Page updated: 22/07/2020
Home But Not Alone helping connect people who want to volunteer in their communities with neighbours who are most in need. The telephone number for those in Suffolk who are in genuine need of help is freephone 0800 876 6926 and is staffed from 9am to 5pm, seven days a week. You can download the free app, called Tribe Volunteer from the Apple app store and Google play store
Community Action Suffolk is working with partners SCF, SALC and SCC to map the amazing community response to Covid-19. Please register your community group with Community Action Suffolk and let them know how you are helping local people
You must by law wear a face covering in the following settings:
- Public Transport
- Shops and Supermarkets as of 24 July 2020
More information about who needs to wear a face covering and guidance on how to make your own can be found on the GOV.UK website. To avoid overcrowding, we should continue where possible to travel by bike, walking or if necessary by car.
Keep Moving Suffolk is a local campaign to support & encourage people to get active and stay active, in response to the Coronavirus outbreak
#SuffolkSteps is a collection of local historic walks and trails developed by museums and partners throughout Suffolk. The free walks are designed to help all ages stay active and uncover Suffolk’s hidden history from Gainsborough’s Sudbury, to the largest Millennium Green in England. You can explore Suffolk Steps by viewing the trails at https://suffolkmuseums.org/projects/suffolk-steps/
Activities Online A collection of online resources to inspire you with things to do at home and outside, including activities, events, gigs and groups
Connecting with people using technology Links to useful content to help people make video calls, and stay connected online as well as over the phone including easy read guides
- Libraries started to reopen from Mon 6 July
- Check your library for new opening hours
- The mobile library service restarted from Mon 6 July
- You can return titles and pick up existing, pre-lockdown reservations at your library. Some libraries will require booking
- The home library service will remain suspended
- Select and collect – arrange to collect a bundle of titles from your local library
- A message from Suffolk Libraries Chief Executive Bruce Leeke explaining reopening
eLibrary Download and stream free eBooks, eAudio, magazines, newspapers, films, documentaries and music. Free with a library card number, which you can get online:
Check out your library’s social media page for details of live, online events, such as baby bounce and tot rock. We’ll be updating this website with a list of events soon. Find your library’s social media accounts on library pages
Ask a Librarian! The online ‘Ask a Librarian’ service brings together a small team of Suffolk Libraries’ trained and professional librarians who can answer questions from Suffolk residents. Anyone is welcome to email firstname.lastname@example.org and the team will get back to you with an answer
Let’s get cultural and creative online Online arts and cultural activities provided and curated by Suffolk’s cultural organisations. Includes a wide choice of links to local and national activities to enjoy including dance exercises from Dance East, Time Out’s virtual gallery tours, free National Theatre pieces and Red Rose Chain’s short films about real life Suffolk experiences.
There’s a great variety of online activities to choose from. One such activity is ‘Make Mice and Carry On’, which is a sewing activity created by Aldeburgh Museum, involving making felt mice based on Aldeburgh Museum themes that will be exhibited once the museum re-opens.
Palace House’s 30 Things to Try at Home is a selection of activities based on the museum’s collections, which can be done from home easily without having to have visited the museum before. These activities range from creating a mini museum, spotting the mystery object, designing a palace, and delivering a guided tour of your very own home.
Mildenhall Museum is also offering a virtual tour of the museum which can be accessed by their website and gives a sneak peek of what the museum has to offer.
Find out about these activities and many more by visiting the new Suffolk Museums website.
Support for those isolated: Local organisations offering help to isolated people
Dementia Support: Dementia Together free helpline - 08081 688 000 The helpline will continue to be available 7 days a week for continuous support throughout this difficult time. Dementia Together Navigators will also be able to complete a detailed assessment over the phone offering support, education and a listening ear to you throughout this difficult time.
Befriending Services: If you are concerned about meeting at groups, many befriending services offer telephone support
Domestic Abuse: See this list of Organisations supporting domestic abuse
Cruse Bereavement Care, Suffolk - Are continuing to support clients and will be doing so by phone.
GamCare - The National Gambling Helpline is open 24 hours every day on Freephone 0808 80 20 133, or you can live chat with us.
Ipswich Buddhist Centre - online events including lunchtime meditations and an eight week recovery programme.
