Community Voting Day is coming to Charlton on Saturday March 27. Greenwich Council has a pot of government money to spend on community health and wellbeing schemes in SE7 as part of its response to the pandemic. GAYLE WALLACE, who is running the scheme, explains…
Individuals and organisations are encouraged to apply for ‘small grant’ funding of up to £500 or ‘larger grant’ funding of up to £2,000, to provide projects that will improve health and wellbeing in the local area.
The criteria for funding applications have been set by local residents from the Charlton Neighbourhood Delivery Team, who have been championing health in the community for some time.
This is a unique opportunity, as it will be local residents in this area who will vote to decide which projects will be successful through an online (lockdown compliant) Community Voting Day, based on the principle of participatory budgeting. This will be held on Saturday March 27 (time to be decided). It’ll be a community-style Dragons Den.
The funding is being dispensed through the Royal Borough of Greenwich. I have been commissioned by the council to deliver the Community Voting Day process for this area.
Residents and organisations have the opportunity to gain funding through making an application outlining a project that they wish to deliver (based on the criteria set by the local community).
As well as organisations, we are actively encouraging individuals with great ideas, enthusiasm, and the energy to deliver, to apply. To support this aim we are also looking for organisations willing to play the role of an umbrella/sponsor organisation for an individual or small group that has a good idea but may not be constituted.
The application forms will be available shortly, with a final decision being made (as to who gets the funding) at the community voting day to be held on March 27, to which all from the community would be invited to take part.
Training will be available to help those interested in applying to help them formulate their project ideas, complete application forms, and to make a great presentation to the local community.
If you have any further queries regarding this funding, please do feel free to contact me at gayle.wallace[at]btconnect.com or call me on 078144 22696 for a brief discussion.
An update in the coronavirus emergency from Greenwich Council’s public health team, with special advice on wearing face masks and where to go if you are grieving.
In the seven days until Tuesday there were 702 confirmed new cases of coronavirus in Greenwich borough. Cases are gradually decreasing, but are still high. We need to stay safe and make sure this number continues to go down, by following the guidance explained in this update.
185 people are in hospital right now in the borough because of coronavirus. This number is starting to go down, but is still far too high. To have to go to hospital because of coronavirus means your case is very serious, and puts a strain on our hospitals and everyone who works in them.
A national lockdown is in place across the country. This means everyone must stay home except for when it is absolutely necessary to leave.
It has never been more important to take every measure we can to fight the virus. Everyone needs to stay at home, except for essential activities. If you do need to leave home: Wear a mask. Make space. Wash your hands.
Unfortunately, a face shield, or visor, is not a suitable face covering as it does not cover the nose and mouth properly.
Please wear a face mask, not a visor, when in enclosed spaces such as shops, public transport and places of worship. This is important to stop the spread of this virus and reduce the amount of people that are ill, and sadly, die, from coronavirus.
Coronavirus is spread by droplets from coughs, sneezes and speaking. When used correctly, wearing a face mask may reduce the spread of coronavirus, helping to protect others.
A face mask should:
cover your nose and mouth while allowing you to breathe comfortably
fit comfortably but securely against the side of the face
be secured to the head with ties or ear loops
ideally include at least two layers of fabric
unless disposable, be able to be washed regularly
Because face masks protect others from coronavirus rather than the wearer, they are not a replacement for social distancing and regular hand washing. It is important to still regularly wash your hands and stay at least two metres from people not in your household or support bubble.
Support if you’ve lost someone to coronavirus
Most people experience grief when they lose someone important to them. It affects everyone differently. There’s no right or wrong way to feel.
You may be finding it particularly difficult at the moment because of the changes in place to try to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Changes have been made to several services, including end-of-life and palliative care, as well as funeral arrangements.
Live Well Greenwich has lots of helpful links that can hopefully help you during this difficult time.
Getting tested for coronavirus
If you have coronavirus symptoms: (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste), even if they’re only mild, it’s important to get a test and stay at home until you get your result.
There are several local testing centres – please go to gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test to book a test. Booking is essential for all testing centres. Order a home test kit if you cannot get to a test site. If you have problems using the online service, call 119. Lines are open 7am to 11pm.
Rapid testing centres
If you can’t follow the Government guidance to stay at home and have go to work, you can get a test very quickly in a number of walk-in centres around the borough, including at The Valley.
The test takes five minutes, and the results are emailed to you in 30 minutes. It will tell you if you have Covid-19, but no symptoms, so that you can protect those around you by self-isolating for 10 days until the virus clears from your body. Book a rapid test here.
