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Don’t Suffer in Silence

Support is available all through the year, not just at Christmas

Make yourself heard using the silent ’55’ solution.

This Christmas please help us to raise awareness of the silent solution.

If you are in danger and you can’t ask for help out loud dial 999, listen to the instructions carefully and, when prompted, dial ’55’ on your handset.

If you are able to give any details, please do, if you can’t, stay on the line and the police will try to establish your location whilst you are on the phone.

We hear you. You are not alone.

Our partner agencies are available to listen if you need support…

Victim Advice Line

0800 952 3000

West Mercia Women’s Aid Helpline (available to help all victims)

0800 980 3331

Men’s Advice Line

0808 801 0327

The Mix (for under 25s)

0808 808 4994

National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline

0800 999 5428

Fairfield Village Hall COVID-19 update

On Wednesday 8th December, Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a press briefing announcing that England will be moving to plan B.  The measures announced include:

  • From Friday 10 December, face coverings will become compulsory in most public indoor venues, such as cinemas, theatres and places of worship. There will be exemptions in venues where it is not practical to wear one, such as when you are eating, drinking or exercising.

As has been done over the past 19 months, the trustees will continue to put the safety of all hall users first.

With immediate effect at Fairfield Village Hall, please review and enforce your Covid Risk Assessment & Village Hall Covid Protocols, ensure all your users are using hand sanitiser, scan the QR code (or use a manual register) and maintain the required social distancing.  Unless persons in your group are actively taking part in an exempt activity, e.g. they are dancing, masks are to be worn.  If further measures are to be adopted, hall users will be notified.

Fortunately, Christmas will soon be here, a period when many of your activities do not take place.  Unless you hear from the Village Hall to do otherwise, the measures outlined above will continue in the new year.

If you feel, as a matter of safety for your users, that you wish to take a break from using the hall, the Hall trustees fully understand. 

The trustees of Fairfield Village Hall wish to thank all Hall Users for all that they are doing to help make our Hall safe for all users.  Let’s put on our Christmas lists to Santa, a return to the “new norm” that we have recently been getting used to.

Village Pays Respects to the Fallen


A moving Service of Remembrance at the Village War memorial was held on Sunday 14th November; wreaths laid by Fairfield Village Community Association, Fairfield W.I. & Fairfield First School, with children laying wreathes on behalf of the Association & School. Thank you to everyone that came, raising £140 for the Royal British Legion.

The Community Association’s wreath was laid by Tom

Parish Council & Legion wreaths were laid during a short service on the 11th November.

Village Hall Unlock Update

Subject to their being no change to the Government’s Unlock Road Map, our own local assessment and full compliance with advice that is being issued, the trustees will resume the phased reopening of the Village Hall from 17th May, with Zumba & Taekwondo as part of Phase One (same as before).
Other regular hirers (e.g. Line Dancing) can be considered as part of our Stage Two phased reopening, which is expected to take place from 1st July, subject to their being a minimum of 1 hour between each Hall user to enable any overrun arising from Hall users cleaning the Hall.
With regard ad-hoc hires (Stage Three), provisional bookings will be accepted for non-Private parties and events/activities for no more than 40 people from the 1st August, with the caveat that bookings may be cancelled.
Trustees will regularly review the Village Hall unlock, and when it feels safe the Phase Four unlock will allow full use of the Hall. The requirement for a Covid Safe Risk Assessment remains unchanged, and strict adherence of Village Hall’s Covid Safe Protocols.

Roadmap out of lockdown

4-step plan to ease lockdown in England has been announced by the Prime Minister.

From 8 March

Pupils return to face-to-face education in school and further education in England.

Outdoor recreation, such as a picnic, is allowed. This can be on your own, with one other person, or with your household or support bubble.

Indoor visits to care homes start again for a single named visitor.

Read about the changes happening on 8 March.

Coronavirus Testing

There are now more places to get a free rapid asymptomatic Covid-19 test in Worcestershire for those who DO NOT have any symptoms of Covid-19.  Around one in three who are infected with Covid-19 have no symptoms so could be spreading the disease without knowing it.  These rapid (lateral flow) tests, which provide results within the hour, will help break the chains of transmission.  Further information can be found here, including local participating pharmacies offering this test and mass testing sites including Redditch Town Hall.  The Ryland Centre in Bromsgrove will be another site added shortly.  Information on all testing available, including how to book a test if you DO have symptoms, can be found here

COVID Vaccinations

Please help ensure everyone in the top 4 priority groups in our community has access to a vaccination and has not been missed.

Anyone 70 or over OR anyone who has previously received a letter saying that they are at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable) who has not yet received a vaccination can now choose to:
1. Book their own vaccination at one of the Vaccination Centres (e.g. Artrix in Bromsgrove or Knights Pharmacy in Redditch) without waiting for an invite letter from the NHS by going online at or by telephoning 119; OR

2. If they prefer, they can still wait to be contacted by their GP to attend at their local GP led vaccination service.

Please Note: GPs have asked that you do not ring your GP practice about a vaccination (due to the sheer volume and that this prevents people with other illnesses getting through on the phonelines) and that you should use the booking system link above and the 119 number.

Can’t find your NHS number to book an appointment? Then use this link:

Coronavirus Vaccination Scams

As of 7 January 2021, Action Fraud had received 57 reports from members of the public who have been sent text messages claiming to be from the NHS, offering them the opportunity to sign up for coronavirus vaccinations. The texts ask the recipient to click on a link which takes them to an online form where they are prompted to input personal and financial details. In some cases the online form has looked very similar to the real NHS website.

Pauline Smith, Head of Action Fraud, said: 
“Remember, the vaccine is only available on the NHS and is free of charge. The NHS will never ask you for details about your bank account or to pay for the vaccine. If you receive an email, text message or phone call purporting to be from the NHS and you are asked to provide financial details, this is a scam.”

How to protect yourself:

In the UK, coronavirus vaccinations will only be available via the National Health Services of England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. You can be contacted by the NHS, your employer, a local GP surgery or pharmacy, to receive your vaccination. Remember, the vaccinations are free of charge and you will not be asked for a payment.

The NHS will never:

  • ask for your bank account or card details
  • ask for your PIN or banking passwords
  • arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine
  • ask for documentation to prove your identity, such as a passport or utility bills

If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up. If you are suspicious about an email you have received, forward it to Suspicious text messages should be forwarded to the number 7726, which is free of charge.

If you believe you are the victim of a fraud, please report this to Action Fraud as soon as possible by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting

Message from Dr. Kathryn Cobain, Director for Public Health in Worcestershire

“Dear Residents, I know that the news of a new lockdown for England, will be frustrating and upsetting for many people.

Worcestershire has tried very hard to keep Covid-19 cases down, and many of you have made sacrifices to protect yourselves and others. We have all had to make changes to the way we live our lives in recent months, and that included over Christmas, when so many were not able to spend time with loved ones. 

But some stark realities remain for us all. Worcestershire’s infection rates are at the highest we have ever seen. In the past 7 days alone, the county has 1,888 positive Covid-19 cases, which is more than all positive cases seen during May, June, July, August and September 2020 combined. I am concerned about this level of spread, and the risk it poses to our health and the lives of our vulnerable and elderly residents. We need to act now to protect one another, prevent the virus spreading further and reduce the demand on our hospitals. 

