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Community Information Update (CIU)

No. 80
April - Mid May 2020
Copy of CIU as provided by Warwickshire County Council

Welcome to another Community Information Update (CIU), especially if you are a new reader. CIUs can be downloaded at Please let us know at any time if you no longer wish to receive these Updates. The next CIU will cover mid-May to end of June. Please do send short paragraphs of 6-8 lines (plain text if possible) before Friday 8th May to This is a great way to get information out to 800 community leaders and frontline workers across Rugby so please do continue to send information through.

Section One: Key Coronavirus updated from Warwickshire County Council

Warwickshire Hotline for medically vulnerable
People with very serious health conditions are being contacted by NHS England and being asked to ‘shield’ themselves by staying in their homes and avoiding any contact with anyone for at least 12 weeks. This group includes:

  • Certain types of cancer patients
  • Organ transplant patients
  • People with certain genetic diseases
  • People with serious respiratory conditions such as cystic fibrosis and severe chronic bronchitis
  • People receiving certain drug treatments which suppress the immune system
  • Pregnant women with heart disease

In line with Government advice, Warwickshire’s public, voluntary and community services are working together to ensure those most clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 are supported during this period. A Warwickshire hotline has been set up so people in this group can request information and support such as access to food and additional supplies during these difficult times. It is crucial that this support is targeted to those in most need - those who are unable to secure help through their existing support and care networks. If you have been identified as extremely vulnerable and need support, you can call 0800 4081447. The hotline is open:

  • Monday - Thursday 9.00am to 17.00pm
  • Friday - 9.00am to 4.30pm
  • Saturday - Sunday  9.00am to 3.00pm

Community Support Groups

School closures and education guidance

  • Parents and carers can contact Warwickshire County Council if they have any concerns or queries, or for information as the network of provision changes over the weeks ahead. Visit for more information. A new parental helpline on 01926 412021 has been set up to operate between the hours of 08:00 to 18:00 from Monday to Friday. However, parents and carers are advised that this number is a secondary source of information.  The first port of call, wherever possible, should be the Government website 
  • Children have access to a range of learning resources through WeLearn365. As well as tools for teachers to share content with your child, there are also many resources which your child can access themselves or with you in a home learning situation. Access to WeLearn365 requires a username and password that must be provided by your child's school. For information on how to access WeLearn365 at home, click the link below.
  • Parents should beware of a scam email in circulation which asks for bank details in order to fund free school meals while children are off school. The Department for Education has confirmed this is a scam and advised parents not to respond and to delete the email immediately. For information about how to claim free school meals while your child is not attending school visit the WCC welfare scheme here.

Mental Health support

For a list of available mental health support available in Warwickshire, click here. Please do promote these services and signpost anyone in need.

Family InformationService

The Family Information Service newsletters are now focussed on coronavirus, and include lots of useful information including ideas for entertaining children at home. For the latest edition, which has details about how you can subscribe, click here

Family Information Service

The Family Information Service newsletters are now focussed on coronavirus, and include lots of useful information including ideas for entertaining children at home. For the latest edition, which has details about how you can subscribe, click here


All Warwickshire Libraries, Community Libraries, Mobile Libraries and the Home Delivery Service are now closed to the public. We have extended the loan period for all items currently on loan until the start of July and all fines will be waived. You need not worry about returning or renewing items in the short-term. Please stay safe at home and keep your library items with you.

Please keep checking this website for up to date information:

Our online library services are still available - visit our digital library at

Warwickshire Libraries home learning resources can be found at

Social distancing

We are all doing our part in the battle against COVID-19. However, in order to help the most vulnerable and the NHS, the Government is asking everyone to now stay at home.

You should only leave the house for one of four reasons.

  1. Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
  2. One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household.
  3. Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
  4. Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.

The latest guidance can be found at

While you are following the above guidance from the Government, for the times when you are outside your home please ensure you follow social distancing guidance.  For example, please stand 2 metres away from other people. For further advice on social distancing, please click the link through to Public Health England:

Social distancing posters are available from the county council (click on the image to download):

Trading Standards:

Scammers are sending coronavirus related ‘phishing’ emails to steal personal and financial information, Warwickshire Trading Standards is warning. 

The emails may contain dangerous attachments containing viruses and spyware or encourage recipients to follow a link in the email to a fake and/or malicious website.  

