and mental health team Triage clients.Online workshops (art and creative writing) with trained artist providing tuition and social interaction. 28 for the online workshop with excellent feedback.Welfare drop offs (no contact) for supplies. One to one face time calls and groups chats. Logged welfare calls daily. Issued provisions and welfare packs. Online reassurance and comfort.Stood up an ‘ops room’. Started an action plan for welfare calls and assess clients needs 11am - 4 pm. A log is being maintained to capture indicators of feelings, morale and supplies.Tel: 01437 765873Links (mental health)No face to face consultations or drop in clinics.Support packs for members.Contact by phone on a regular basis.Access to facebook page and closed groups virtual coffee mornings.Keeping in touch and access for people to talk to.Tel: 01554757957 / [email protected]West Wales Action for Mental HealthFace to face meetings and group meetings postponed.Consulted with other 3rd sector organisations Hubs and their own clients to make sure plans in place. Maintaining a service by phone to provide support and emergency plans in place. They have checked service users have plans in place to get support if needed.Tel: 01267 245572Carmarthenshire Customer Service HubsClosed until further noticeNo drop in provision.Tel: 01267 234567 BLESMAVisits suspended - replaced with telephone support, video calls, virtual events. Home visits in essential cases only.Support and Outreach Officers, along with the help of Blesma Volunteers and Members who are not ‘at-risk,’ are supporting with essential tasks such as shopping, paying bills, repairs to disability and mobility aids etc and offering ‘Blesma Buddies’ for befriending calls through Welfare and wider VolunteersCombat StressResidential centres closed. Psychiatry reviews, and therapy via phone and skypeTherapists across the country are moving from face-to-face appointments to phone or video call appointments so veterans can continue to receive our specialist support.Our Peer Support Service continues as a virtual service via phone and video call.We host webinars to help and support partners – we plan for these to continue.We’re seeking ways to extend our Art Therapy online.Our 24-house Helpline remains open, providing confidential advice and support to veterans and their familiesVeterans and their families can call 0800 138 1619.Serving personnel and their families can call 0800 323 4444.Text on 07537 404719 and email [email protected]Association of ex-Service Drop-In Centres (ASDIC)Regional Coordinators and Centre Leaders supporting local activity and liaison with breakfast clubs, hubs.https://www.asdic.org.uk/contact/Valleys Veterans - Ton and Gelli community centre, Ton pentre.Thursday drop in suspended. Telephone support and visits for most vulnerable / support with medication collection / supplies.Mr. P. B. - 07939928177Blind VeteransTelephone outreach support, identifying greatest need, allocating resources accordingly.Two training and rehabilitation centres in Brighton and Llandudno closed to all except the permanent residents at the Brighton centre.Tel: 0800 389 7979ABFTelephone / email support.Individual grants, which will always be our priority, are still being processed as normal and we are working to ensure that those with immediate needs and in crisis can be supported. Supporters can use [email protected] / 020 7901 8900 and individuals in need of help can follow contact guidance here: https://soldierscharity.org/need-our-help/individual-grants/Care and Repair Shotton - Veterans community hubHub closed. Telephone support and signposting.Tel: 07762 892992Welsh veterans partnershipSupport with medical / food supplies. Working with Alabare and Residential landlords association on housing support for veterans and families. Buddy buddy system to support wellbeing of veterans.Providing information to veterans, families on latest Govt Advice on Isolatio,n Caring for your mental health wellbeing. Working with Cardiff Council, Housing Association partners Cadwyn, Taff housing.Tel: 07794 197 253 / 07378 639 383Blind VeteransTelephone outreach support, identifying greatest need, allocating resources accordingly.Two training and rehabilitation centres in Brighton and Llandudno closed to all except the permanent residents at the Brighton centre.Supporters can use [email protected] / 020 7901 8900 and individuals in need of help can follow contact guidance here: https://soldierscharity.org/need-our-help/individual-grants/Care and Repair Shotton - Veterans community hubHub closed. Telephone support and signposting.Tel: 07762 892992 Welsh veterans partnershipSupport with medical / food supplies. Working with Alabare and Residential landlords association on housing support for veterans and families. Buddy buddy system to support wellbeing of veterans.Providing information to veterans, families on latest Govt Advice on Isolatio,n Caring for your mental health wellbeing. Working with Cardiff Council, Housing Association partners Cadwyn, Taff housing.Tel: 07794 197 253 / 07378 639 383 SSAFA - The Armed Forces CharityEach of the Branches and Service Committees across Wales are fully operational. All forward facing casework, home visits and meetings etc. are now conducted via email, phone or skype. SSAFA’s central office, Queen Elizabeth House, will be closed until further notice. Daily business will continue with all Staff working remotely, contactable by email, Skype or mobile phone. All face to face Volunteer and Staff training has been cancelled until at least July.Branch AGM’s are postponed through until May (updates and changes to this date are ongoing).The Forcesline Team is fully operational along with the live chat option during office time.SSAFA Other Services update:Norton House at Stanford Hall will shut for the foreseeable future in line with the reduction of services offered by DMRC and their restrictions on people entering or leaving the siteFisher House, supporting QE Hospital, will remain open both for families and to give NHS staff respiteGildea House, the refuge for women and children, will remain openRoyal Wimbledon Homes, providing independent living to 75 elderly persons, will remain open and we are increasing our support to these individuals, almost all of whom are in high risk groupsGlasgow Helping Heroes will remain open for as long as possibleOur Mentoring Service will continue, albeit mainly over the telephone rather than face to face.SSAFA volunteers will not enter prisons but are seeking to remain in touch with veterans and their families across the criminal justice systemWe are continuing to support military families with additional needs and disabled childrenThe meetings of our support groups have been postponed Our Adoption Service remains open and continues to support beneficiaries albeit remotely in line with Government advice. However the active placement