The pandemic continues to dominate our daily lives, cases are rising nationally and we know the new variant of Covid-19 spreads very quickly. Our NHS is also facing considerable pressure on its services. All of these factors have led to the government’s announcement of a new lockdown across England. This means once again, we are facing tough restrictions on our way of life. I know this is hard, but by doing as we are asked, we are saving lives. The restrictions have been brought in to protect every one of us. 

Please now stay at home, don’t go out unless you need to, for example to buy food or collect medicines. The Government has set out the clear limitations of the lockdown and I ask you to read the restrictions and follow the rules. You can read a full explanation of all the restrictions on the government’s website;

Once again, Worcestershire County Council’s Here2Help service is available to anyone who needs support or is clinically extremely vulnerable (shielding). If you have no-one to turn to for help, our service can respond and provide help such as collecting medicines and getting shopping. You can reach the Here2Help service online 

If you are on the Government’s shielding list, you will be receiving guidance about what to do now. It is key that you socially distance, and you reduce your physical contact with others. The governments webpages are updated regularly and you can read detailed guidance on shielding their website.

While we are all at home, please do remember to check on vulnerable or isolated residents. Just a phone call or a text message can provide a vital link to the outside world, and can ensure those who need comfort or help, have someone to turn to. 

You will know that a programme of vaccination has begun nationally, and we are already seeing Worcestershire residents receiving the first doses. This process is being co-ordinated by central Government, and following a strict order for administering the doses. Worcestershire County Council is supporting NHS colleagues to ensure the roll-out is progressing. The vaccines are safe, and if you are called forward to receive one, I strongly urge you to do so. In the meantime, please keep following the rules, wear face coverings, wash your hands, keep your distance. These simple measures help reduce the spread of the virus. 

We are all in this together. Throughout the pandemic, you have shown your resilience, kindness and compassion for others. We have seen many examples of people supporting one another, lending a hand or going the extra mile. The situation has demonstrated how working together, we are able to support one another and get through. I am asking you to do this once again. The single most important thing you can do for everyone, is to stay home. Please do this for yourself and for others. We all want to protect people who are precious to us, our family and friends. Let’s take care of each other, and work together. 

Thank you for doing this. Our actions now will hopefully bring brighter days for us all in 2021. 

Best wishes
Dr. Kathryn Cobain”

Lockdown Restrictions – Statement from Chief Constable Anthony Bangham

Chief Constable of West Mercia Police, Anthony Bangham, has issued a statement (5th January 2021) following the announcement of the new lockdown for the country as we continue to work together to prevent the further spread of Covid-19.

Chief Constable Bangham said: “Over the last year the vast majority of people in our communities have kept to the rules and I am confident that they will continue to do so through this new phase of the pandemic.

“West Mercia Police will continue to be visible across our villages, towns and cities working with our partners to do all we can to prevent the spread of the virus. As the public would expect, we will respond firmly, but fairly, using all the powers available to us to take action against those people that flout the laws and knowingly put others at risk.

“Policing across West Mercia will continue unabated throughout the lockdown and as the Prime Minster outlined yesterday help is available to anyone whose home is not a safe place to be. We would like to emphasise that we are still here for you 24/7.”

We are awaiting the official regulations from the Government and will share them on our website and social media channels as soon as we can.

Third National Lockdown Announced

The Prime Minister has this evening (Monday 4th January) announced a third national lockdown

The PM says you may only leave their homes:

– To shop for essentials

– To go to work “if you absolutely cannot work from home”

– To exercise

– To seek medical assistance

– To get a Covid test

– To escape domestic abuse

Primary schools and secondary schools and colleges across England must move to remote provision from Tuesday 5th January, except for vulnerable children and the children of key workers.

Early years settings such as nurseries will remain accessible.

“If you are clinically extremely vulnerable, we are advising you to begin shielding again, and you will shortly receive a letter about what this means for you”

To view details lockdown restrictions and permittable activities visit

Covid-19 Message from Dr Ed Mitchell

ICU Consultant Dr Ed Mitchell from Worcestershire Acute NHS Trust, is one of our frontline NHS workers.

He deals first hand with the impact of Covid-19 and he is asking us all to help reduce the number of cases of Covid-19.

If we follow the rules we will protect the NHS.

Statement from Chief Constable Anthony Bangham

Chief Constable Anthony Bangham has released a public statement around the force’s response to the national restrictions, following the changes which came into force today (5 November, 2020).

He said: “The last eight months have been incredibly challenging for everyone. We are extremely grateful that the vast majority of people in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire have been supportive and adapted well during the previous lockdown, which meant we only had to take minimal enforcement action.

“I ask everyone to continue with this approach, following the new rules that are in place for everyone’s safety during this next phase of the pandemic.

“We will continue to be out and about, providing a visible presence and engaging with the public as we all adjust to the new rules.

“We will continue to take a sensible and proportionate approach to the Covid-19 laws with our aim always to ensure public safety. If there are clear breaches, where people choose to put lives at risk by knowingly breaking the law then we will take positive enforcement action – as the public would expect.

“In many areas of our force, we share a border with Wales and we understand that there will be concerns, from both sides of the border, about how the differing rules will be managed, particularly for those who live on the border. I want to be clear that we will not be patrolling the border, however we will continue to work closely with our colleagues in the Welsh forces to police the differing regulations and support the most affected communities.

“Please help us prioritise those who are most in need of our help by reporting non-urgent crime, anti-social behaviour and Covid breaches via our website. This keeps the phone lines free for emergency 999 calls. Anyone who needs a police emergency response will get one.

“We know that many are finding this year incredibly difficult and it has been very challenging but we’re asking you to continue doing all you can to keep yourself, your families and those around you safe whilst we get through this together.”

Keeping in touch – It’s Good To Talk

As we enter the winter months, another lockdown and ongoing restrictions, it’s important to understand that increased loneliness and isolation makes us all, especially the elderly, susceptible to scams and poor mental wellbeing.

We encourage members of our community to reach out to friends, family and neighbours with a telephone call, letter, email or video call.  A friendly chat can make a huge difference to peoples’ wellbeing.

Prime Minister announces new national restrictions

The Prime Minister has announced tougher national restrictions in England from Thursday.

With the NHS weeks from being overwhelmed, and a higher death toll than the first wave predicted without new restrictions, the Prime Minister, Chief Medical Officer, Chief Scientific Advisor, and Cabinet agreed there was no alternative to tougher national measures.

The Prime Minister will update Parliament on Monday, and MPs are set to vote on the measures on Wednesday. This follows a Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister earlier today.

He said that no one wants to impose these kinds of measures, but no responsible Prime Minister could ignore the evidence presented.

He also said that, whilst Christmas will inevitably be different this year, tough action now could mean families may be able to be together.

Belgium, France, Germany and other countries have already put in place national restrictions, following earlier local measures.