Beware of any suspicious/unexpected emails you receive related to coronavirus, for example: 

  • Emails that that encourage recipients to provide their bank details in order to receive coronavirus related Government payments (e.g. to replace wages or school dinner payments) 
  • Emails designed to look like they have been sent by the NHS or other Government bodies. These emails might falsely claim to link to a list of coronavirus cases in your area 
  • Emails that offer purported medical advice to help protect you against the coronavirus. The emails might claim to be from medical experts near Wuhan, China, where the coronavirus outbreak began 
  • Emails targeted at businesses and specifically those working from home. These scam emails may appear to come from the company IT department or Personnel department and contain fake policy document attachments which the recipient is asked to download and read. 

How you can protect yourself: 

  • Think before you click. Hover over any links in emails. You should be able to see the web page address the link take you to in the bottom left hand corner of your browser  
  • Verify the email sender. Even if you receive an email from someone know personally, if the email is unexpected or appears suspicious call the sender and check the email is genuine. Scammers can hack personal email accounts to send out phishing emails    
  • Use a firewall and keep your security and other software installed on your computer up to date 
  • Install anti-phishing, anti-virus and email security software 
  • Phishing attacks often use malicious file attachments. Such files are often named in such a way as to encourage recipients to open them. Treat all file attachments with suspicion 
  • For more advice, visit Get Safe Online: 

Keep up to date with the latest Warwickshire coronavirus scams, visit:


Safety at home

At this time families are spending most of their time at home so it is important to give some extra thought to general home safety and accident prevention. Warwickshire County Council have put together some top tips for keeping your family safe.



Read the latest Warwickshire Means Business coronavirus information for businesses:

Section Two: News & Events: Local Community Organisations & Neighbourhoods

Rugby Citizens Advice Bureau

For local advice call 01788 566328 10am-2pm Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.  National Advice Line 0300 3301163 or email Further information can be found


After a temporary Foodbank closure due to the Coronavirus, RBC Foodbank has now opened. Thanks to the support of Rugby Borough Council in resourcing the Foodbank operations are now open again. Please note the RBC Foodbank is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11:00 to 16:00 for food distribution. The warehouse is open Tuesday and Thursday to receive donations between 10:00 and 12:00. The Foodbank location is as below: Lawn & Retreat, Newbold Road, Rugby, CV21 2LN.


Volunteer for COVID-19 Crisis: If you are suspending your regular service at the moment and have volunteers with capacity to volunteer elsewhere then please share the following link with them: Warwickshire CAVA are collecting details of willing volunteers to help during this epidemic and are working with voluntary and statutory groups across the county to help feed in new support.


Extra Mile Table top sales have been cancelled in line with government guidance.  For further information can be found on


The Hope Centre in Rugby is operating on reduced hours 12-1.30 Mon - Fri, 9-10 Saturdays and 1-3 Sundays and only accepting during that time unhoused clients. Others that need support will need to ring for an appointment with a key worker. Call 01788 572456.


The Lions have a 'Message in a Bottle' scheme which has been saving lives for many years. It is useful for the Emergency Services who often need your medical information urgently in an emergency. The bottle, along with its accompanying door stickers, is placed in your fridge with all your vital information inside the bottle.  It is intended for everybody, but is particularly useful for those with a medical condition or those who are vulnerable.  If you would like a free bottle, please message us or email us at


Rugby Community Wellbeing Hub office will be closed from 4pm Friday 20th March, we will re-open as soon as it is possible. 1-1 support, information, advice and guidance will be available  by telephone: 07936 015966



Elmer the community campervan is currently providing outreach support in Newbold. If you know anyone who is self-isolating and in need of support, please contact the Making Connexions team.  Just call, text or email us and we will do our best to help. All volunteers will carry photo ID. CONTACT: 07764 758474 /


Change Grow Live

Hubs in Warwickshire are currently open steps have been taken to reduce the footfall. All group work sessions are suspended, this includes all structured groups and non-structured such as SMART mutual aid groups. The staff are contacting their service users by phone and offering them telephone appointments and offering alternatives to compliment such as on-line Apps and peer support. For new referrals we are offering triages and assessments also over the phone.  Service users are still able to access drop in and needle exchange however we are adhering to social distancing guidelines. Should someone present to the service with any symptoms, we’d be asking them to leave in order to self-isolate. 

We are ensuring that all prescribed service users have an active prescription in the pharmacy and that they will be issued with a 14 day take home supply unless they are homeless or deemed very high risk (then it would be a 7 day supply). Where service users are self-isolating we are in discussions with the pharmacies to deliver the medication or we are seeing if a family member can collect on their behalf. Failing that then we are delivering medication ourselves. Again adhering to social distancing guidelines. All service users will be issued with a lock box and a naloxone kit. 