Podcasts exploring mental health and wellbeing - from BBC 4's 'All in the Mind', Ctrl Alt Delete with Emma Gannon, and the Adam Buxton Podcast.
Podcasts for your wellbeing - from the Mental Health Foundation, including mindfulness, stress and relaxation.
Suffolk and Norfolk Constabulary crime reduction advice: suffolk.police.uk/firstprinciple and norfolk.police.uk/firstprinciple 1st Principle will give you advice and tips for a range of crime prevention issues. There are even some self-assessment forms to enable you check your home security and help you to make improvements
Local Mental Health Support for parents, carers, children and young people:
First Response Mental health helpline Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) has set up a 24/7 First Response helpline offering immediate support for mental health difficulties during the coronavirus pandemic.
The freephone service is staffed by mental health professionals and provides self-help advice, support and signposting designed to avoid the need for people to attend hospital, except in the case of a medical emergency.
The helpline is available to members of the public of any age, regardless of whether or not they are an existing NSFT patient. The line is also open to healthcare professionals such as GPs, ambulance and social care staff who need to make referrals or seek advice when working with people undergoing mental health difficulties.
You can contact First Response on 0808 196 3494. Callers will hear a recorded message instructing them to press either 1 or 2, depending on whether they are a professional or member of the public, and will then be connected to a mental health practitioner.
At My Bedside Scheme As soon as a patient is taken into hospital, staff are able to identify what is in place, for the person to be in touch with those people who are most important to them.
Lending mobile devices, supporting people to use technology or to send letters, videos and photographs to help families and friends to connect with patients in hospital, ensure that the housebound receive vital assistance with obtaining food and medication, discuss what the needs might be on discharge – and generally ensure that no-one is feeling lonely or unsupported in the entire process. Initially targeted across Ipswich and East Suffolk with plans to deliver the scheme further across Suffolk in the coming weeks.
If you are a family member, carer or other close support for someone in hospital at the moment, and you need some help to connect with them or support in your own right, please contact Suffolk Family Carers. Anyone interested in At My Bedside, can contact the charity’s team on email@example.com or 01473 835477.
Suffolk Mind For advice and helpful resources please go to https://www.suffolkmind.org.uk/additional-help/covid-19-advice-helpful-resources/ The Suffolk Mind Team have put together a number of resources for adults and children to help them stay well
Stay Alive App The Stay Alive app is a suicide prevention resource for the UK, packed full of useful information and tools to help you stay safe in crisis. You can use it if you are having thoughts of suicide or if you are concerned about someone else who may be considering suicide
The Source provides a web page and suicide prevention Z card specifically aimed at young people. This was created and co-produced with young people in Suffolk. Go to Young Suffolk Life Saver Z Card
Suicide prevention podcast Stay Alive. When Suicide is on your mind.
Suicide Prevention video with talking text
COVID Information Hub Emotional Wellbeing, Mental Health and Learning Disabilities COVID-19 Information Hub
Covid19 Mental Health Resources Guidance - This lists all the key Mental Health services and support in Suffolk.
Emotional Wellbeing Gateway website - If you are worried about the emotional wellbeing and Mental Health of a child or young person. Find information, advice and guidance on emotional wellbeing issues, and local mental health support services, such as the Emotional Wellbeing Hub and Kooth.
Covid-19 Information and Resource Pack for SEND families in Suffolk - This has various services and support for families which has been put together by the Suffolk Parent Carer Network who supports families who care for a SEND child or young person.
Eating Disorders Support: Covid-19 information for carers supporting someone with an eating disorder
Suffolk Says Thanks Taking the time to thank someone means a lot; often the small, everyday acts of kindness can make the biggest difference to people’s lives. Thank friends, family, neighbours, teachers, co-workers and others in your community, for everyday acts of kindness or support. Download any of our social media graphics or download our lovely ‘Thank You letter’ template or print our ‘Suffolk Says Thanks’ poster
Local information and support organisations:
- Meal delivery services
- Domestic cleaning services
- Food banks
- Parish and Town Councils: Town and parish councils across Suffolk are prioritising the most vulnerable
- Emergency Shopping 01473 353071
- Home Help Service 01473 357070
Childcare settings offering childcare to key workers
Childcare offering care to vulnerable children
Coronavirus: Supporting Children’s Wellbeing & Learning
Suffolk Children's Centres - Short film about PPE for young children and young people with learning difficulties
The below short video made by the Suffolk Children's Centres Team, shows people wearing PPE and is for parents and carers to use with your child/children to talk about PPE and who you may see wearing it. This could be someone seeing you in your home, in the community, a clinic setting or in hospital. It helps to explain there is a real person under the PPE who is friendly and wants to help you and your child. The PPE is to keep us safe from a virus called corona.