From Thursday 5 November, everyone must stay at home, and may leave only for a limited set of reasons. These include:

  • For education;
  • For work, if you cannot work from home;
  • For exercise and recreation outdoors, with your household, support bubble or on your own with one person from another household;
  • For all medical reasons, appointments and to escape injury or harm;
  • To shop for food and essentials;
  • And to provide care for vulnerable people, or as a volunteer.

A full set of exemptions will be set out in law.

Single-adult households will still be able to form an exclusive support bubble with one other household, and children can move between homes if their parents are separated.

Non-essential shops, leisure and entertainment venues will be closed. Click and collect services can continue and essential shops, including supermarkets, will remain open, so there is no need for anyone to stockpile.

Pubs, bars, restaurants must close, except for takeaway and delivery services.

People should work from home wherever possible. Workplaces should stay open where people cannot work from home – for example, in the construction or manufacturing sectors.

Shielding as practised in the spring will not currently be reintroduced. The clinically vulnerable, or those over the age of 60, should be especially careful to follow the rules and minimise contacts with others. Those who are clinically extremely vulnerable should not only minimise their contacts with others, but also not go to work if they are unable to work from home.

There is no exemption for staying away from home on holiday. This means people cannot travel internationally or within the UK, unless for work, education or other legally permitted exemptions. Overnight stays away from primary residences will not be allowed, except for specific exceptions including for work.

Inbound international travel will continue to be governed by the travel corridor approach, and those currently on a domestic holiday will be allowed to finish their holidays, but are still subject to the requirements in England not to go out without a reasonable excuse.

Public services, such as job centres, courts, and civil registration offices will remain open.

There is no exemption for communal worship in places of worship (except funerals and individual prayer), organised team sports, or children’s activities.

Elite sport will be allowed to continue behind closed doors as currently.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, known as the furlough scheme, will remain open until December, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500. The cost for employers of retaining workers will be reduced compared to the current scheme, which ends today.

As the Prime Minister and Education Secretary have said, keeping young people in education is a national priority so early years settings, schools, colleges and universities will all remain open. Parents and carers should make sure their children keep attending school. However, universities and adult learning providers should consider increasing online provision where possible.

Parents will still be able to access registered childcare and other childcare activities where reasonably necessary to enable parents to work. Parents are also able to form a childcare bubble with another household for the purposes of informal childcare, where the child is 13 or under.

Ministers are also clear that it is vital to keep the provision for non-Covid healthcare needs going. Unless clinicians tell patients otherwise, they should continue to use the NHS, get scans and other tests, turn up for all appointments and collect medicines and treatments.

Ministers have done everything in their power to avoid another national lockdown.

The natural rate of R is around 3, meaning local restrictions have helped slow the spread of the virus, whilst NHS Test and Trace is testing more than any other country in Europe.

But the R rate is still above 1, meaning infections, hospitalisations and deaths continue to double, and the virus is now a national problem.

On present trends, in the South West, where incidence is low for example, it is clear they would run out of hospital capacity in a matter of weeks unless we act.

Whilst work is underway to boost capacity, including preparing the Nightingales, it is impossible to create extra bed space, and recruit extra doctors and nurses, at the rate necessary to outpace the virus.

Litter Pick Cancelled

To safeguard our vulnerable volunteers, November’s community litter pick has been cancelled.
The next scheduled litter pick will be Saturday 9th January 2021 (all being well).

Second Lockdown Announced

The Prime Minister announced (Saturday 31st October) a second national lockdown, commencing Thursday 5th November and lasting until Wednesday 2nd December, requiring non-essential shops and hospitality to close.

In his speech, the Prime Minister said:

“From Thursday until the start of December, you must stay at home.

You may only leave home for specific reasons, including:

For education; For work, say if you cannot work from home; For exercise and recreation outdoors, with your household or on your own with one person from another household; For medical reasons, appointments and to escape injury or harm; To shop for food and essentials; And to provide care for vulnerable people, or as a volunteer.

I’m afraid non-essential shops, leisure and entertainment venues will all be closed – though click and collect services can continue and essential shops will remain open, so there is no need to stock up.

Pubs, bars, restaurants must close except for takeaway and delivery services.

Workplaces should stay open where people can’t work from home – for example in the construction or manufacturing sectors.

Single adult households can still form exclusive support bubbles with one other household, and children will still be able to move between homes if their parents are separated.

If you are clinically vulnerable, or over the age of 60, you should be especially careful to follow the rules and minimise your contacts with others.

I know how tough shielding was, and we will not ask people to shield again in the same way again. However we are asking those who are clinically extremely vulnerable to minimise their contact with others, and not to go to work if they are unable to work from home.

I am under no illusions about how difficult this will be for businesses which have already had to endure hardship this year. I am truly, truly sorry for that.

This is why we are also going to extend the furlough system through November. The furlough scheme was a success in the spring. It supported people and businesses in a critical time. We will not end it. We will extend it until December.

There will be some differences compared to March.

These measures above all will be time-limited, starting next Thursday 5 November. They will end on Wednesday 2 December, when we will seek to ease restrictions, going back into the tiered system on a local and regional basis according to the latest data and trends.

Christmas is going to be different this year, very different, but it is my sincere hope and belief that by taking tough action now, we can allow families across the country to be together.

My priority, our priority, remains keeping people in education – so childcare, early years settings, schools, colleges and universities will all remain open. Our senior clinicians still advise that school is the best place for children to be.

We cannot let this virus damage our children’s futures even more than it has already. I urge parents to continue taking their children to school and I am extremely grateful to teachers across the country for their dedication in enabling schools to remain open.

And it is vital that we will keep provision for non-Covid healthcare groups going.

So please – this is really important – unless your clinicians tell you otherwise, you should continue to use the NHS, get your scans, turn up for your appointments and pick up your treatments. If at all possible, we want you to continue to access these services, now and through the winter. Indeed it’s only by taking this action that we can protect the NHS for you.”

A message to our older communities in Bromsgrove, from Dr. Kathryn Cobain, Director for Public Health in Worcestershire

A message to the older communities in Bromsgrove from Dr. Kathryn Cobain.

“Since March, we have all worked hard to reduce the spread of Coronavirus. I want to thank you for all you have done so far, to keep us all safe. Sadly, our number of Covid-19 positives is rising once again. We have seen the virus spread through our younger people and now it is infecting our older communities. This is certainly happening in Bromsgrove and it is very worrying. We know that the over 60’s can be badly affected by the virus, it can make you very poorly, need hospital care and even cause death. This of course, leads to pressure on our NHS and creates a rising demand for intensive care beds. We need to act now, to prevent this situation becoming any worse. We need your help, to keep you and everyone safe. 

