Laura and Noni have your essential information for Petersfield and its villages.
Today we have news of support for carers – with many now the sole carer for their spouse. Even before Covid-19 there were more than a quarter of a million young carers, and we also look at child mental health services.
And we return to our good news story about the Cedar Ward wedding, with an interview with Sarah Deakins, who talks to John Welsman.
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We’ll start with a follow-up to yesterday’s item about masks. We heard from one of the many generous people making masks and scrubs, who offered this tip: a very cheap water-resistant fabric is 100 per cent polypropylene. It’s widely available; it’s often called ‘honeycomb parc’ and only costs about £1 per mtr. Water literally sits in puddles on it but it’s very light and breathable.
Now an opportunity. Alison Gauld Chairman of Petersfield Community Voluntary Care Group (PVCG) says volunteers have been busy on the group’s Day Lewis Project. The number of delivery patients has nearly doubled to around 484 at the latest count, with nearly half of deliveries completed by the PVCG drivers.
The normal work of driving patients to hospitals, to GP surgeries, dentists or shopping for the housebound, continues. However, demand has diminished until normal medical facilities resume; but once outpatient services reopen, especially if drivers over 70 are excluded, then more drivers will be needed urgently.
If you are thinking about volunteering, here’s some information: Drivers use their own cars; have their expenses reimbursed at fixed rates for each destination; and offer only as much time as they can give. There’s a volunteers’ party once a year and an M&S voucher at Christmas as a thank you.
Alison says, though, that the job really gives its own rewards, as clients are so grateful and it is such a worthwhile thing to do.
The group also needs a new coordinator to join the team of six. Coordinators take requests by phone from Winton House Centre and then match with available drivers. You need to be familiar with spreadsheets, email groups and have good personal skills. Duties work out to eight or nine weeks per year.
There is a welcome pack and special training for new coordinators. For more information, to request an application form or just chat about what’s involved as either a coordinator or driver, phone Winton House Centre on 01730 266046, and the message will be forwarded to Alison Gauld at Petersfield Voluntary Care Group.
This is national Carers’ Week, and Hampshire County Council is thanking the army of informal – unpaid – carers who support vulnerable loved ones across Hampshire, and encouraging them to make use of the available support that can help them in their caring role.
It’s so important to look after your own wellbeing and you can give more to the person for whom you care. Find out about support available for carers in Hampshire on the HCC website. There are a whole range of initiatives to help all the different volunteers during, and after, the crisis, as well as information about walking our beautiful county, and you might think about adding something to the archive of events during the Covid-19 pandemic. That’s all on hants.gov.uk
Now to mental health support. There is information from Havant and East Hants (HEH) Mind about its freephone crisis line for 11 to 17-year-olds living in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. The crisis line provides immediate access to safe and confidential support for young people experiencing difficulty with their mental health.
The service is available on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, from 3pm to 8:30pm, freephone 0300 303 1590.
Help can also be found via the Facebook page @HEH.Mind; Instagram and Twitter: @HEH_Mind; and at easthantsmind.org.
Before we leave young people, here’s news of two competitions. Calling teachers and parents! Looking for a way to help keep kids engaged with literacy and copyright? The ALCS Carnegie and Kate Greenaway writing competition is now open for entries.
ALCS has also launched a free competition in partnership with the National Literacy Trust, designed to explain how creative ideas are protected by copyright, and challenge children and families to hunt down the famous copyright symbol © at home. Details of both can be found at alcs.co.uk.
<For John Welsman’s interview with Sarah Deakins, please listen to the audio above>
It seems everyone is using ingenuity to adapt to changed circumstances. If you’re longing to lose the caveman/woman look, the Dandy Cat is reopening the retail part of the shop on 18 June, and is working towards reopening the barbershop on 4 July – if the official go-ahead is given.
As soon as it is, with safety a priority, there will be a system for online booking only. It will not take appointments in store or by text, and the Dandy Cat staff will contact its more elderly clients who aren’t online.
Time to be Me beauty salon is asking clients to tell the management what their concerns are. They were sent emails, with a comprehensive survey to put client and staff safety top of its priorities when the salon reopens.
And, if you want your teeth seen to, College Street Dental Centre has now reopened, with all the necessary PPE. Appointment availability is more limited due to physical distancing rules, and the 10 to 60-minute decontamination time between patients. There is a new set of patient guidelines, so please have a look at its website smileabout.co.uk.
We reported recently that Hampshire County Council is implementing a range of temporary changes across the county to provide more road space for people walking and cycling. To enable social distancing, some changes to traffic signals and signs have already been made – including less waiting times for pedestrians – and the next stage will be installing physical measures to provide more space.
Further schemes are in development to support retail spaces by taking traffic and parking out of town centres. Residents are encouraged to make suggestions for schemes which support social distancing at hants.gov.uk/transport/ and follow links to hantscovidtravel.
Howard and Charlotte at Froxfield Stores and Post Office would like to thank customers for their support during the lockdown and congratulate them for keeping safe distancing in a small space. They are worried about people queuing outside in the rain, so have provided a couple of umbrellas by the door for customers while they wait.
As businesses reopen and traffic increases, here’s an advance warning about roadworks on the A3 southbound entry slip from the A272. Disruption is expected everyday between 9pm and 6am from 15 to 18 June.
With the Waitrose car park as busy as usual, take care to look out for confused drivers – and also check if you have to pay!
And if we’re not saying what you’re seeing call Petersfield 5 55 500.
It will be cloudy at first with a chance of rain by lunchtime. Turning drier and brighter through the afternoon but thunder and rain may return early evening. It stays chilly with a lot of north in an easterly wind. Maximum temperature 17 °C. It’s a slightly better outlook for Friday, but best keep the barbecue under cover.