Service users can call us on 01926 355555. Here’s a link to our self-help apps on our website

They can use online SMART groups by visiting as well as the Breaking Free Online App (they will need to give us a call for an access code to this).

Any questions, please do contact


Wellbeing for Warwickshire have delivery changes in place from 23 March 2020 in Rugby and other offices around the county. Services available to all 16yrs + and currently offered by telephone only Tel 02477 712288 Email Visit Open access drop-ins, walk-ins and outreaches have been cancelled.

  • Drop-ins - No longer running from 21.3.20. Staff will aim to contact current drop-in clients for a brief check in call occasionally. Please contact the WbW service if you are a current client and you would like to update/provide your contact details. One off chat- by appointment only, telephone support Confidential
  • One-off chat for up to 20 minutes with one of our experienced wellbeing practitioners.
  • Pathfinder - by appointment only, telephone support For anyone wanting one to one support who is experiencing a time of emotional distress. A wellbeing practitioner will offer up to 6 sessions to help identify & address the causes of the distress. Support includes, practical problem solving, action planning, self-help strategies


Coventry and Warwickshire Age UK latest updates can be found here

Futures Unlocked latest updates can be found here

P3 - People Potential and Possibilities latest information can be found here

Warwickshire Vision Support latest updates can be found here

Section Three: Other events, activities & training in Rugby and beyond


For the foreseeable future National Energy Action (NEA) will continue to work in Warwickshire supporting those struggling to afford to keep warm & healthy or in dispute with suppliers but regrettably our services will be reduced as follows:

  • We will not be able to accept drop-in customers at the office
  • We will not be making any home visits
  • We cannot carry out face to face appointments at our office or elsewhere
  • We will not be able to attend Foodbanks or other public places or talk to community groups

However we will continue to support vulnerable people as much as possible and consultations/appointments will initially be by phone with follow up by phone, email, post, text and so on. This means that each case is likely to take much longer than normal and we may therefore have to prioritise those most in need. We can be contacted on 025 7655 9191. If we do not answer, please leave a message clearly and slowly stating your name and phone number and we will get back to you as soon as we are able. Thank you for your understanding and patience while we endeavour to maintain our services to vulnerable people in need.

NEA Fuel Poverty Forums will not run until later in the year.  This was originally due to funding issues but is now compounded by Coronavirus. However, funding will still be a challenge – NEA is looking for help with either sponsorship, venues loan, refreshments or joint meetings to spread costs. Email


Warwickshire Community and Voluntary Action (WCAVA) 2020 Volunteer Awards have now been postponed until further notice.

Early Help Pathway Training Events - Due to the latest government advice, our scheduled Early Help Pathway training will be reorganised for a later time. In the meantime if you have any questions about the paper work or the Pathway process please email or call Steve McGarvey 07824544225  or Ali Tweedale 07767 003140 or email

We will also not be able to attend any meetings until further notice. Should there be any concerns over particular families then please do signpost them to our family support line on 0192 412412 for any family related concerns, or for wider information and guidance contact the Family Information Service on 01926 742274  or access information via their Facebook here

Section Four: Useful Organisations, Resources, Funding, Consultations



The latest DWP newsletter is available to read here


Coronavirus support for employers, benefit claimants and businesses: Following announcements in the Budget, we are making temporary arrangements for those impacted by coronavirus. Please share this information with your members, frontline workers and clients. Information about coronavirus and claiming benefits is available on Understanding Universal Credit


For people already claiming support: Special arrangements will be in place for people in receipt of benefits who cannot attend reassessments or jobcentre appointments because they are required to stay at home or are infected by coronavirus.

  • Claimants who cannot attend a reassessment for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Universal Credit will continue to receive their payments while their assessment is rearranged.
  • People who need to claim ESA or Universal Credit because of coronavirus will not be required to produce a Fit Note.
  • When claimants tell us in good time that they are staying at home or that they have been diagnosed with coronavirus, they will not be sanctioned. We will review their conditionality requirements in their claimant commitment, to ensure they are reasonable.
  • Claimants who are staying at home as a result of coronavirus will have their mandatory work search and work availability requirements removed to account for a period of sickness
  • Mandatory face-to-face signing for JSA has now been suspended


For people who need to make a new claim for financial support: We understand people who are required to stay at home or are infected by coronavirus may need financial support.

  • Those affected by coronavirus will be able to apply for Universal Credit and can receive an advance without physically attending a jobcentre.
  • The seven waiting days for Employment and Support Allowance for new claimants suffering from coronavirus or required to stay at home will not apply, so it will be payable from day one.