How can you help?  How can you protect yourself and others ?  Firstly, please follow the rule of 6, keep your distance, wash your hands regularly and wear face coverings where needed. These measures are our best defence against the virus. We know it can be hard, keeping a distance from others, avoiding travelling to places, not meeting up with big groups. But the virus spreads when we mix and have contact and don’t stay apart. Stay local, don’t visit areas with higher levels of restrictions. In Bromsgrove, we are close to areas with higher infection rates and these areas are on a higher level of alert. If we can stay local, stop visiting areas with greater numbers of infections, we can protect ourselves and others. Please ensure you self-isolate as soon as you have a symptom of Covid-19. The symptoms to look out for are; 
•    a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
•    a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
•    a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

If you have any of these, no matter how mild your symptoms, please self-isolate immediately and book a test. You can do this online
Self-isolation means you should stay away from everyone, not go out, don’t leave your home, don’t mix with others. Self-isolation is not the same as lockdown. If you have a symptom you should not go out for exercise, you need to stay at home, and away from those you live with, so you don’t pass on the virus. If you have no family support or help with things such as shopping or getting medicines our Here 2 Help service is available to support you as you self-isolate. You can contact them through our website;

I know the situation is difficult, and I want to thank you for all you are doing. 
Please take care of yourself, follow the rules and stay safe. 

Dr. Kathryn Cobain. “

NHS COVID-19 app launches across England and Wales

  • NHS COVID-19 app launches nationwide to help control COVID-19 transmission alongside national and local contact tracing
  • Features of the app include contact tracing using Bluetooth, risk alerts based on postcode district, QR check-in at venues, symptom checker and test booking – with user privacy and data security at its heart
  • Businesses are now required by law to display the official NHS QR code posters from today so people can check-in at different premises with the app

People across England and Wales are being urged to download the NHS COVID-19 app to help control the spread of coronavirus and protect themselves and their loved ones as case numbers rise.

The app launches today, and after positive trials and rigorous testing is an important new tool to work alongside traditional contact tracing to help reduce the spread of the virus.

It will be available to those aged 16 and over in multiple languages. It forms a central part of the NHS Test and Trace service in England and the NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect programme – identifying contacts of those who have tested positive for coronavirus.

As part of a major campaign to encourage downloads of the app a new advertisement will launch on primetime TV tonight with the strapline ‘Protect your loved ones. Get the app.’

Today the UK’s major mobile network operators, including Vodafone, Three, EE and O2, Sky and Virgin, have confirmed that all in-app activity will not come out of customers’ data allowance.

The contact tracing element of the app works by using low-energy Bluetooth to log the amount of time you spend near other app users, and the distance between you, so it can alert you if someone you have been close to later tests positive for COVID-19 – even if you don’t know each other.

The app will advise you to self-isolate if you have been in close contact with a confirmed case. It will also enable you to check symptoms, book a free test if needed and get your test results.

The app has been designed with user privacy in mind, so it tracks the virus, not people and uses the latest in data security technology to protect privacy. The system generates a random ID for an individual’s device, which can be exchanged between devices via Bluetooth (not GPS). These unique random IDs regenerate frequently to add an extra layer of security and preserve anonymity.

The app does not hold personal information such as your name, address or date of birth, and only requires the first half of your postcode to ensure local outbreaks can be managed. No personal data is shared with the government or the NHS.

UK government Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:

We are at a tipping point in our efforts to control the spread of this virus. With infection rates rising we must use every tool at our disposal to prevent transmission, including the latest technology.

We have worked extensively with tech companies, international partners, and privacy and medical experts – and learned from the trials – to develop an app that is secure, simple to use and will help keep our country safe.

Today’s launch marks an important step forward in our fight against this invisible killer and I urge everyone who can to download and use the app to protect themselves and their loved ones.

From today certain businesses in England are required by law to display NHS Test and Trace QR codes so customers with the NHS COVID-19 app can use them to check-in. QR codes will help businesses meet their legal requirement to log contact details and allow public health leads to send alerts based on whether people have checked in at venues. So far, more than 160,000 businesses have already downloaded QR codes. Venues in Wales that are legally required to collect and keep a record of visitors will still need to do so.

The NHS Test and Trace team behind the app has worked closely with major tech companies, including Google and Apple, scientists within the Alan Turing Institute and Oxford University, Zuhlke Engineering, medical experts, privacy groups, at-risk communities and teams in countries across the world using similar apps – such as Germany, to develop an app that is safe, simple and secure.

The app has been through successful trials in the Isle of Wight, Newham and among NHS volunteer responders. Lessons learned have informed the final version that is launching today.

Dido Harding, Executive Chair of England’s NHS Test and Trace Programme, said:

We want to make it as easy as possible for everyone to engage with England’s NHS Test and Trace service. The NHS COVID-19 app enables the majority of people with a smartphone to find out if they are at risk of having caught the virus and need to self isolate, order a test if they have symptoms, and access the right guidance and advice.

The features of this app, including QR code check-in at venues, work alongside our traditional contact tracing service and will help us to reach more people quickly in their communities to prevent further spread of the virus.

This is a welcome step in protecting those around us.

Simon Thompson, Managing Director of the NHS COVID-19 App, said:

We have worked tirelessly to develop the new NHS COVID-19 app and we are incredibly grateful to all residents of the Isle of Wight, London borough of Newham, and NHS volunteer responders, the learnings and insight have made the app what it is today. We are now ready to roll-out the app across England and Wales.

This new version is so much more than just a contact tracing app – it has a range of features which will quickly alert you if you’re at risk of coronavirus. The more people who use it, the better it works.

We are confident that every person who downloads the app will be helping to protect themselves and their loved ones.

Wales’ Health and Social Services Minister, Vaughan Gething, said:

The launch of the NHS COVID-19 app is an important part of Wales’ coronavirus response, bolstering our Test, Trace, Protect programme. The more people who download and use this app, the more it will help us to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

We have worked closely with the app development team to ensure it works seamlessly across England and Wales, providing people with the right advice based on where they live. In Wales, the app will complement our existing contact tracing and testing services and will further support our co-ordinated response to COVID-19 at both a local and national level.

I strongly encourage everyone in Wales to download and use the app to keep Wales safe.

In a joint statement Apple and Google said:

We built the exposure notifications system to enable public health authorities in their efforts to develop apps to help reduce the spread of the virus while ensuring people can trust in the privacy-preserving design. We are committed to supporting the government’s effort to launch an app based on this technology.

Hamish MacLeod, Director at Mobile UK, said:

The mobile industry welcomes the opportunity to support the government’s efforts to combat the global COVID-19 pandemic by zero-rating access to the new NHS COVID-19 app. Customers can be reassured that all in-app activity will not come out of their data allowance.

Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, said:

The NHS COVID-19 app is a great addition to the safety measures already being put in by retailers. We hope it provides extra reassurance for customers and their families all across the country.

As well as contact tracing, the app has a range of additional, enhanced features that will help to reduce personal and public risk from COVID-19 as part of the wider testing and contact tracing service:

  • alert: letting users know the level of coronavirus risk in their postcode district
  • QR check-in: enabling users to check-in at a venue and alerting them if they have recently visited somewhere they may have come into contact with someone who later tests positive for COVID-19
  • symptoms: allowing users to check if they have coronavirus symptoms and see if they need to order a free test
  • test: helping users book a free test through the app and get results to know whether they have COVID-19
  • isolate: if a user is told to self-isolate, a timer feature will help count down that period and access will be provided to relevant advice

Here2Help Worcestershire 

Launched as One Worcestershire’s community action response.