of children with adopters has dramatically reduced and is likely to cease given the restrictions on travel, direct face to face work and as Local Authorities focus on supporting children in need of protection and vulnerable older people. SSAFA’s healthcare professionals, social workers and support staff delivering contracted support to the RAF in UK, and to the wider Armed Forces in Germany and the European Joint Support Unit (EJSU), in Cyprus and in other locations including Brunei, Gibraltar, Canada, Kenya, Falkland Islands and more are working hard to ensure the provision of uninterrupted health and social work/welfare services.All our 87 UK branches continue to provide support to those needing help. Our overseas branches – Republic of Ireland, France, Germany, Cyprus, Nepal, Thailand continue to act as a first point of contact for veterans and their families in those countries.The 65 Service Committees on military bases remain a source of support and advice for military families; our community volunteers will continue to offer assistanceMilitary Wives Choirs have closed all their choirs, cancelled all performances and rehearsals but are continuing to provide a welfare network to around 2,500 service women, dependants and some veterans. They are working hard on supporting via virtual rehearsals and delivering a virtual network, with lots of sharing of great initiatives. Forcesline helpline by phone on 0800 731 4880 or use live chat service during office hours, 09:00-17:00Alternatively, you can contact your local branch directly using our branch finderwww.ssafa.org.uk/contact Bridgend County Borough Council / Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council / City & County of SwanseaLocal Authorities whilst offering a restricted normal service with emphasis upon maintaining essential services, they are also co-ordinating, a collaborative approach across their areas, with the local voluntary services organisation, health board and others. To access the COVID19 projects in each area and obtain further information, see the contact details column for your Local AuthorityThe COVID19 additional support in place includes * Arranging food and medicine delivery and other support to the vulnerable and those advised to self isolate. * Encouraging volunteering amongst the community. * Encourage specific employment support at this time and advice on how to access it. * Enhanced Domestic Violence advice. * Updates on the COVID19 situation and where to seek help, in different formats. * Support and advice for businesses and charities. Age Cymru West GlamorganFree help and advice for the over 70s and those over 50 who are living with a health condition or disability. Covering Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend areas01792 648866 [email protected] Age Connects Neath Port TalbotWe have also set up an Emergency COVID-19 Reaching Out Appeal so that we can continue to provide much needed support at this time. If you wish to be part of our volunteer team, get in touch. We remain very much a part of the community and want to help as many older people get the help and support they need during this difficult time. We will be working with our volunteers, other organisations and community groups to do as much as we can to ensure that isolated older people can still get access to essential groceries, prescriptions and essential medication. Telephone 01639 617333 Email: [email protected]Web: www.ageconnectsnpt.org.ukFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/ACNPT/ Twitter: @AgeConnectsNPT Veteran Support Groups in Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend.There are varaious groups set up by Veterans to help Veterans, both in practical terms and with emotional support. Veterans, especially those with mental health or with any of To find out about the groups in this area, and their contact details, check out the Veterans Gateway directory service. veteransgateway.org.uk Volunteering - Bridgend, Swansea, Neath PTOur resourceful and committed veterans’ will be really appreciated for the army of volunteers which are being recruited to support the efforts of the Council, Health Board and Voluntary Sector to support the most vulnerable and isolated in our communities. Bridgend Association of Voluntary Organisations (Bavo) or phone 01656 643643 - For latest information and advice https://www.nptcvs.wales/ Swansea Council for Voluntary Service Alzheimer’s Society Cymru As face to face service delivery is not possible at this time, we will provide 121 advice and support services via telephone, skype, or facetime. Practices such as the completion of initial assessments, risk assessments and support plans can be undertaken by phone or video calling wherever possible, and we will continue to accept new referrals throughout this difficult period. We will also ensure regular welfare calls are put in place at a frequency of a minimum of once per fortnight – weekly if deemed necessary. You can continue to refer to us using our online website www.alzheimers.org.uk/referShould you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us or Dementia Connect – 0333 150 3456.RAF Families Federation https://www.raf-ff.org.uk/coronavirus/Contact: 01780 781650. Recent Press Releases from the Department for Work and Pensions https://intranet.dwp.gov.uk/page/coronavirus-lines-take Claimants are asked to apply online as Jobcentres limit access https://www.gov.uk/government/news/claimants-are-asked-to-apply-online-as-jobcentres-limit-access?utm_source=0b62277d-0c8b-401d-a8cd-e22745cdbd9f&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate Coronavirus update - benefit reviews and reassessments suspendedhttps://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-update-benefit-reviews-and-reassessments-suspended?utm_source=f383f421-fe4d-42e5-82fd-dae352eec8b4&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate Please note that the press release on benefits reviews and reassessments being suspended will answer a number of questions on the Q&A log. Key websites for employers The websites are being updated regularly so would encourage employers to check the pages regularly - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19 https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support/ From MCLG – includes a list of businesses and premises that must remain closed - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close As a charity we are still supporting Service Leavers & Veterans will employment support, we are also able to assist Service Leavers and Veterans with various other issues that they may face at this times, we have an extensive list of organisations that we work closely with to provide the best possible support we can. If you have any concerns or need to speak with someone regarding any issues please contact the team on 01495 366670 or email [email protected].