Employees and self-employed people: To make sure people in work can take the necessary time off to stay at home if they are suffering from coronavirus or to prevent its spread, changes have been made to Statutory Sick Pay and how Universal Credit supports self-employed claimants.

  • People who cannot work due to coronavirus and are eligible for Statutory Sick Pay will get it from day one, rather than from the fourth day of their illness. We intend this measure to apply retrospectively from 13 March.
  • Statutory Sick Pay will be payable to people who are staying at home on Government advice, not just those who are infected, this measure will apply from 13 March. Employers are urged to use their discretion about what evidence, if any, they ask for.
  • If employees need to provide evidence to their employer that they need to stay at home due to coronavirus, they will be able to get it from NHS 111 Online instead of having to get a Fit Note from their doctor. This is currently under development and will be made available soon. 
  • Self-employed claimants on Universal Credit who are required to stay at home or are ill as a result of coronavirus will not have a Minimum Income Floor (an assumed level of income) applied for a period of time while affected. 


Businesses: The Government wants to ensure businesses are supported to deal with the temporary economic impacts of an outbreak of coronavirus. Employers with fewer than 250 employees will be able to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay for employees unable to work because of coronavirus. This refund will be for up to two weeks per employee.


The Universal Credit Transition Fund has been temporarily suspended because of the current demand for DWP services.


For more information visit the following websites:

Further information can be found here


The leading business organisations across Coventry and Warwickshire have come together to co-ordinate all the support available to companies in the area during the Covid-19 crisis. Read more:…/business-organisations-c…/

The Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub is working with all its partners across the region, including Warwickshire County Council, to provide guidance and support via a daily updated service on its website at

With so much out there about Covid-19 and confusion about the virus and its impact on families with disabled children, Contact want to make sure parents and carers have the most important information they need in one place. Visit

In these unsettling times parents, children & young people need support more than ever. Health Visitors and School Nurses are here to help in Warwickshire.

  • Health visiting text chat service offering advice and support to parents of preschool aged children 07520 615293
  • School Nurse Parentline text chat service offering advice and support to school aged children 07520 619 376
  • School Nurse ChatHealth text chat service offering advice and support to 11-19 year olds 07507 331 525


As the situation with coronavirus evolves, it's important to know what support is available to you as a carer and those you look after. Carers UK have set out the current government guidance as it relates to carers and offers suggestions for making plans.


COMPASS Employability and the National Careers Service support will currently not be conducting face to face registrations.  Any referrals and registrations will now be completed over the phone.  If you have anyone that you would like to refer please call - 03331 214567 or drop me an email with their details and we will contact them. The next Compass course which was due to start on Monday, 23/03/2020 hads been cancelled. This will make the next course start date the 14/04/2020.  Referrals have moved for the 23/03 course to the 14/04 course automatically and learners have been informed.


Trading Standards have received number of queries about individuals and businesses exploiting the current Covid-19 situation and selling products at very high prices. Although this does not breach any regulations that Trading Standards cover, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) are keen to receive reports. The CMA wants to ensure that traders do not exploit the current situation to take advantage of people. 

We urge retailers to behave responsibly throughout the coronavirus outbreak and not to make misleading claims or charge vastly inflated prices. We also remind members of the public that these obligations may apply to them too if they resell goods, for example on online marketplaces.

 To report a retailer or individual, you can do so by emailing with the following information:

  • your contact details
  • the business/individual you have concerns about and a description of the issue along with any supporting evidence


There will be some real changes in homes across Warwickshire over the next few weeks with more people working from home, children off school and people self-isolating or social distancing.  With this brings its own set of challenges, especially when it comes to staying fire safe.  Fortunately, there are lots of things that you can do to reduce the chances of having a fire in your home, the most important being to ensure that you have working smoke alarms fitted onto each floor of your home. Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service have provided a number of tips to help you and your family stay safe at home. For tips click here


Heart of England Community Foundation latest updates can found here


COVID-19: guidance for Hostel or Day Centre providers of services for people experiencing rough sleeping click here


Martin Lewis has put together some useful tips and need-to-know information for lots of financial related queries including advice for the self-employed, contractors, renters and more. Visit


If you or anyone you know is experiencing any equality issues due to the current situation, please contact EQuIP on 07377 431997, email or report through our website at for support. If you or anyone you know is experiencing hate crime or discrimination due to the current issues, please contact us on 07377 431997, email or report through our website at for support. For further information and updates, please check our website at or contact us through social media on Facebook at:   or Twitter at:
Copy and paste the links into your browser to access the sites.