Here2Help is a communication campaign as well as a dedicated response service for all residents who ask for help and those individuals and organisations who offer to help. It aims to complement the national scheme to support those individuals extremely vulnerable to becoming severely ill from Covid-19 (our shielded cohort) and the NHS Volunteer Responders. Districts are linking into this and information of local community support across the six Districts in Worcestershire is contained within the Here2Help Worcestershire database. *Please note*: Opening times has recently changed and is now 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday

Support Bromsgrove 

For anyone in need or would like to offer their help in their local area within Bromsgrove District.

Support Bromsgrove is a partnership of local voluntary and community groups, including our three local foodbanks and Fairfield Village Community Association. See website for contact details. Please note that since 1 July, the helpline became a 24 hour Answerphone Service. Information of local community schemes working across different Parishes / Villages / Neighbourhoods and a directory of organisations are included on the website to help connect the full range of local community support available across the District. The Bromsgrove Community Support Facebook Group, which initially set up the helpline, is continuing on Facebook, helping to connect people to the support they require.

Care Home visits in Bromsgrove to be halted

Care Home visits in Bromsgrove to be halted

Families in Bromsgrove are being asked not to visit loved ones in care homes, after a rise in Coronavirus numbers in the town

Worcestershire County Council Public Health teams have taken the precautionary decision to close visits to care homes with immediate effect. Only essential visits will be allowed.

In the past week Bromsgrove has seen a rise in positive Coronavirus cases from 6 to 22.

As part of the outbreak control plan, the county has a multitude of measures and support available to help prevent an outbreak and reduce the spread of the virus. The decision to restrict care home visits is one of those options. It’s considered a necessary precaution in Bromsgrove as the numbers have increased. The need to protect our elderly and vulnerable residents is paramount.

Dr. Kathryn Cobain, Director for Public Health for Worcestershire said: “We realise lockdown separated many families and how important care home visits have been. Sadly, stopping visits to care homes is a necessary measure to protect our most vulnerable in Bromsgrove. We have not taken this decision lightly. I am concerned about the rising numbers of Covid cases in Bromsgrove and have a duty to protect our most vulnerable. The measure is a sensible, precautionary move while we assess the cases and look at how we can reduce the figures.

 Our priority remains keeping our residents safe and our care homes free of Covid. Public Health teams will continue to work with our care homes to establish when it will be safe again for the re-opening for visits. This is a reminder to us all that Covid remains in our communities and the places we visit. It is vitally important that we wash our hands, use face coverings where necessary and keep our distance. We must not be complacent, the virus has not gone away. ”

County Councillor and Leader of Bromsgrove District Council, Karen May said; “It is essential that we take the necessary action to stop Covid spreading. Our most vulnerable residents must be protected from the virus and the decision to stop all but essential visits to care homes, is a sensible course of action.

This is a stark warning to the people of Bromsgrove that we are all still living with Covid in our community and we must not think it is someone else’s job to prevent outbreaks. We all have our part to play to keep everyone safe. Please keep your distance, wash your hands and wear face coverings. It really is simple to do and you will be saving lives.”

Visits to care homes outside of Bromsgrove, remain unaffected.

To read the latest guidance, please visit the Council’s dedicated Coronavirus page.

We’re Good To Go

The strict Covid Safge protocols adopted by Fairfield Village Hall comply with the nationally recognised “We’re Good To Go” scheme, and the Hall has been accredited with the “We’re Good To Go” mark.

“We’re Good To Go” is the official UK mark to signal that a tourism and hospitality business has worked hard to follow Government and industry COVID-19 guidelines and has a process in place to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing.

The “We’re Good To Go” recognition will provide some reassurance for people wishing to attend activities at the Village Hall

Spot checks may take place to ensure compliance, so it is important that all Hall Users maintain the standards detailed within the Special Conditions of Hire and in the Hall & User Risk Assessments.   

Hirers that do not have a FVH approved Covid Risk Assessment and/or can demonstrate the delivery of a Covid Safe activity will not be allowed to use the Hall.

Symphony of the Countryside

Please see the below invitation from Live and Local, the organisation that brings rural touring theatre to village halls like ours.

I would like to bring your attention to a fabulous new project that we hope you might be interested in taking part in, as it sounds perfect for Live & Local Promoters. Our friends at Carn to Cove – Cornwall’s rural touring scheme – are introducing a project called Symphony of the Countryside. Their aim is to collect a broad variety of short films and audio recordings from different rural locations around the country to create a record of this unique time in our lives.  

We need people from all over the country to get involved and give a snapshot of their village/home/community during this period, and that’s where you come in. By simply creating a short recording on your mobile phone (help from friends or younger relatives is, of course, allowed) you can create a document of your corner of the world – your little bit of England contributing to the wider mosaic of the project, and adding your voice to the overall symphony. Hence, Symphony of the Countryside!

If you would like to get involved or learn more about the project, please do read on, or feel free to ask me any questions. We hope you are as excited by the idea as we are, and that you’ll enjoy getting involved with a country-wide community project.



We want to create a new digital, collaborative work of art using the national network of rural touring schemes and in particular, the promoters from across the whole country to celebrate the sounds of our country. The Symphony will become an enduring mosaic representative of diversity and unity of rural lives.
The rural performing space is as exciting as the National Theatre and we want to engage new audiences online by using ideas from you, our promoters, and local artists. You can be part of this exciting project to create a brand-new piece of art. We would like you to take part to give the Symphony a national voice.


In taking part you will:

  1. Help to address the break in engagement that COVID-19 pandemic has caused between promoters, audiences and the professional creative community which performs in those rural spaces.
  2. Participate in a huge and exciting digital project to create a distinctive, collaborative set of online artworks which can improve the digital presence of the rural touring creative arts scene.
  3. Help to engage new audiences online.
  4. Be part of a national project marking and documenting this point in our time in history.


All you have to do is record short, 6 x 30-second sounds and images of your community depicting “the countryside” together with an audio file “greeting” or a few lines of poetry from a local person(s) depicting their regional distinctiveness. The poetry could reflect the silver lining which comes out of the dark clouds e.g. community spirit, reaching out, acceptance of others and the benefits to the environment.
The recordings can be done on a smart phone camera or similar device and we are available to assist with this. The recorded files need to have the location identified and be submitted to Carn to Cove via a shared Dropbox or sent to Live & Local who can submit on your behalf. 

You must agree that the content can be used in perpetuity for the Symphony of the Countryside mosaic artwork and obtain the necessary permissions from anyone depicted in the footage.

In addition to contributions from promoters, a similar task is being given to professional artists, for them to create a piece of music or poetry to go along side these recordings.


Carn to Cove intend to employ a Film Maker to select and edit the content. The Film maker will mix content from contributors, which can be enjoyed beyond the project end.

The main output format and platform has yet to be determined but the main work will be hosted online, on the Carn to Cove Vimeo Channel. It is hoped to engage local radio stations to broadcast the final pieces. The decisions will be informed by the final shape of the content when edited. It is intended that there will be a searchable database online where audiences and locals can access all the content by geolocated tags.  

They will then creatively mix their content with the work of their professional rural touring artists recorded material to replace the absence of live events.


