Following the government guidance, we had to make some decisions about your buildings to make sure we protect everyone. You have an important role to play in this.

To protect the wellbeing of everyone living in the almshouses we have issued the following advice: 

  • The communal lounges have been closed and will remain closed for the foreseeable (updated 15.06.2020).
  • The toilets will remain open for the use of carers and medical staff coming to the building, they also give somewhere where you can wash your hands.
  • The guest room at Thorner’s Court will be closed and we will contact anyone who has a booking to make alternative arrangements. If you need this as a caring emergency please contact your Scheme Manager. If this is needed in an emergency, please speak to the Scheme Manager.
  • The laundry rooms will remain open, as per Government guidance but when using the laundry:
    • Use it one at a time.
    • Wait outside for the other person to finish.
    • Clean the machines after using them – this is essential.
    • Put soiled clothing in two bags and throw them away. They should not be washed.
  • Social Distancing – Please respect people’s space when moving around the buildings and keep at least two metres away from each other, this includes the Communal Gardens.

Stay at home has moved to Stay Alert – the easing of restrictions

As the Government eases lock down, there are changes being made and we must remember that the virus has not gone away.

Stay alert – The Government Advice

We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means you must:

  • stay at home as much as possible
  • work from home if you can
  • limit contact with other people
  • keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • wash your hands regularly

Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.

What can I do that I couldn’t do before?

From 13 June, you will be able to:

  • Form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household if you live alone or are a single parent with dependent children – in other words, you are in a household where there is only one adult. All those in a support bubble will be able to act as if they live in the same household – meaning they can spend time together inside each other’s homes and do not need to stay 2 metres apart. Support bubbles should be exclusive – meaning you should not switch the household you are in a bubble with or connect with multiple households.
  • Attend your place of worship for the purposes of individual prayer

From 15 June:

  • You will be able to visit any type of shop and some additional outdoor attractions – drive-in cinemas, and animal attractions like zoos, farms and safari parks
  • Year 10 and 12 pupils in secondary schools and further education colleges will begin to receive some face to face support
  • You will have to wear a face covering on public transport

You will still be able to meet outdoors with groups of up to six people from different households, provided social distancing is observed and you stay 2 metres away from anyone outside your household or support bubble.

As before, you cannot:

  • visit friends and family inside their homes (unless you are in a support bubble from 13 June) or for other limited circumstances set out in law
  • stay away from your home or your support bubble household overnight – including holidays – except for in a limited set of circumstances, such as for work purposes
  • exercise in an indoor sports court, gym or leisure centre, or go swimming in a public pool
  • use an outdoor gym or playground
  • gather outdoors in a group of more than six (unless exclusively with members of your own household or support bubble or for one of the limited set of circumstances set out in the law)

I don’t have to stay at home anymore?

You should continue to stay alert and limit your contact with others. Staying at home is the easiest way to do this.

From 13 June, if you are in a support bubble, you may spend time outdoors or inside either home within the bubble.

Everyone may spend time outdoors with groups of up to six people from outside your household or support bubble. You should stay alert and always practise social distancing with people from outside of your household or support bubble, keeping 2 metres apart.

The more people you have interactions with, the more chance the virus has to spread. Therefore, try to limit the number of people you see – especially over short periods of time.

If you or someone in your household or, from 13 June, your support bubble (if applicable) is showing coronavirus symptoms, everyone in your support bubble should stay home. If you or a member of your support bubble is contacted as part of the test and trace programme, the individual contacted must stay at home. If the individual becomes symptomatic, everyone in the support bubble must then isolate. This is critical to staying safe and saving lives

However, the Government reminds you…..

We know that people 70 and over, those with certain underlying conditions and pregnant women may be more clinically vulnerable, so we have advised them to take particular care to avoid contact with others.

That means such individuals can meet people outdoors but should be especially careful. Similarly, clinically vulnerable people can form a support bubble with another household, if one of the households is an adult living alone or with children, but extra care should be taken. For example all members of the support bubble should be especially careful to socially distance from people outside of the household or bubble.

You can also visit a clinically vulnerable person inside if you are providing care or assistance to them, following the advice set out here. You should not do so if you have coronavirus symptoms, however mild.

Wherever possible, you should stay at least 2 metres away from others, use a tissue when sneezing and dispose of it safely, cough into the crook of your elbow and wash your hands for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser if washing facilities are not easily available.

If someone is defined as clinically extremely vulnerable and being asked to shield, you should follow the guidance for a shielded person as this is different to the wider clinically vulnerable group. Shielded people are advised not to form a support bubble due to the heightened risks for this group.

So residents of Thorner’s

  • Please make sure that you and your visitors wash their hands every time they enter or leave your home with soap and hot water for at least twenty seconds. Where you can, you can use the sanitiser in the reception areas.
  • We continue to encourage you to exercise and now also socialise in the gardens but you must keep at least two metres (6 feet) away from others at all times.
  • We will continue to follow the Government advice and work from home. You will have seen staff and contractors attending wearing Personal Protective Equipment to carry out weekly safety checks on the buildings and in the coming weeks, also on your homes. You will be advised when this will be.

It’s never been more important for residents to keep us advised of their wellbeing

Our Scheme Managers will continue to call you on your usual visit day, or more often if you are vulnerable. If you have not managed to speak with them, please return their call, even if you leave a message to say you are okay.

Please remember – in an emergency residents can get assistance 24 hours a day through the pull cords in your flat. 

Look after your mental wellbeing

Understandably, you may find that social distancing can be boring or frustrating. You may find your mood and feelings are affected and you may feel low, worried or have problems sleeping and you might miss being outside with other people.

It can be easy to fall into unhealthy patterns of behaviour which can make you feel worse. There are simple things you can do that may help, to stay mentally and physically active during this time:

  • look for ideas of exercises you can do at home on the NHS website
  • spend time doing things you enjoy – this might include reading, cooking, other indoor hobbies or listening to the radio or watching TV
  • try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, drink enough water and try to avoid smoking, alcohol and drugs
  • keep your windows open to let in fresh air, get some natural sunlight if you can, or get outside into the garden

You can go for a walk or exercise outdoors when ever you want now, however you must remain 2 metres from others.

Stay connected with family and friends

Draw on support you might have through your friends, family and other networks during this time. Try to stay in touch with those around you over the phone, by post, or online. Let people know how you would like to stay in touch and build that into your routine. This is also important in looking after your mental wellbeing and you may find it helpful to talk to them about how you are feeling.

It is OK to share your concerns with others you trust and in doing so you may end up providing support to them too. Or you can use an NHS recommended helpline.

Handwashing and respiratory hygiene

There are general principles you can follow to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • washing your hands more often – with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitiser when you get home or into work, when you blow your nose, sneeze or cough, eat or handle food
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • avoid close contact with people who have symptoms
  • cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin and wash your hands
  • clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home

Getting assistance with foods and medicines

Ask family, friends and neighbours to support you and use online services. If this is not possible, then the public sector, business, charities, and the general public are gearing up to help those advised to stay at home. It is important to speak to others and ask them to help you to make arrangements for the delivery of food, medicines and essential services and supplies, and look after your physical and mental health and wellbeing.

If you receive support from health and social care organisations, for example; if you have care provided for you through the local authority or health care system, this will continue as normal. Your health or social care provider will be asked to take additional precautions to make sure that you are protected. The advice for formal carers is included in the Home care provision.

What should you do if you have hospital and GP appointments during this period?

We advise everyone to access medical assistance remotely, wherever possible. However, if you have a scheduled hospital or other medical appointment during this period, talk to your GP or clinician to ensure you continue to receive the care you need.