Testing is NOT available at the Emergency Department at the hospital or at your GP practice, so please do not attend here trying to get a test.
Support if you test positive and have to self-isolate
If your test result is positive, you and your household will need to stay at home and self-isolate for 10 days (this has changed from 14 days). This is important to stop the virus spreading and to keep your community safe.
This can be stressful and worrying when you need to go to work. If you are unable to claim sick-pay from your employer and are a low income household, a one-off £500 payment may be available from the Government to support you and your family during these 14 days. Find out if you are eligible to apply for this payment or call 0800 470 4831.
If you’re interested in helping your community through volunteering, short training is available to introduce and prepare volunteers for the role of Neighbourhood Champion. This is an opportunity to learn, ask questions, share information and practice.
For more information, please email victoria.smith[at]royalgreenwich.gov.uk.
A disabled woman living in a Greenwich Council flat has been told to rely on volunteers to bring in food because her usual access route to her home has been cut off by contractors building new homes.
Louise Noyce lives in a block of flats in Charlton next door to where Meridian Home Start, a council spin-off company, is building 29 houses and eight flats on the site of an old sheltered accommodation block and garages.
The construction work cut off access to the flats from Fletching Road, a quiet street behind Charlton Village, apart from a narrow alleyway. The residents all have Fletching Road in their addresses.
This final remaining route to their road was blocked on Wednesday, with residents told that they would have to use a bin storage area on Charlton Church Lane to get in and out of their homes. The route is expected to be closed for about eight weeks.
Noyce, who uses a crutch or a mobile scooter to get around, has been shielding during the lockdown and relies on supermarket deliveries for her supplies. She is also recovering from injuries sustained after falling while trying to use the bin storage area, which sits on top of a slope. “My knee gave out on the slope because it is too hard on my joints,” she said.
She has been told by her supermarket that because she cannot provide a recognised address on Charlton Church Lane, she can no longer get deliveries.
“The shop said they can only deliver to my bank card address,” she said. “I have to eat to take medication, so either I don’t eat or I go out to get my shopping myself and break the lockdown law and hope I don’t get coronavirus.”
She said others in her block are elderly or disabled and face similar problems. “I am not the only one who will have to do this if we don’t get access to our road.”
After raising the issue with the building contractor in November, and getting nowhere, she tried emailing Greenwich Council leader Danny Thorpe earlier this month. She was advised by a council officer to use the town-hall’s volunteer-led community hub service to get supplies.
Noyce, who is 50, has had to spend the pandemic stuck at home next to the noisy building site, making her depression and anxiety worse. “I don’t like asking for help because I will try and look after myself,” she said. “I have had people help me but I get ripped off or they can’t help when I need it.”
The new development, Duke Court, replaces a sheltered accommodation block, Fred Styles House. The 37 homes were given planning permission as council housing in October 2017; however the development has been transferred to Meridian Home Start, a spin-off company which charges tenants about 65 per cent of market rent, compared with the 40 per cent typically charged for a council flat.
At the time, residents complained of a lack of consultation about the planned work – and the then-chair of planning, Labour councillor Mark James, said more work needed to be done in communicating with residents. Three years on, it appears his words have not been heeded.
“I had no idea until it started coming down,” Noyce said. “I feel they should have moved us all out. I feel as if I don’t have a voice in the matter.”
When visiting the block on Thursday, The Charlton Champion spoke to an elderly neighbour of Noyce’s who told how she took a bus one stop to reach Charlton Village because she was unable to walk up the hill at Charlton Church Lane. She added that the problems accessing the block were compounded by a broken lift.
Despite Noyce’s pleas for help, the council has been insistent that using Charlton Church Lane should be sufficient, even though her supermarket will not recognise the address. “Please could you advise delivery companies that the most appropriate access arrangement to your flat is via Charlton Church Lane,” a council officer wrote on Wednesday.
“They don’t care what happens to disabled and old people,” Noyce said.
“I don’t know what I will do next, I will just try and look after myself the best I can. I will keep trying with the council because what they are doing is wrong.”
A Greenwich Council spokesperson told The Charlton Champion: “Fletching Road remains open to vehicles and no area of the road is due to be closed off. As part of the building works, a footpath will be closed for eight weeks and affected residents were given advanced warning by the contractor beginning a year ago.
“In the interim, affected properties can be accessed from Charlton Church Lane via a footpath to the street. Signs have been installed advising visitors to the area of access routes to the various blocks on the estate.
“Residents should advise their delivery companies of these temporary arrangements. It is disappointing if supermarkets are not currently recognising this alternative route – and we would urge them to rectify this.