DEADLINE 28th August 2020

  • 30th Sept – Post-production complete
  • 9th October – Pre-launch teasers published – Analogue (CD-DVD) requirement from NRTF
  • 15th October – Symphony of the Countryside published and distributed

Kind regards,
Selena Hackett
Technical Event Support Officer, Live & Local

Tel: (01926) 402173

Message from The Lord-Lieutenant

Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Worcestershire, Lt Col Patrick Holcroft LVO OBE, has asked that the below message is shared with the community, thanking the many volunteers and staff that have respond to the Covid-19 crisis.

Fairfield Village Community Association would also like to thank the many people in our community that have helped others over the past few months; whether checking on our elderly residents, making phoning calls, shopping for others, delivering services at the Village Hall and more, you deserve a massive thank you.

NHS test and trace – fraud awareness

If NHS Test and Trace calls you by phone, the service will be using a single phone number 0300 0135 000. The only website the service will ask you to visit is

If NHS Test and Trace calls you by phone, the service will be using a single phone number 0300 0135 000. The only website the service will ask you to visit is”

Contact tracers will never:

• Ask you to dial a premium rate number to speak to us (for example, those starting 09 or 087)

• Ask you to make any form of payment

• Ask for any details about your bank account

• Ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts

• Ask you for any passwords or PINs, or ask you to set up any passwords or PINs over the phone

• Ask you to purchase a product

• Ask you to download any software to your device or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet

• Ask you to access any website that does not belong to the Government or NHS

If you think you have been subjected to, or a victim of, a scam or attempted fraud using Track and Trace or any other fraud please call 101 or contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. If you or someone else is in immediate danger or risk of harm dial 999 now.

Fairfield Village Hall Covid-19 Update (2nd July)

Even though the Prime Minister has said that Community Centres (Village Halls) could open from 4th July there are, at the time of writing this piece, many caveats, including but not exclusively the restriction on physical activities, maximum occupancy of 30, music at a level that does not encourage people to raise their voices or dance, etc.  These restrictions currently prevent many activities & events taking place at our Village Hall.
The trustees of Fairfield Village Hall are following the guidance given by the Government and the advice issued by our insurers and advisors.  Use of the Hall will only be allowed if the activity/event is permitted, risk assessed and can be delivered adhering to the Hall’s Covid Secure protocols, Special Conditions of Use, Hall Risk Assessment and an approved Hirer Risk Assessment.  We are in an uncertain times where guidance and advice is changing, therefore, Village Hall protocols and documents are subject to change and organisers of events/activities must be prepared that bookings may be cancelled if guidance and advice from Government, Acre, Insurers, Public Health England and other bodies changes or if the trustees feel that delivery of the activity/event is not compliant with Village Hall protocols and Risk Assessments.
The Hall Trustees are taking a cautious, phased approach to reopening our hall to permitted activities, to ensure that we have a safe venue for all our users & volunteers. 
If you have any questions, please get in touch with Hall Chairman

Play Area Update

In March, the Government gave instructions for the closing of all children’s play areas as part of a strategy to reduce the spread of Covid-19.  The Government have recently announced that playgrounds can reopen from 4th July, subject to the management of playground facilities being safe and compliant with Government guidelines.

The responsibility for managing the village play area on the Recreation Ground, making sure that it is safe for all users, rests with the Parish Council.  The Parish Council have received the Government guidelines and is currently assessing the actions required that may allow the play area to open.  The Parish Council will only consider reopening the Parish Council if it deemed safe to do so and if the requirements laid down in the guidelines can be achieved.  

For the time being the playground remains closed.  It is understandable that children will be wanting to use the facilities, but for everyone’s health, patience is required.

Coronavirus-Related Scams – How To Protect Yourself

Criminals are exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to try and get their hands on your money and personal information. To date, Action Fraud has received reports from 2,378 victims of Coronavirus-related scams, with the total losses reaching over £7 million.

How you can protect yourself from Coronavirus-related scams:

There are some simple steps you can take that will protect you from the most common Coronavirus-related scams. Here’s what need to do:

1 – Watch out for scam messages
Your bank, or other official organisations, won’t ask you to share personal information over email or text. If you receive an email you’re not quite sure about, forward it to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS):

2 – Shopping online
If you’re making a purchase from a company or person you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first, for example, by checking to see if others have used the site and what their experience was. If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, use a credit card if you have one, other payment providers may not provide the same protection.

3 – Unsolicited calls and browser pop-ups offering tech support
Never install any software, or grant remote access to your computer, as a result of a cold call. Remember, legitimate organisations would never contact you out of the blue to ask for financial details such as your PIN or full banking password.

NHS Test and Trace scams:

The NHS Test and Trace service plays an important role in the fight against coronavirus and it’s vital the public have confidence and trust in the service. However, we understand the concerns people have about the opportunity for criminals to commit scams.

What you need to know:

Contact tracers will only call you from the number 0300 013 5000. Anyone who does not wish to talk over the phone can request the NHS Test and Trace service to send an email or text instead, inviting them to log into the web-based service.

All text or emails sent by NHS Test and Trace will ask people to sign into the contact tracing website and will provide you with a unique reference number. We would advise people to type the web address directly into their browser, followed by the unique reference number given to you, rather than clicking on any link provided in the message.

The NHS Test and Trace service will never:

  • ask you to dial a premium rate number to speak to them (for example, those starting 09 or 087)
  • ask you to make any form of payment or purchase a product or any kind
  • ask for any details about your bank account
  • ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts
  • ask you for any passwords or PINs, or ask you to set up any passwords or PINs over the phone  
  • ask you to download any software to your PC or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet to anyone else
  • ask you to access any website that does not belong to the government or NHS

If you think you have been a victim of fraud, please report it to Action Fraud at or by calling 0300 123 2040. 


The Wildmoor Oak pub restaurant is helping to provide free healthy meals for vulnerable people in the community during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Like many restaurant owners, Chef Lorenzo Richards from The Wildmoor Oak had to look at new ways to maintain an income when he had to temporarily close his premises to the public in March. He set up a take-away service for customers, available Wednesday – Sunday, but also wanted to do something to help those struggling during lockdown.

Lorenzo seized on an initiative to recycle food from supermarkets and warehouses that would otherwise be destroyed. Donating his time and passion for cooking, Lorenzo heads a team of around five staff volunteers who turn the raw ingredients in to a variety of healthy dishes – including vegetarian and vegan options. Dishes have included pasta bakes, fish in sauce and curries. Over 300 meals are produced every Tuesday in the kitchen at The Wildmoor Oak.  

Lorenzo is working in partnership with FoodCycle in Longbridge, a national charity established in 2009, with a vision for a society where no one is hungry or lonely. FoodCycle provides the ingredients and then collects the prepared meals each Wednesday from The Wildmoor Oak. The meals are distributed to anyone in need, such as low-income families, asylum seekers and refugees, the elderly, and people dealing with mental health issues. Lorenzo’s food has also been enjoyed by staff at West Midlands Ambulance Service.

Jody Beswick from FoodCycle said: “We would like to express a huge thank you for the effort Lorenzo and his team put in to support us with our food parcel service. Many people delay ordering their parcels as they are now aware that Wednesday and Thursday are ‘Lorenzo food day’ and we actually see an increase for parcels on these days. The volunteers get a buzz when the food arrives at our hub as they are eager to see what Lorenzo’s team have prepared. The Wildmoor Oak is bringing a bit of happiness to the people we try to help in these challenging times.”