For advice and support for the voluntary sector, visit


Coventry and Warwickshire Health and Care Partnership launched the Stay Alive app, a free, easily accessible mental health pocket resource designed to be a safety net and keep minds at ease for when life stressors feel too much. With local mental health and suicide prevention information all in one place, as well as features like the LifeBox, where you can add reminders of the things that matter to you, the app is a prompt to us all to look after ourselves and each other during the winter season and beyond.


The Safe in Warwickshire team produce a Cyber Scam Update full of useful information about Cyber Crime Advice, Contacts and Resources relating to the COVID 19 virus.  To view click here


The Scouts have provided great indoor activity ideas to keep learning and have fun indoors.
Check their website here Moreover, you can download free "100 things to do inside" here , to keep yourself and your family occupied during these uncertain times. Clever Tykes have also put together some free print-at-home activity and colouring packs for 6-9 years. Each activity pack contains fun exercises to help children with their resourcefulness, creativity and positivity, available here


For details about job vacancies at large employers:


For details of how Care Companion can help support people with caring roles, click here


Manuela Molina has created a short book to support and reassure children under the age of 7 about Covid-19. This book is an invitation for families to discuss the full range of emotions arising from the current situation. It is important to point out that this resource does not seek to be a source of scientific information, but rather a tool based on fantasy.

Packed with information, case studies, checklists, templates and practical tools, The Community Hub Handbook is a new, FREE resource that sets out how to run a thriving community hub and ensure its future is secure. The Handbook covers a wide range of business essentials such as building relationships, acquiring premises, securing sustainable income, marketing, staffing, governance and more. Commissioned and published by Local Trust and Power to Change, and written by Locality, it is intended for use by resident groups, housing associations, charities, community organisations and volunteers. You can find out more about it and download the handbook here.


After launching an urgent appeal last week, Heart of England Community Foundation has received almost £80,000 to support local communities across the region during these unprecedented times. The charity has now launched its Coronavirus Resilience Fund, which local community groups and projects can apply for, in order to help ease financial concerns during the current pandemic.

For more information, visit:


Martin Lewis - Corona Virus Poverty Relief Grants
Application deadline: 11.59pm on Wednesday, 25 March 2020
Martin Lewis has released £1,000,000 from his personal charity fund to provide grants of £5,000 - £20,000 to small registered charities or local arms of bigger charities, across the UK to help with specific UK coronavirus related poverty relief projects. Examples could include food banks, charities engaged in community aid, financial advice help and more. He’s looking for projects that are up and running, or are in the process of being set up, to deliver immediate help. Apply here.

Severn Trent are giving £1m to the charities and community groups that are making a difference and helping those struggling as a result of the coronavirus. Read more here.

WCAVA has more information on funding available – visit Their Funding Newsletter Spring 2020 can also be found here 


The Serco Foundation - Serco’s independent charitable trust supporting vulnerable citizens internationally – has launched the Coronavirus Community Support Fund to support those communities and groups which are responding in positive ways to the coronavirus crisis, many of whom are also facing financial challenges. This might be a food bank offering supplies to isolated people, or a local charity caring for the elderly or disabled. It might be a community or religious centre providing mental and physical care to those in greatest need, or a not-for-profit education provider helping parents while schools are shut. We are particularly keen to offer grants to organisations supporting:


  • the elderly;
  • the vulnerable; and
  • those affected by school closures.


Email Theresa Comiskey, Partnership Coordinator, at


The Warwickshire Education Strategy 2018-2023 seeks to improve educational outcomes, and therefore the life chances, of learners of all ages in Warwickshire. The strategy has been in place now for almost two years so we are using this opportunity to take stock of where we are and are seeking views from educational professionals, parents, young people and partner organisations as we look to refresh the strategy.

We want to hear your feedback on the strategy; its overall approach, how it has been implemented and the communication of progress. Please feel free to share the survey with your staff, young people, parents and carers, and any other partners who you work closely with, as we would like to hear from as many people as possible. Our strategy web pages have also been refreshed with the latest progress and results which will be useful information to consider when responding to the survey. We’ll continue to update these as we move forward. You can respond to the survey on Ask Warwickshire here. The last day for responses is 3 April 2020. 

WCC Privacy Statement:

To see how we use your personal data and what your information rights are, please read our overall customer privacy notice at  which includes the contact details if you have a complaint about your information rights. For general enquiries, contact Warwickshire County Council customer services on 01926 410410

Community Information Update No. 81 will be for mid-May to end of June 2020.
Please email any information (in the form of short paragraphs in plain text if possible) to before 8th May. Thank you.

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