A Petrol Pumps hoax is circulating on social media. Whilst the risk is no greater than touching other surfaces, it is still a good idea to wear gloves when filling up or use a paper towel which should be binned straight away.
Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds. Always wash your hands when you get home or into work
The advice on do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean applies
As the Nation comes to terms with, and tries to juggle the demands and vagaries of our situation as we head for a national lock down for several months. Schools, and leisure establishments have now closed, and fear redundancy and uncertain debt grows. The ongoing fear of Covid-19 seems to be never ending as we try to deal with people’s heightened emotions.
I offer a few resources that you might find helpful over the coming weeks to help with our Well Being at this time, which I commend to you.
Our Circuit Chaplain has posted a few Mindful Meditations that he has produced for the groups he supports in their work place: (please click on links to access)
The news about the spread of COVID-19, commonly known as a coronavirus, and the response to it, has left communities and families wondering what to do next and how to prepare. First, take a deep breath. When considering how COVID-19 might have an impact our children, families and family units, and children’s ministries, we need to address concerns of children in age appropriate ways, address anxiety and fears of parents and guardians.
Here you’ll find blogs and resources written and provided by The Methodist Church Children, Youth and Families team to help you engage with young people during this time.
I am hoping to launch a weekly “Tea & Cake at the Manse” an open virtual gathering for people to join me and share a conversation whilst enjoying a cuppa and cake in ones own home via Zoom. Watch this space for more details.
A number of churches across the circuit are producing weekly Church notice sheets or Pastoral Letters and sending them out either by post or by email. Please check with your own local church or minister about how to receive these.
Worship & Prayer
Check the Circuit Website (www.bsgc.org.uk), or check recent posts on the blog for worship & prayer ideas. Light a candle of hope at 7pm and join with other Christians across the country as we light up our windows to bring light in to this situation.
A Christian around the world are encouraged to say the Lord’s prayer daily at 11am.
A daily prayer for us to share in together at 12.00
This 10 minute daily act of prayer is based on resources from The Methodist Prayer Handbook. Check the Circuit Website for more details.
Resources for families
(Click to download, or be taken to each one)
Methodist Schools have forwarded a document produced by Wiltshire Council about looking after yourself with lots of helpful information for children: Looking After Yourself
In these strange times, we want to do what we can to support each other in creatively encouraging and equipping children, young people and families in our churches. The SW Gospel Partnership youth and children’s team have set up a WhatsApp group as a means of sharing ideas, asking questions and supporting each other. If you’d like to be a part of the group, please send your mobile number to Simon on firstname.lastname@example.org
Offering a Helping Hand
Many people are keen to offer support to our vulnerable neighbours who may be in self isolation or quarantined. Any activities need to continue to employ pragmatic Safeguarding procedures to protect vulnerable people and to protect volunteers who act in the name of the church or other organisations. The following guidelines should help to ensure good practice.
COVID19 – WORKING IN A SAFE MANNER – GUIDELINES FOR VOLUNTEERS
Do not establish any activity or plan that will place volunteers and those in need at any additional risk:
– Check with your insurers that you are able to undertake the proposed activity.
– Do not relax safeguarding good practice and standards
– Do not be tempted to cut corners in order to get something done
It is more likely that anyone who wishes to take advantage of a vulnerable person could in fact slip more easily through the net (financial impropriety/ scamming – debit card pin numbers/ contactless payments, Keys to house). Equally it is likely that someone with the best of intentions might do ‘the wrong thing’ and inadvertently cause harm (Wanting to bake or cook meals for frail, ill or vulnerable people is kind but potentially high risk). Vulnerable people are thus even more vulnerable now and require our highest standards of care.
Church leadership teams should complete an activity risk assessment before embarking on any scheme or activity, detailing their thought processes covering the above considerations and any other identified areas of risk.
The following guidance should be followed:
• Be led by what the person you are hoping to support wants, not by what you might
think they need. Be clear as to whether you are in a position to meet what they want
or not. Also please be aware that you might not know who is vulnerable at this time,
so make any service you offer as widely known as you can.
• When appointing people to receive enquiries or to initiate contact by phone in order to offer support; this could include offering practical support/ receiving requests for support or prayer and pastoral support. Ensure that:
– Volunteers are safely recruited (this type of role is not eligible for a DBS check but where possible use existing volunteers who are known) Is the volunteer known to the church, has a reference been taken – see safer recruitment guidelines.
– There is clear understanding of the purpose of the call/ contact.
– identifying yourself (working on behalf of the church)
– have a system of recording encounters and – that each volunteer has a person to report to for accountability purposes.
– Volunteers should not provide their personal information home addresses etc.
Delivering Food/ essential items:
• Avoid all physical contact with anyone who is on on their own.
• All deliveries will be left on the doorstep. If people open the door when you are delivering the food/goods, you must kindly ask them to close the door until you have moved a safe distance away from them. Volunteers need to visually check that supplies have been taken into the house.
• In an ideal world disposable gloves should be worn between one door and the next but this is hardly practical in the current situation. Therefore, every effort should be made not to use a bare hand to knock on a door or to ring the doorbell. It would be better to use your elbow or a suitable inanimate object e.g. umbrella handle.
• If you use disposable gloves, they should be disposed of safely after one use. Carry a plastic bag in which to deposit any used gloves.
• Remember, some people may not hear someone knocking on the door. Please persevere.
Call the coordinator if necessary. If your coordinator is not available, call another coordinator. Don’t leave without obtaining a reply.
Handling the money of vulnerable adults is considered to be a ‘Regulated Activity’
Volunteers doing so are required to have an Enhanced DBS check with check of the Barred List for the Adult workforce (Speak to your Safeguarding Officer to discuss ways to implement pragmatic and timely DBS checks if more are needed).
– Records of visits/ service provision should be logged and reported to the activity leader. This provides transparency and accountability that protects the volunteer from accusations of theft or abuse, but also may be necessary to inform Public Health England of possible contact and transmission opportunities if a volunteer is subsequently diagnosed with the virus.
– Local practice needs to be established of how isolated people are going to pay for any shopping/ goods requested/ fetched by volunteers. We need to protect volunteers from being left out of pocket if payment is not forthcoming from the service user.
– Ensure volunteers handling money are recording what money they receive from vulnerable people and what change (if cash is given) that they have returned. Receipts should be issued and copies kept by the volunteer and/or the scheme coordinator.
– Do not offer to take a vulnerable persons bank card it is obviously too risky as it presents a significant risk of theft or accusation of such.
– Cash presents an infection transmission route and isolated people may soon run out of cash to give out.
– Personal cheques present the risk of bouncing.
• Cash transactions should be made either by bank transfer or using ready cash, the preferred method being a bank transfer.
• If cash is used, plastic bank bags should be used to return any change. The change can be posted via the letterbox on delivery.
• Document the cash handling process clearly, ensure that receipts for purchased goods are provided. Report any dispute or disagreement about money/change of shop or goods immediately to your coordinator. In addition, volunteers should refuse any personal gift offered to them by anyone they shop for.
• If you are asked to undertake any additional tasks, please contact your coordinator before agreeing.
• Volunteers should contact their coordinator immediately if they feel unwell and plan to self isolate because they are showing Covid 19 symptoms, or if they have to self isolate for any other reason, e.g. because a family member is ill.
Personal Protective Equipment
• Disposable gloves, if available
• Hand `Sanitiser’ or wet wipes, if available.
• Make sure you have mobile phone numbers for volunteers
Oh…and I came across this. This week the Chino Hills High School Chamber Singers Concert was cancelled due to Covid19 – but they didn’t let that stop them… Choir