Chef Lorenzo said: “We are proud to be able to make use of our restaurant facilities and culinary skills to help others who are struggling during the pandemic. Every year almost 2 million tonnes of surplus food is wasted by the UK food industry! This initiative helps stop this massive waste of food whilst having a positive impact on the local area by helping those in need.”

For more information visit

Chef Lorenzo makes use of surplus food to prepare healthy meals for those in need

New COVID-19 contact tracing app open to fraud

The UK Government is currently trialling a new COVID-19 coronavirus contact tracing app on the Isle of Wight. Many expect that the app will roll out to the rest of the country later this year. 

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) has received evidence of a phishing scam themed around the app, even before the real app has released nationally.

Members of the public received texts informing them that they have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. The message contains a link to a bogus website which asks for the personal details of the user. Scammers may use the information to gain access to bank accounts and commit other forms of identity fraud. 

Scams related to the coronavirus emergency have taken off since March, and Action Fraud reports that COVID-19 scams stole over £2 million during this time. Consumer protection experts fear that more scams themed around the contact tracing app will appear once it is released nationally.

CTSI Lead Officer, Katherine Hart, said: “We have witnessed a surge in COVID-19-related scams since lockdown began. This evidence is yet another example of scammers modifying their campaigns as the situation develops.

“I am especially concerned that scams themed around the contact tracing app are already appearing, even though the official NHS app has only been released in a limited testing phase on the Isle of Wight.

“These texts are a way to steal personal data and may put the bank accounts of recipients at risk. If anyone receives texts or other kinds of messages like this, they should not click on any accompanying links, and report them to Action Fraud.”

To report instances of scams, go to the Action Fraud website

Public advised to cover faces in enclosed spaces

The public is advised to consider wearing face coverings in enclosed public spaces such as shops, trains and buses to help reduce the spread of coronavirus.

  • People who use public transport or visit shops should consider covering their mouth and nose based on advice from SAGE
  • Face coverings are not a replacement for social distancing and regular handwashing which remain the most important actions, says Chief Medical Officer
  • Public urged not to buy medical grade masks so they can be saved for frontline health and care workers, and instead make their own face coverings at home

The public is advised to consider wearing face coverings in enclosed public spaces where you may be more likely to come into contact with people you do not normally meet, the government announced today.

After careful consideration of the latest scientific evidence from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), the government confirmed face coverings can help reduce the risk of transmission in some circumstances.

Face coverings can help us protect each other and reduce the spread of the disease if you are suffering from coronavirus but not showing symptoms. People with coronavirus symptoms, as well as members of their household, should continue to follow the advice to self-isolate.

They may be beneficial in places where it is hard to follow maintain social distancing measures. This applies when using public transport, such as trains, buses and metro systems, or when visiting shops.

They do not need to be worn outdoors, while exercising, in schools, in workplaces such as offices and retail, by those who may find them difficult to wear, such as children under two or primary aged children who cannot use them without assistance, or those who may have problems breathing while wearing a face covering.

The public is being strongly urged not to purchase surgical masks or respirators. These are prioritised for healthcare workers working in more high-risk environments where the risk is greatest.

Instead the public is encouraged to make face coverings at home, using scarves or other textile items that many will already own. Read the guidance on how to wear and make a cloth face covering.

Health Minister Jo Churchill said:

At all times our strategy for keeping the public and the NHS safe during this crisis has been guided by the science.

Today, thanks to the evidence provided by our expert scientists, we are advising people to consider wearing a face covering if they can in enclosed public spaces where social distancing is impossible, for example on public transport or in shops. This may help prevent you spreading the virus to others.

You do not need a clinical mask which is prioritised for our healthcare workers. Instead a face covering is sufficient and we encourage people to make these at home with items they will already own.

Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer said:

Wearing a face covering is an added precaution that may have some benefit in reducing the likelihood that a person with the infection passes it on.

The most effective means of preventing the spread of this virus remains following social distancing rules and washing your hands regularly. It does not remove the need to self-isolate if you have symptoms.

COVID-19 can be spread directly by droplets from coughs, sneezes and speaking. These droplets can also be picked up from surfaces by touch and subsequently from touching the face. That is why hand hygiene is so important in controlling the infection.

Evidence shows a face covering can help in reducing the spread of droplets and therefore potentially infecting others, and could help to reduce the spread of infection as lockdown measures start to be lifted. It is important people refrain from touching their face covering when wearing it, where possible, to avoid hand to mask transmission of the virus.

Government will not be supplying face coverings centrally as at home items and fabrics readily available on the market can be used, but it is important to wash them after every use.

Research from the WHO showed that where masks were recommended for prolonged periods of time, some wearers failed to maintain good handwashing practices or follow social distancing policies, putting others at risk. As England has demonstrated strong adherence to social distancing, the government is confident face coverings can be recommended as an added precaution in certain environments rather than an essential part of social distancing policies.

For workers in various sectors, or in public transport, the government is advising they continue to follow the advice of their employers and make sensible workplace adjustments. Further guidance on safer workplaces and on transport will be published shortly.

Government has produced guidance for employees and in it they emphasise and reassure employers that for the majority the most effective way they can ensure that their employees are safe at work is to make sensible workplace adjustments, including erecting perspex screens which many supermarkets have already introduced.

Face coverings do not need to be worn in schools.

Increase in cyclists prompts police to share safety message

With more novice cyclists than ever taking to the roads for their daily exercise during COVID-19, police are urging both cyclists and drivers to follow some simple safety tips to help keep everyone safe on our roads.

We are sharing the following safety tips for novice cyclists:-
•Follow the government advice about how you exercise and observe social distancing while you do it
•Plan your journey in advance and advise someone of where you are going and when you intend to return, especially if you are cycling in a remote location.
•If you are cycling with a young family, consider riding routes with dedicated cycle paths to ensure the safety of young children and pedestrians. Please remember that if you are cycling on the roads that vehicles such as HGVs, are still regularly travelling routes in order to move much-needed supplies. Large vehicles might scare and unbalance young children on bicycles when overtaking them.
•Ensure that your bicycle is roadworthy. If it has been unused for a while, ensure that the mechanisms such as brakes and gears are working and that tyres are pumped up before starting any ride. Brake failure can cause a serious collision. Follow this link for a short video clip from Cycling UK showing you how to do the M check on your bike.
•Please take extra care at junctions. Nationally around three quarters of cyclist collisions happen at or near them (Source: Cycling UK)
•Think about your positioning in the road and whether you can be seen by other road users. Wearing reflective clothing and ensuring that your bike is fitted with lights and/ or reflective discs helps with visibility. Assuming a position towards the centre of the lane where possible maximises the rider’s line of vision and means that other road users have a clear view of you.
•If you are riding with protection around your face ensure that this does not restrict your head movement and that you are able to look around freely without restriction so that safety checks can be carried out.
•If you’re riding with your family, help motorists overtake you with the safe distance of 1.5 metres by filtering down to single file.
•Effectively communicate with other road users, by using hand signals when turning left or right. Try to make eye contact with other road users and pedestrians to ensure that they have seen you.