You may want to talk about how your child feels seeing people in PPE. It might make your child feel worried, scared, find it interesting, or they may be confused, or they might feel fine about seeing PPE on people.
The Suffolk Children's Centre Team suggests using role play to help support your child’s thoughts, ideas and feelings about PPE by:
- Dressing up
- Telling stories
- Sharing images of people wearing different types of PPE like in the video.
To contact your local Childrens Centre for information and support go to www.suffolk.gov.uk/childrenscentres
Suffolk Reopening of Schools
Check how schools in Suffolk are affected by COVID-19
BBC Bitesize is publishing daily online lessons for all ages. BBC Bitesize has a new dedicated TV channel full of learning content, podcasts on BBC Sounds and loads of educational videos on iPlayer.
Coronavirus information and advice for children and young people:
Young people in Suffolk can find information and advice about Coronavirus and how to stay emotionally well at home on The Source website
Do you want to make history? The Engagement Hub, part of Suffolk County Council’s Children and Young People’s services have launched a time capsule competition in partnership with Suffolk Archives and The Hold (http://www.suffolkarchives.co.uk/life-in-lockdown/recording/) to capture the moment in history when a virus called Covid-19 came to Town and changed daily life as we know it. The closing date is 1st September. The idea behind this time capsule competition is to help children and young people to express and share their feelings during this difficult time
New plan sets out how Suffolk will prevent and respond to COVID-19 outbreak. A plan which sets out how Suffolk would prevent and respond to a localised outbreak of COVID-19 has been published 30 June 2020.
Suffolk County Council coronavirus (COVID-19) information, including FAQs, schools guidance, business advice and service changes. Please visit suffolk.gov.uk/coronavirus for the latest update from Stuart Keeble, Director of Public Health, about COVID-19 in Suffolk.
Local testing information Suffolk County Council has a web page dedicated to local testing information and guidance for the general public. Go to www.suffolk.gov.uk/testing for the latest information and opening dates. Including information on NHS Test and Trace which forms a central part of the Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy
About Coronavirus in Suffolk Easy Read Guide
Preparing for end of life care What choices and support are available if you are preparing for end of life or palliative care for yourself or a loved one. Suffolk InfoLink lists the bereavement services and local bereavement support groups available to help you
Suffolk On Board July Newsletter Information about the affects of Covid19 on timetables and changes to when discretionary fares apply, plus a link to a new guide about applying for school travel
Life felt very different before COVID-19 – But if we all keep following the guidance and doing our best to protect Suffolk, we will get back to those times again. Watch this short video about how we can all #StickWithItSuffolk. Check the hashtag #StickWithItSuffolk on Twitter, or visit the Suffolk County Council Facebook page to share your stories.
Have you experienced any of our pop-up walking and cycling schemes in and around Ipswich?
Following instruction from Central Government we’ve put in place emergency interventions to make walking and cycling safer during the COVID-19 pandemic to avoid overcrowding our transport network. These are temporary changes, so we are keen to hear from you before decisions are made on any permanent changes. To find out more and to have your say by filling in the short survey visit www.suffolk.gov.uk/walkingandcycling
Summer in a box is SCC’s summer holiday activity and food programme
It will support the most disadvantaged families, children in care and young carers over the six-week summer holiday. This will include the distribution of 1600 activity packs and 6000 food packs which equates to 12,000 meals to families.
There are also other local initiatives taking place across Suffolk offering assistance to families who receive free school meals in term time. The Pink Orange pack and distribute free ingredient kits over the summer holidays to these households. The free ingredient kits provide you with all of the items needed to prepare two household meals from scratch each week throughout the summer holiday. The service is delivered by Access Community Trust and supported by Suffolk Community Foundation. Visit The Pink Orange website.