We are asking drivers to:-
•Follow the latest government guidelines around COVID-19, stay at home and only drive for essential purposes. These can be found on
•Please slow down and take extra care around these vulnerable road users giving them extra space and time.
•Always expect the unexpected around each corner, and pass cyclists at a minimum distance of 1.5 metres when it is safe to do so, particularly on left hand bends. Cycling UK have produced a Too Close for Comfort video to show drivers what it’s like to be close passed so they can understand it from a cyclist’s perspective.
•Please take extra care around cyclists (and other vulnerable road users) at junctions where three quarters of cyclist collisions happen.

The Law

You must ensure your brakes are efficient, and at night use lit front and rear lights and have a red rear reflector.

For more info, click here

More information about safe cycling

Now We’re Talking

The COVID19 outbreak is having an impact on everyone’s daily lives. It’s normal to experience increased levels of stress & anxiety.

Across Worcestershire residents of all ages can access 24/7 support to help improve your mental wellbeing. Talking might help check out or call Worcestershire Healthy Minds 0300 302 1313.

Beware of COVID 19 Telephone Scams

Beware of telephone scams

We are aware that criminals are trying to exploit the national coronavirus crisis and take advantage of innocent people.
Fraudsters purporting to be from the police or your bank are targeting elderly and vulnerable people to try and steal money from their accounts. The callers will often seem genuine, offering you the opportunity to call them back to prove their identity.

They establish their trust with you by confirming some of your personal details and will then make up a story in which money in your bank account needs to be transferred or withdrawn.

The police or your bank will never:

• Contact you out of the blue and ask for your personal details, including your PIN number, password or account details
• Ask you to transfer money into another account for fraud reasons
• Ask you to withdraw cash and hand to someone for safe keeping
• Send someone to your home to collect cash, bank cards, account details or PIN numbers
Protect yourself
• If you are unsure whether someone on the phone is genuine, hang up and then use a different line to call the organisation they are purporting to be from using a number from the phonebook or internet to verify their identity
• Don’t give out your personal information to anyone over the phone, including your PIN number and bank account or card details
• If you have given out your personal banking details to someone over the phone or have given someone your card details, contact your bank immediately to cancel your card.

Where to go for help

• If you receive a call from someone purporting to be a police officer and asking you to withdraw or transfer money, call Warwickshire Police on 101 – the more intelligence we receive, the more likely we are to catch those responsible.
• If you have been a victim of a telephone scam, please report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via their website:
• For advice on scams, contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.
• Always call 999 in an emergency.

How you can support your neighbours

How you can support your neighbours, especially those that are vulnerable and are unable to leave the house.

Share phone numbers. Your neighbours may need assistance, you may need assistance, especially if someone in your household has Coronavirus symptoms and all members of the household are undertaking the required isolation.

Life has changed

Life  has changed by Fairfield resident, Sheridan Bryson (written during the Coronavirus lockdown)

What happened on the 23rd of March 2020? 

Our lives as we know it changed completely 

We were told to wash our hands whilst singing Happy Birthday, 

But this was not quite enough to keep the nasty virus away 

Boris told us to stay at home, to protect the NHS and save lives,

This had to be done so that humanity survives

Unprecedented times the news overwhelmingly reported,

We must socially distance they said to get this crisis sorted

In the darkness a glimmer of hope began to shine through,

A workforce of super heroes came forward, with badges of blue 

We cheer them from our doorsteps to show our gratitude for what they do,

And remember all the volunteers, and key workers at this time too 

Everyone is working together to fight this invisible threat, 

And when this is all over there will be time to reflect 

We will be grateful for the little things our friends, and family,

Fast Cars, designer clothes and holidays won’t mean as much to neither you, nor me 

We will Remember what really matters in our lives, including love and laughter,

These basic things are all we need for years to come, and Thereafter 

Please avoid having a bonfire if possible during the lockdown period

Hereford and Worcester Fire & Rescue Service are asking that you do not have bonfires during the lockdown, for several reasons including respiratory consideration for people that have or may have Coronavirus and reducing the number of emergency call outs.

The fire service has seen an increase in bonfire related callouts over the past three weeks.

“While we know that the current weather makes getting out in the garden very tempting, lots of the false alarms we attend are caused by bonfires,” said Group Commander Mick Cadman of the HWFRS Community Risk Department.

“Equally, bonfires can get out of control very easily. Please help us to help you, by reducing any activity that could lead to us being called out.”

Bonfires are very common in the summer, but they can get out of control very easily.

If you want to burn off garden waste, here’s some safety advice:

  • site any bonfire well away from buildings, fences, trees and garden structures
  • don’t light a bonfire on a windy day, as it could flare up more than you expect
  • be courteous to your neighbours – fires may add to the respiratory difficulties of those suffering from the coronavirus
  • never use flammable liquids such as petrol or paraffin to start a bonfire
  • don’t burn foam filled furniture, aerosols, bottles or paints
  • keep people, especially children away from the fire. If children are present, ensure they are supervised at all times
  • never leave a bonfire unattended
  • have a garden hose to hand in case the fire starts to get out of control
  • always pour water over embers to ensure a bonfire is fully extinguished before leaving it
  • if a fire should get out of hand, dial 999 and call the Fire and Rescue Service at once

The best advice is enjoy your garden but Stay at Home – Protect the NHS and Save lives

It’s Good To Talk

“No one can do everything, but everyone can do something!”

Supporting our neighbours and wider community who are not connected on social media can be a challenge. Why not setup a phone tree? It’s a lovely way to stay connected, particularly with those who are not online.

Here is how it works… You call 3 people. You ask those 3 people to call 3 people each making 9. Those 9 each call 3 people reaching 27 people. Those 27 each call 3 reaching 81 people. The phone tree builds. Call 3 people today to ask how they are doing. Reduce isolation and stay connected.

Government issue guidance on Volunteering

Volunteering will be crucial in the response to coronavirus and people have not been stopped from doing this.

However, volunteering that requires going out of the house is now only permitted in certain circumstances. If you are well and are not at risk from coronavirus you can undertake essential activities including:

Delivering food

Helping people with their medical needs, such as picking up prescriptions

Providing essential care or to help a vulnerable person or person(s), including through essential public and voluntary services, such as food banks, homeless services, and blood donation sessions

Voluntary organisations are supporting people across the UK in this time of high need, providing practical, emotional and social support.

You can find local volunteering opportunities by visiting Do-IT, Volunteering Matters, or Reach Volunteering.

You could approach your local volunteer centre, or find your local member of the National Association for Voluntary and Community Action.

Government Issue Guidance on How to stay safe when accepting help from others

If you are receiving voluntary help do not share financial details like credit/debit card numbers or personal information.

If someone you don’t know calls at your home, always ask for ID and always ensure you are comfortable sharing details like your phone number or address. Only provide information on a need to know basis and if you have seen ID. Do not feel pressured into providing information. If you have doubts about those who are approaching you, and are concerned, it is advised that you don’t engage, and report serious suspicious behaviour to the police.

Remember that genuine volunteers have been instructed not to enter your home.